Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dan Cortese Files for Divorce and (Re-)Lists Malibu Mansion

SELLER: Dan and DeeDee Cortese
PRICE: $2,949,000
SIZE: 6,322 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: There are a number of reasons regular people and rich and famous folks in particular sell there homes. Besides the all too frequent and often incurable cases of The Real Estate Fickle there are what's known in real estate industry lingo as The Three Ds: death, diapers and divorce. In the case of television presenter and actor Dan Cortese–that's pronounced core-tez and not core-teez, thank you very much–and his real estate agent wife DeeDee, married since 1994, it's divorce. Perhaps (and probably) having something to do with the impending dissolution of their near 20-year marriage Mister and Missus Cortese have (re-)listed their Malibu, CA mansion with an asking price of $2,949,000.

The chisel-chinned, wisp slim, and fiddle fit Mister Cortese, a fratty sort of fella who might call friends and strangers alike "bro," started up his ladder of fame in the early 1990s and through mid-1990s as the jocky host of MTV Sports. That success led to recurring roles on a number of sitcoms and evening (melo)dramas that include Melrose Place, The Single Guy, Veronica's Closet, What I Like About You, and Surviving Suburbia. Along the way Mister Cortese hosted a couple of (very) short-lived game shows (My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad, Crash Course) and appeared in a number of made for the boob-toob movies (Ball & Chain, Brain Trust) and on the silver screen in silly movies we've never heard of and hope never to be subjected (Everybody Wants to Be Italian, Soccer Mom). In addition to purveying property in Malibu, soon to be ex-Missus Cortese paints portraits of children.

The erstwhile Corteses acquired their then brand spanking new gated mini-estate in Malibu, nestled into a short cul-de-sac of like-minded mansion due north of Point Dume, in April 1998 for an undisclosed price, or at least a price we couldn't tease up out of the internet with a few minutes' effort.

As it turns out Mister and soon to be ex-Missus Cortese first hoisted their mock-Mediterranean manse on the market in May (2011) with a slightly higher price tag of $3,250,000. Information readily available on StreetEasy shows the property was put in escrow in early October but the deal, alas, quickly came to naught and by Halloween the house was back on the market.

Listing information shows the C-shaped two-story pile, which sits on .82 acres and curls around a parking lot-sized gated motor court with attached 3-bay garage, measures 6,322 square feet and includes, in the main and attached guest houses, a total of 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, and 3 fireplaces.

The double-height foyer has a sweeping staircase with scrolled wrought iron banister and several wide archways that lead to the various rooms of the house that include a formal living room with fireplace and French doors with backyard access and a formal dining room with tiled floor, French doors and, framed in a faux stone archway, a wall mural that depicts some Italian seaside scene, probably someplace in Sicily where Mister Cortese's people come from. We are certain there are those children who will find the wall mural charming or quaint or Old World or whatever but, generally speaking, we find wall murals decoratively despicable. We're sure there's a hard and fast rule about such thing in Your Mama's Big Book Of Decoratin' Dos and Don'ts but we just cain't be bothered to look it up right now.

Anyhoo, another archway connects the formal dining room to the family quarters that include a generous breakfast room with backyard access and, through yet another stone encrusted archway, a sizable center-island kitchen with vaulted ceiling criss-crossed by wood beams (that look to our untrained eye like they were painted to look rustic and old but really are neither of those things), brown and beige flecked granite counter tops, a plethora of high-grade stainless steel appliances including separate full-sized fridge and freezer that flank the six burner range, and miles of raised panel cabinetry done up with articulated pediments, fluted columns and a mottled faux finish. 

The nearby family room has another fireplace, wood floors, French doors that swing open to a large entertainment terrace that overlooks the resort-style backyard and, for the hooch hounds, a built-in wet bar with granite counter tops and a couple of cushioned wrought iron stools. Listing information shows the house also includes a den, attached guest/staff quarters, and office, and interior laundry room.

The second floor includes various family and guest bedrooms and bathrooms that include the Cortese bambinos' theme decorated bedrooms, his like a surf shack/tiki hut and hers all pink and princess-like. A small, semi-circular sitting room adjacent to the master has narrow arched windows and a wee balcony that allow for a panoramic over the tree tops view that includes a sliver of the Pacific Ocean. The spacious (but far from huge) master suite offers a high ceiling, a curvaceous fireplace, French doors that open to a private covered balcony with mountain view, and a classic (and cliché) mock-Med mcmansion-style bathroom with elaborate custom cabinetry, twin sinks and vanities, a vaulted ceiling, and a separate shower and soaking tub for two.

Kitty Hazclaus, a phrase-turning real estate insider with whom we're acquainted in The Bu summed it up best perhaps when she briefly but cattily described the over all decorative scheme of the Cortese crib to Your Mama as, ""Like Costco and Victoria Gotti designed a signature line of furnishings." Did any of y'all gasp out loud the first time you read that like Your Mama did? Have mercy and pass the nerve pills, please. We remain in breathless awe of the bare naked and wicked wicked wicked sharpness of Miz Hasclaus' assessment of the situation but we can't really argue with her tough judgement since she's sort of pinned the tail on the donkey, you know? Then again we would never, ever, in a million years disagree publicly with out Miz Hazclaus because, well, as y'all can see, the old bird has a rather withering tongue.

Moving along into the outdoor areas at that encompass numerous and various patios, balconies and terraces that extend off both the upper and lower levels of the rear of the house. Steps from the main terrace off the kitchen descend into a thicket of pencil-thin palm trees that surround the elevated party-sized spa and lagoon-shaped swimming pool. Some of the stone paved terraces around the spa and pool have built-in bench seating and others are better suited for pool-side dining and sun basking. Well-watered lawns swoop, swirl and undulate around the swimming pool and spa and provide plenty of room for an assorted number of outdoor activities that could (but do not, as far as we can tell, currently include) a shuffleboard court, horse shoe pit, and super-sized sand box. Some things for the next owner to think about as they consider what they might do to customize the property.

listing photos: Coldwell Banker / Malibu West


Anonymous said...

