Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bea Arthur's Cliff May Available to Lease

OWNER: Estate of Bea Arthur
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $32,500 per month
SIZE: 5 bedrooms and at least as many bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Although she's a pop culture icon who occupies hallowed ground at the very pinnacles of high-camp gaydom, Emmy- and Tony-winning actress and comedienne Bea Arthur (Mame, Maude, Golden Girls) was a formidable, principled and ground-breaking woman of substance who–in the 1970s–fearlessly took on taboo social and political issues such as abortion, the Vietnam War and civil rights at a time when it was strictly verboten for those subjects to be dealt with openly...on a woman, an actress with the voice of a man. We say that, children, with only deepest of respects for the late great gravel-voiced Bea Arthur who went to meet her great director in the sky in April 2009.

Thanks to a kind and covert communique from our trusted informant Ima Tattletale that included semi-secret listing information we've learned that the executors of Miz Arthur's estate–whomever they may be–have quietly put her home in the rustic and bucolic Sullivan Canyon area of Los Angeles, CA out for lease. The listing information Your Mama has in hand does not explicitly state an asking price but, once again, our insider Miss Tattletale snitched that they–whomever they may be–wants $32,500 per month for the nearly 4-acre estate with its sprawling and fully updated Cliff May-designed hacienda style house.

Property records show that twice-married and twice divorced Miz Arthur owned the urban Arcadian estate since at least the mid-1990s. It was here at this house, as we understand, where the former Marine–that's right, puppina-weenahs, Miz Arthur was a Marine–lived out the end of her days.

Listing information in our possession shows that the entire house and grounds were given a thorough overhaul in 2005-2007 by a "visionary designer/builder" named Matt Saks who may or may not be Miz Arthur's son Matthew Saks. The house, as best as we can surmise includes four guest suites–two large and two smaller–each with private pooper plus an expansive master with sizable bedroom, well-scaled sitting area with fireplace, two offices, big bathroom with jetted tub and steam shower, and a fitted walk-in closet the size of a small garage.

The main living spaces–living and dining rooms and a den–have vaulted ceilings with exposed beams, honed travertine floors and painted brick fireplaces. Wood-framed sliding doors marry the spacious living room to the large terraces that surround the house and in the newly re-worked kitchen there are slab marble counter tops, high-grade stainless steel appliances and a not entirely successful combination of white and chestnut-colored wood cabinetry. The kitchen, which has a short breakfast counter, is open to a dining area and cozy family anchored by a stone fireplace.

The halcyon grounds include an over-sized flagstone motor court, three car garage, crescent-shaped swimming pool and raised sap surrounded by flagstone terrace, and a tennis court. Paths and trails with night-lighting for evening strolls wind and meander the hillside grounds.

And with that, it's back to our semi-warm quasi-vacation...

listing photos: Partners Trust


The Devoted Classicist said...

I like it. But Cliff May is one of my favorite California architects.

Jeannified said...

LOVE it!!! Beautiful!

Amanda B. Rekendwith said...

Halcyon. Such a beautiful word. I hope that Bea had many halcyon days there.

Jesse said...

Glad to see she lived well while with us. Love this home. She was also a huge supporter of LGBT causes, which made me love her even more. I know there is at least one LGBT youth shelter that she is responsible for funding/opening ... probably lots of other projects like that which did not receive as much attention.

Enjoy the rest of your vacay, Mama and thanks for checking in with the children.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Cooter and Mama:

Darlings, please have Svetlana reposition the bed immediately! One ceiling beam separates you both, which will sever your passionate sexual attraction and heaven forbid lead to divorce! Additional beams trisect you both into thirds, which will initiate indigestion, acid reflux syndrome, and additional medical maladies.

Feng shui is very important in my culture.

Dr. Rabbi Hedda LaTess
Marriage and Sexual Specialist

go boo boo said...

love the house & grounds!

Anonymous said...

Was she a lesbian?
I've heard she was, but was she?

Anonymous said...

The pictures are veeery small.
Wish they were bigger, as I am a Cliff May fan.
My sister owned one of his early houses outside of San
Diego -- built in the thirties.

lil' gay boy said...

Vocal when we needed her to be, for the most part she led by example rather than in-your-face confrontation, and for the most part remained anonymous --- or as my Nana used to say, "It's not really charity when you do it in front of a press conference..."

A true spokesperson & role model for us all.

As for the house well, it appears to be a lovingly kept, well-lived in home. Despite the supermarket tabloid headlines to the contrary, I'm sure there was a lot of love under those signature Cliff May beams.

