Thursday, August 1, 2013

Oscar Winner Marcia Lucas Gives It Another Go

SELLER: Marcia Lucas
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $3,499,000
SIZE: 3,200 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Last night's boozy, late night perusal of new listings in the Sunset Strip area of Los Angeles turned up an updated, upgraded and well-groomed traditional listed with an asking price of $3,499,000 and owned, as per property records, by semi-reclusive Oscar winning film editor Marcia Lucas.

She may be best remembered by (aging) Tinseltowners and Star Wars aficionados as the first wife of filmmaker George Lucas but in all truth Marcia Lucas can lay claim to a chest-puffing claim of a relatively brief but accomplished career of her own as a film editor.

Before hooking up with Mister Lucas in the late 1960s she worked on several Martin Scorsese films including Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and Taxi Driver. In 1974 she received an Oscar nomination for American Graffiti, her first film with Mister Lucas. Although her role in the making of the first Star Wars movie is often over looked even by Star Warians—or whatever hardcore fans call themselves—Miz Lucas snagged an Academy Award in 1977 for her editing suite efforts on the ground-breaking sci-fi mega hit.

Miz Lucas went on to edit Episodes V and VI of the seemingly ceaseless Star Wars franchise (The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) but her professional credits all but end abruptly in 1983,* the year she and Mister Lucus not-so-amicably divorced. There are reports ex-Misus Lucas was given a $50 million dollar settlement but, of course, Your Mama hasn't the faintest fact about what the real deal was. Anyways, Miz Lucas later married, made a baby with, and divorced a stained glass artist who had previously worked for her ex-husband. Awwwkwaaaard! Despite her high-profile first marriage and her professional accolades—she does have an Oscar for Star Wars, which her ex-husband doesn't even have—Miz Lucas lives a quiet and privileged life mostly out of the hot glare of Hollywood.

Property records show Miz Lucas picked up the Sunset Strip property that's currently for sale in October 2008 for $3,595,000. It's not clear to Your Mama if Miz Lucas ever occupied the premises—we found digital evidence from a few years ago that the property had been leased on a long term basis—and this isn't the first time Miz Lucas has mounted this particular bronco at the real estate rodeo; She had the house on the market for a couple months in the fall of 2010 with an asking price of $3,995,000.

Current listing information shows the white clapboard-sided 1930s East Coast traditional, set securely behind remote controlled gates and high hedges on a compact .2 acre lot just above the western end of the Sunset Strip, measures about 3,200 square feet with three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms.

There's a fireplace in the formal living room and in the formal dining room a bank of French doors connects through to the backyard entertainment and recreation spaces. The custom, eat-in kitchen has white Shaker-style lower cabinetry, rustic, rough-edged limestone (or some other stone) counter tops, glass fronted upper cabinets, (delicious) milk-chocolate colored subway tile back splashes, and high-grade commercial-style stainless steel appliances.

The media room/den adjoins the formal dining room and connects back through to the formal living room allowing for wonderful circular flow of chi throughout the ground floor. Although the staging is typically ho-hum the airy, sun-splashed room manages to strikes a difficult-to-achieve balance between grand and cozy. The vaulted, partly glass ceiling is anchored by a chunky, stone-faced corner fireplace and built-in book shelves add an air of literacy to the booze lovers two-stool walk-in wet bar. A flat screen television was hung very low for optimal viewing angle from the opposite sofa and Palladian-style French doors make and elegant egress to and from the red brick pool terrace.
A curving staircase climbs to the second floor where there are three bedrooms and three bathrooms, as per listing details. The smallest bedroom has private access through French doors to a roomy terrace that over looks the backyard and the second bedroom, a junior master suite really, has a sitting area with fireplace, built-in dressers tucked into deep window bays, a walk-in closet, and an attached three-quarter bathroom done up with a whisper of era appropriate Art Deco style.

The master suite doesn't have a fireplace—at least as far as we can tell—but does have a steeply pitched vaulted ceiling, a short, closet-lined dressing hall, and a modern-minded bathroom slathered in graphically veined marble and outfitted with a free-standing soaking tub and a separate, steam-equipped party-sized shower.

The backyard isn't especially commodious but it is, children, well organized, well equipped, and ringed for privacy by mature shade trees and towering stands of bamboo. There's lots of brick terracing with distinct lounging, dining, and sunbathing areas, an outdoor kitchen with built-in barbecue, a pool-side fire pit, and a sunken spa. There's pretty puny patch of lawn tucked into that back corner that is desirably flat but—let's be honest, children—is barely big enough for a couple of long-bodied bitches like our Linda and Beverly to really put on their play bonnets.

