Thursday, April 25, 2013

Zsa Zsa's Bel Air Mansion Falls Out of Escrow

SELLER: Zsa Zsa Gabor and Prince Frédéric von Anhalt
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $14,900,000
SIZE: 8,878 square feet, 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: After a couple of unsuccessful years on and off the market, ailing nonagenarian Show Business Super-diva Zsa Zsa Gabor's ninth husband—the sassy and wacky faux-prince Frédéric von Anhalt*—re-listed their legendary, timeworn but (mostly) still elegant Old School Hollywood Regency-style villa in Bel Air on the open market in May 2012 with an asking price of $14,900,000.

The property languished for nearly a year until late February (2013) when an unidentified buyer stepped up and put the house into escrow, or in contract or under offer or whatever the syntax is in whatever part of the real estate world you may be in. Our well-informed informant Yolanda Yakketyak snitched to Your Mama that she heard word it was a wealthy Indonesian who wanted to buy the well located estate but we can't vouch for the accuracy of that particular scuttlebutt.

Anyways, the couple have well-publicized money problems, partly due to Miz Gabor's exorbitant and mounting medical bills and partly due—so says Mister von Anhalt—to losing a $10 million bundle down the multi billion dollar sink hole created by financial services scoundrel Bernie Madoff a few years ago. Last fall, as the property faced foreclosure due to unpaid payments on a $700,000 mortgage, Mister von Anhalt launched a Facebook campaign that successfully if temporarily saved the property from imminent foreclosure. But—so the story goes—he has until the end of this year to pay off the $1.5 million dollar personal loan he managed to secure via his last ditch social media effort.

In early April an L.A. judge decreed that the outspoken and notoriously erratic German-born bon vivant, acting on his wife's behalf, can sell the quixotic and quickly aging couple's long time crib in what is known as a deferred transaction. The details of the deferred transaction, such as they've been reported, would allow Miz Gabor and her (in)famously eccentric faux-prince to remain in residence for up to three years or until 96 year old Miz Gabor passes over to the other side, whichever comes first. Additionally, the terms of the deferred transaction compel a buyer to pay Miz Gabor and her husband $325,000 per year for the length of their tenancy up to three years. Your Mama have no idea as to whether the 325 grand a year is to maintain the already down on her heels house or if it's simply a kind of house-sitting salary that would be used for the luxe-living couple's day-to-day living expenses but either way it's a ballsy demand by Mister van Anhalt and Miz Gabor.

The potentially cumbersome, time consuming and expensive terms of a continued tenancy by Miz Gabor and the faux prince may or may not have had something to do with the property falling out of escrow earlier this week and being quietly re-listed with a by-now-familiar $14,900,000 asking price.

Current online listings make hay of the fact it's the long time residence of "glamour icon, actress, and philanthropist, Zsa Zsa Gabor and husband Prince Frederic von Anhalt." Marketing materials go on to show the gated, two story house sits on a private knoll of just over an acre with "270-degree, jetliner views from Downtown to the Pacific Ocean and beyond," was built in 1955 and encompasses "over 8,878 square feet per owner."

Listing details are less clear on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. One listing shows there are six bedrooms and five bathrooms, another states there are 6 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms and, back when Your Mama first discussed the estate in mid-2011, listing information called it out as 6,393 square feet with four bedrooms and five bathrooms.

Whatever the case, listing details further reveal the house has sensationally circular foyer freshly painted a creamy beige from its previous lipstick red. Several more elegantly sized formal entertaining rooms include a large living room with fireplace, a reception room with built-in wet bar hidden behind limed wood cabinetry and a formal dining room that have all "entertained guests such as Queen Elizabeth, US Presidents, CEO's, dignitaries and celebrities."

A large and less formal entertainment space on the second floor includes a lounge with built-in bar, a family room area and a pool table because can't everyone picture ol' Zsa Zsa working a pool stick? Sliding glass doors connect the big but very ordinary party room space to a spacious and far more satisfying city view terrace for mid-party star gazing and cigarette smoking, although we imagine Miz Gabor does little of either of those things anymore. A wide exterior stairway for convenient access to the lower level outdoor areas. There's also, as per listing details, a "master-sized guest bed & bath" on the second floor.