Anonymous said...

And then there's Maude...

in the gay bar episode! Arthur wants to shut the place down, Maude tells Arthur he's out of his mind, and the two of them go to a gay bar for the first time in their lives. Arthur worries his plaid sport jacket is too butch, a nellie regular sports an identical jacket, Maude dares Arthur to go one-to-one with the buff bartender and requests orange juice during the Anita Bryant-related boycott!

Hysterically funny for liberal viewers, and courageous programming for 1970s middle America.

Studley and Rodney, and our word verification was truly preen!

Calgary Realtor said...

What would this property be worth?

Anonymous said...

To "anonymous" @6:06 p.m....
You can make the pictures bigger by holding down the CTRL key and hitting the + key a few times until the pics are large enough for you to see them. Hope that helps.

OT: I loved Bea Arthur and I have enjoyed seeing how/where she lived. Thank you Mama.

Anonymous said...

Wow, maybe we can send this Matt Saks fellow over to Doogie Howser's house.

What relaxing spa like resort of a house. Just what I need to relax the naughty bits and have them scrubbed down.

That pool spa thing is amazing...all that flagstone and the color of the water. Send some flagstone to Doogie's stat!!

If Miss Beatrice was still alive, I might be her third house husband--I could do this lifestyle.

Mr. Neil Patrick got beat out by an old lady. That place is comfortable, some of the furniture--meh.

But, Miss Arthur, RIP. Loved golden girls and now I know you knew how to live and enjoy too and even if you didn't have good taste--you knew how to deligate to those who did--genius!

Mama's black sheep in WEHO,

Still here. I took my behavior pills. I'm better.

Anonymous said...

6:17 - I can't agree enough about how liberal, courageous, and progressive 'Maude' was - it took after its cousins 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons'.

Too bad current TV writers and execs can't grow backbones like their predesessors.

RIP Ms. Arthur.

jdubble07 said...

Check out a ton of photos at

Is anyone else plotzing over the "Shady Pines" sign along the trail???

Anonymous said...

We are all, no doubt, still mourning the loss of Dame Elizabeth Taylor. It might help our tears, Mama, if you could put together a look-see of her fabulous homes, their interiors, and her fabulous art collection.

Anonymous said...

Agreed Moma - your spin on Dame Elizabeth's pile of homes would be awesome - enjoy the desert!

Anonymous said...


I was also thinking yesterday that a tribute to Elizabeth Taylor would be moving. She spoke out for HIV research and raised millions of dollars for AMFAR years before our US of A movie actor president whazzizname and other Hollywood denizens ever mentioned AIDS publically.

Rabbi LaTess

P.S. I learned from our bartender that sleeping under Cliff May ceiling beams is causing Studley to wake up with hangovers.

luke220 said...

It's not the same Matt Saks.

This is a beautiful house, a lot of character and nicely updated. I think $32,500 per month is a bit high, but what do I know?

nursedeb said...

Bea was a very smart addition to being a Marine, she had a degree in Medical technology...
think those peeps in the labs doing the test your doc ordered.
wonderful HOME.....she had good taste also.
I think a listing of Elizabeths homes would be AWESOME.
enjoy your vaca, mama

Anonymous said...

Cost of updating this lovely California classic: $1mil to $2mil.

Telling all your family and friends that you live in Bea Arthur's house? Priceless!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous home. I would love to live there.

Sleeping under bartenders makes me wake up with hangovers.

GoldenGal said...

jdubble07 --I definitely plotzed when I saw that sign!! "Picture it, Los Angeles. 2011..."

I also love that she has the poster for Fiddler on the Roof in her office, and she was in the original Broadway cast with Zero Mostel and Bette Midler...::sigh:: what I would have paid to see that...

Unknown said...

That old compromisin',
enterprisin', anything but tranquilizing, Right on Maude.

Anonymous said...

I found this clip of Miss Arthur's final interview with Bea discussing her career in her own words. The clip also shows Betty White, Carol Channing and Phyllis Diller. I think it’s for a show called, “Lunching with a Legend.” It looks like it was filmed in this kitchen !

I'd hate for a full interview with Bea or the other legendary ladies in the clip to go unseen.


JoeyO'H said...

Stephen, thanks for including the link of "Lunching with a Legend." I still catch "Maude" reruns and think, wow, this was the 1970's and that show (along with many Norman Lear shows at the time) were so daring, truthful and real life.
Her house is a jewel (just as Bea was). I love the entire property- inside and out.
Bea- still miss and love you RIP.

Re/Max Agent said...

Pretty interesting looking house!

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