In all honesty, Your Mama isn't really sure where Miz Lucas currently resides but we did find plenty of evidence in various property record data bases that reveals she dabbles regularly in the buying and selling of multi-million dollar properties, mostly in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Hawaii.

In January 2005 she shelled out $6,950,000 for an ocean front house near Kapalua in Lahaina, HI that records indicate she still owns. In late 2002 Miz Lucas paid publishing heir turned internet entrepreneur and Silicon Valley venture capitalist William R. Hearst III $3,950,000 for a five bedroom and 3.5 bathroom shingled contemporary in San Francisco's posh Pacific Heights hood that she sold in August 2011 for $5,250,000 and in July 2008 she coughed up $5.2 million for a multi-story residence with more than 5,700 square feet on a double wide lot in the Clarendon Heights neighborhood that property records reveal she sold last October for $4,086,000, a beefy loss of $1,164,000.**

*The Internet Movie Data Base shows Miz Lucus executive produced a little known film (No Easy Way) starring Khandi Alexander in 1996 but that seems more an anomaly than a re-entry into show business.

**Miz Lucas, dear hearts, just might be one of the few who have lost money in the last 10 or 12 years in the electrified real estate game in San Francisco. Good grief. The fast-moving market in San Francisco barely even noticed the spectacular, economy ruining subprime mortgage melt down fiasco in 2007/'08. What little property prices might have dropped quickly rebounded and rocketed off in the other direction. 

listing photos: Rodeo Realty


lil' gay boy said...

This should silence the naysayers who complain about certain types of architecture being "inappropriate" for Southern California. A nice blend of East Coast Colonial with an invigorating splash of the modern.

My only misgiving? "...(delicious) milk-chocolate colored subway tile back splashes..."

Sorry Mama, it just doesn't work for me; definitely the wrong shade IMHO -- doesn't read as subway tile at all in the photos. Rather, it strikes me as that awful faux-brick paneling one can find in decidedly downscale drinking establishments.

Or, one of the lousier attempts by Garden State Brickface -- but easily remedied.

Anonymous said...

Hey Little Gay Boy:

Garden State Brickface? Patti was one breath away from calling you out for Jersey bashing, which we don't stand for, until she clicked on the link. Now we both want to matriculate at Brickface University.

Verandah LaPorch and Patti O'Furniture
Trenton NJ

Rosco Mare said...

Nice, gorgeous, comfortable house and beautiful. Landscape in a great neighborhood. Wish I could buy it

Anonymous said...

Jersey sucks

Anonymous said...

For those who don't know, Marcia's filmmaking talents were considerable and many feel she was a major reason the first Star Wars films worked as well as they did. George's insistence that she be blackballed and expunged from Lucasfilm's offical history after their bitter divorce was a terrible travesty.

Marcia apparently tried for years to save the marriage while George instead in his usual passive aggressive manner ignored their problems, told himself he'd deal with it once the Star Wars films and the Ranch were done. But by then it was too late, and she had decided to leave him for a worker 10 years younger who had been installing stain glass in the Ranch's main house.

George was obviously deeply hurt and didn't react with much grace. Rumor is he insisted many of their mutual high powered filmmaking friends cut off contact with Marcia. The divorce was so hurtful, Marcia basically decided to quit an otherwise very promising career, one that in retrospect perhaps had more artistic promise than George's.

There are a few accounts of their partnership and her major contributions to the Star Wars films, including convincing George to abandon his re-edit of Empire Strikes Back which apparently stripped it of much of it's darkness and emotion in favor of faster pace and action. Marcia and director Irving Kershner fought to put the film back to the way they had it before George chopped it up. As thank you, George then didn't even want Marcia to cut Jedi, but his director hire Richard Marquand asked if he could hire her anyway, and George to his credit didn't veto it.

I think Marcia might of said George only once verbally complimented her on her editing skill towards the end of their relationship, something to the effect that she was a pretty good editor. No wonder she left him. Given George's apparent tone deaf direction of later years and inability or unwillingness to accept constructive criticism, it's quite possible Marcia was a much bigger part of his early success than most even realized at the time, especially George himself.

Can't blame Marcia for taking an early retirement after what she went through. But it's a bit of a mystery why she chose to never return in some capacity given her talents.