Several of the lower level public rooms open to various outdoor living spaces that include an awning shaded, mirror-lined lanai with black and white checkerboard marble floor and glittery night time view over the city lights. A swimming  pool guarded by a pair of life-like cheetah figurines and various other less fearsome statuary sits and a cock-eyed angle to the house in an expansive red brick terrace.

The house sits amongst some of the hoitiest of the toitiest estates in upper Bel Air including the sprawling compound of Quincy Jones next door. Many reports say the home was once owned and/or occupied by both Elvis Presley and Howard Hughes—at different time, natch—but we don't really know and the fine gentlemen at The Movieland Directory only show Mister Hughes as a resident in the 1950s.

Stay tuned, children, because where Zsa Zsa and her faux prince are involved it's always a tangled and fascinating ride.

listing photos: Carothers Photo for Rodeo Realty


Desert Donna said...

I so love Zsa Zsa! She is one tough broad..from the cop incident to losing a leg and still holding on. I hope she spends every last dime and that "Prince" is stuck with Med bills. Remember when he took credit for Anna Nicoles child?? Sicko. Go ZZ!!! Perhaps they should have the staging lady do it up in a Green Acres Decor?? A few hay bales...

Old Hag in a house said...

Well I'm still alive damn it and it's my house.Get lost.

Anonymous said...

Zsa Zsa the last time I looked, looked as if she were hardly alive. One leg and the rest in a shocking state of disrepair. I doubt she has much idea of what is going on.

Anonymous said...

I much prefer the somewhat less schlocky, but schlocky nonetheless, Jean Kerkorian mansion across the street.

Anonymous said...

Please forgive me for being ghoulish; am I the only one that can imagine this 'prince' guy installing a bed bound Zsa Zsa, tiara on top, in the middle of the living room and holding an open house?
I hope ZZ does a Leona Helmsley, and leaves everything to her dog. On second thought, I guess she is.

Rosco Mare said...

I've commented on this property and its one fabulous occupant before, so I'll be brief today.

At a recent used book sale, I snagged a 1980 edition of "THE DREAM COMES TRUE: GREAT HOUSES OF LOS ANGELES" for $3. This house is pofiled in it, so of course I had to have it. The narrations are somewhat worthless; however, nice photographs showcase it in its prime, when people drove up Bel-Air Road for an evening of wonderful, you-had-to-be-there entertainment among Hollywood glamour at the highest magnitude.

The repainted foyer looks beautiful, but I miss the deep red color that made the room special.

Sending you good thoughts, Zsa Zsa, dahling!

Anonymous said...

I love the ol broad and the house is kitschy delight. Both are heaven on toast points. Examples of a playful era long gone to sterile sameness.

Hang in ther Zsa!!!

Anonymous said...

Boo! I saw in that Liberace movie preview that the foyer was painted and thought it was only for the movie. Lame.

Anonymous said...

I noticed too that the pool scenes for "Behind the Candelabra" were shot at this house

Anonymous said...

Confidential to Desert Donna:

The Rabbi also loves Zsa Zas, along with Eva, Magda, and Mommy Jolie. Eva starred in Green Acres. Zsa Zsa starred in Queen of Outer Space. Magda, the most mysterious of the Gabor girls, starred in This Thing Called Love. And Jolie starred as the real life proprietress of Jolie Gabor, Inc. Exclusive Jewelry, 699 Madison Avenue. Zsa Zsa's house fell out of escrow after the Rabbi put the Kabbalah on the prospective new buyer, who was dismissive of the home's illustrative provenance.

Rabbi Hedda Hadassah LaTess LaCasa

Aunt Gina said...

I'm not it considered normal to buy a house, be unable to occupy it for three years, and pay the occupants in the house you own a yearly stipend?

To me, it reads: you can buy the place, but we won't tell Zsa Zsa and you can have it after she dies.

only in LA.

Rosco Mare said...

Confidential to the Rabbi:

I wish you could have been in Beverly Hills in 1988 to focus your attention on Pia Zadora and Meshulam Riklis before they bought Pickfair. The legendary estate might still exist today.