I love the house, the property and think the interior decorating is beautiful. Where are the pictures of the guest house? I doubt the furnishings are being sold with the house, as there is no mention of that on the listing I saw on Trulia. The property is "priced to sell" and I bet it will be a quick one.
Do you have any photos of the stylish abode of Kitty Hazclaus (if she exists). I yearn to view the fine taste of this graceless woman.

Anonymous said...

Oh Honies... the faux mcmansion is highly salvageable and could be done up in a lovely Restoration Hardware almost "authentic" look/feel but the current setup is making me run for my pills pronto!

Overall you can get a good "deal" in the Bu. This house in Brentwood, Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills West would be 3x as much at a minimum.

Sad thing about this abode is it is still 5-10 min from the beach and in the middle of no-where... but if someone wants a good "deal" on a large home or mini-compound "close" to Los Angeles and close to the water... well here ya go. Sadly the inventory of homes like this is in large supply.

Anonymous said...

^ Danny, we see you!!!

Anonymous said...

Costco and Victoria Gotti - ROFL - bullseye! So true. Before reading that, all I was focusing on were the styrofoam ceiling beams and myriad of grotto-like niches and fireplace overmantles...blech. Yep (and sadly), this pile could be just about anywhere.

angie said...

Oh lovely..
another beige-on-beige-on-beige-on-beige-on-beige-on-beige McMasterpiece.
Ms Hazclaus doesn't mince words, and I can see why, lol.

Anonymous said...

Huh? Clearly Kitty has never seen pictures of Victoria's house on Long Island. Near to zero resemblance here to her, uh, "style." But whatever. The actual decoration, separated from the interior architecture (loose term, I know) is really not that bad; at least what I can see on the 15" screen of my Macbook Pro.

Anonymous said...

Dan Cortese can afford something this beautiful and this nice? WTH?

I love it, I swear to God if I lived in California I would write a check for this right now.

Anonymous said...

I have to fully agree with Kitty Hazclaus. I'd say the trip to Costco included a stop at Big Lots, too. This is one of those Malibu "on a clear day you can see Maury" houses. Maury being the elderly guy next door who runs around in plaid shorts, black knee socks and white leather dress shoes. At least Maury gives you something to look at since you can't see the damned ocean, and isn't that kind of the whole point of living in Malibu? The only thing worse would be building something like this, as so many have, on a beautiful bluff or right on the beach. A house should be as one with nature and the surroundings. Building a McMansion in such a location is both an insult and an eyesore, IMHO. This place wouldn't be at all out-of-place in St. Louis, MO, Grapevine, TX, Youngstown, OH... really, anyplace. It is a generic "gotta have a big house" that leaves you longing for a cozy bungalow with good smells wafting from the kitchen.

custom homes Austin said...

A mansion indeed! Too bad this residence has to be sold due to divorce. This home is definitely luxurious and has been customized to suit their style requirements.

Anonymous said...

(say something nice, say something nice) Ummm, the backyard looks fun? or not... Nice cul-de-sac? Nice to be near Zuma Beach??

My stomach churned at the first fireplace, heaved at the kitchen, and lost it at the hideous fake beams stapled to the living room ceiling. The second floor is best not discussed. Costco (my home away from home) isn't quite this tacky; I'm thinking Mor Furniture for Less.

Anonymous said...

So subdivison-y is this little short cul-de-sac street; does not seem like Malibu hills living as we typically think of it. For some additional celebrity-connection, I believe that Merv Griffin's only child, son Tony, lives at the end of the cul-de-sac (may have even built the home; has lived there a long time).

Ms. Dawn Ridge

Jumpin Jehoshaphat said...

@doug 6:06
If this "pretty box" were built in Youngstown it would be a perfect fit. There's more than enough members of 'The Family' to put their stink on this house to make it their own. Like, say..... Installing a pistol range in the basement, a hair station to mortar on that lacquered look, bags & bags of Portland cement and enough gold gilded chairs & tons of art frames, as to make Goldschlager file for Chapter 11.
But I digress. I shop at CostCo regularly but have been fortunate enough to not come across any of the 'day-core' that these two have way to much of. If I were to guess, instead of Costco I'd say the bought every last thing from Pier 1...the biggest over priced piece of pseudo ka-ka and got a huge deal with equally tasteless item from the going out of business sale at used-to-be-fun Bombay Co.
Drek, pure drek.
I'd still do him.
Day-um! How opinionated I still am after just moving to the warmer clime of FL from OH. I couldn't take my testicles turning into ovaries trying to keep warm all the way up by my gin abused liver.
I sh** you not: my verification code? Cemin

midTN said...


Yet another beige McMansion..zzzzzz

Anonymous said...

The place may be comfortable enough but too much of it brings to mind a remark re the decor I recall from a movie whose title I don't recall: "McKinley stinker." Particularly the bathroom weighed down by the overpowering cabinet work.

Anonymous said...

This same sized house on the sized lot in the freezing cold midwest is going to run you about $1.2-$1.5 million so to me this is a pretty good deal, especially to be in Malibu. I am sure it is not the best part of Malibu, but it is 30 degrees where I am at right now and it snowed last week, so the worst part of Malibu is still better than the best part of the midwest right now.

If people don't like it and think it looks like a McMansion, good news, bring out your checkbook and write a bigger check for something better. It is after all a free country.

Anonymous said...

@Jumpin 6:14

I recall hearing once that car bombings in the Youngstown area were so common that the police took to calling them "a Youngstown tune-up".

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