I will never forget going up Summit Drive with my mother to visit family friends and seeing the unexpected, huge mountain of debris where the mansion once stood. We could not believe it; neither could residents of the neighborhood. Obviously, I'm still sad and mad about it and won't let it go.

Kind regards
Rosco Mare

GetOffTheIvy said...

Isn't that the sliding door that slides vertically up? Or was that in Eva's house?

blah nip said...

Love the Creamy Beige! I'm Old Gregg.

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Anonymous said...

why do the pavements have cracks in them? you would think for $15m it would be fixed?!

Anonymous said...

Remember when 'The Prince' brought a bunch of reporters inside before this was officially listed? They took pictures of the ceilings and corners showcasing all the water damage. It was cool.

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Anonymous said...

I don't like this house. There is something off with the proportions.

Anonymous said...

it should be "von" Anhalt. "Van" is in Dutch names.

Sandpiper said...

(Hi Thelvy, Yes, that is here.)

Mama Sweetie, Longest comment in history of comments. All, please skip if feels too lengthy or are disinterested. Realize and understand.

Know her, as I’ve made no secret of in the past. Breaking tense agreement rule here Mama. Past tense when she was lucid, full of fun, dressed to nines and twirling into living room, resting her forearm on mantel. Present tense where facts unchanged. Simply sharing a bit here, some IMHO.

o Upstairs monikered "nightclub" with pool table was engineered to eliminate all access to main house and contain messes as you so accurately surmised Mama, and/or to sequester unknown guests. Once a strong blue with stars on ceiling. Could have snooped but passed.

o Elvis only rented. She told me so. He also Gracelanded it up. She re-fashioned his massive gold-guilded window cornices into elaborate canopy bed. Magnificently French. Hughs owned.

o Gorgeous oval foyer, once in dignified subtle pastel. Has an impossible to find powder room concealed behind curved door that seamlessly follows oval contour. Concealed hinges, too. She loved directing people to it knowing they’d return saying they couldn’t find it, myself embarrassingly included.

o Not shown in any pics, small private dining room seating six max, with intimate and beautifully appointed antique furnishings (if not already hoisted), faces pool and beyond. Is off small kitchen.

o Modern bathroom is new. Dismal design conflict. If lucid she'd pitch a bloody fit and squelch it. Prince VonOpportunist compromised her lucidity/immobility to be sure.
o Clueless on reported bedrooms/ baths. Now added upstairs? Most of home consumed by large public rooms. Entire left wing is master bedroom, massive two-tiered wardrobe room (I’m confident now emptied) and equally large dressing room.

o Current LR pic with awkward outdoor chase lounges in distance misrepresents how room was once arranged and enjoyed. Somewhat more accurately shown in previous pics with sitting area where stupid chases are now.

o Zsa Zsa was not a drinker. Nursed a glass of wine all night. To bed before ten. Said it upheld her appearance. So right. Smart lady.

Underhanded thief bloodsucking putz prince. Likely never so much as bought a tin of tea with his own (broke/no) money.

I’m sure daughter Francesca is livid over the husband’s entire IMHO underhanded nightmare/theft/embezzlement/and yet to discovered. So sue me. Question judge’s logic. It will be a sad day when Francesca has to take over and pick up the pieces, legal and otherwise.

Doug-G said...


Loved you comment! Always great when "insiders" contribute.

bentley said...


I'm sorry, is that astro turf on the outer stairs? Oh my...

Sandpiper said...

Hi Bentley!
Thought the same. Ouch. Know that color wise that this stuff has come a long way. Painfully distracting.

FonHom said...

Thank you, Sandpiper, for some of the house's lifestory. Wonderful!

Anonymous said...

That house looks like it would stink to high heavens of OLD PEOPLE.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 5:22

Without OLD PEOPLE who came before them and produced them, there would be no YOUNG PEOPLE.

Hopefully you will have the luck, good health and fortitude to survive to become one of the OLD PEOPLE.

Anonymous said...

When I was a young gay man, the Gabor sisters with their mother were the essence of Hollywood glamour. I remember them on talk shows like Merv Griffins. I guess they were the original Paris Hilton, famous for being a personality. They always were so classy though. This is all so very sad, can't believe she's 96.

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