From its earliest days, many of Hollywood's actors, directors and producers were foreigners. From Charlie Chaplin to Rudolph Valentino and Frank Capra, the movie business attracted talented people from all over the world. Perhaps because they were more skilled, exotic or sexy, foreign-born actresses played an especially huge role in the movie business. Many were British like Audrey Hepburn, Julie Andrews, Elizabeth Taylor and Vivien Leigh. The sexiest were the Italians with Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida in the lead with France’s Bridget Bardot and Catherine Deneuve barely a step behind. Sweden produced the fabulous Ingrid Bergman, Ann-Margaret and Greta Garbo. Hungary gave us the ultra glamorous Gabor sisters.
So how did it happen that Hollywood was so successfully invaded by international actresses? The Hollywood film studios were known worldwide for producing superior movies and their actors and actresses were quick to make an international name for themselves. It was only natural that aspiring actresses from all countries would gravitate to the magic city with the hope of becoming famous. Those who were Shakespearean trained were most sought after as the quality and versatility of their acting skills were superior to their American peers.
With their rise to fame came the wealth that made it possible for them to buy their first mansions where they were proud to entertain other film stars and show off to their European friends and family members. Since the 1920s after Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford (a Canadian) built their Pickfair Mansion in the new town of Beverly Hills, many of Hollywood’s top stars chose the area for their trophy homes. One home on Delfern Drive attracted more than its fair share of celebrity owners including Audrey Hepburn and Eva Gabor.
Located in the celebrity-infused neighborhood of Holmby Hills, the 7,000-square-foot traditional mansion is accessed through a gated entrance down a paved drive to the motor court. The private compound includes over an acre of lawns, tennis court, swimming pool, terraces, a 700-square-foot guesthouse with kitchen and a detached 1,000-square-foot staff quarters/office with living, dining, kitchen, one bedroom and two baths. The main house, originally built in 1938 and designed by popular architect Paul Williams, includes a grand foyer with focal curved stairwell, formal living room with fireplace and dedicated library nook, dining room, family room, kitchen, breakfast room and two staff bedrooms on the first floor. Upstairs are four bedrooms, including the master suite, totalling six bedrooms and four baths. Some rooms have glass walls overlooking mature gardens.
Not surprisingly, the house also had a strong attraction to other stars of the era who lived there including David Niven and later, Mia Farrow. The listing agent is Jade Mills of Jade Mills Estates through Coldwell Banker Global Luxury.
Traditional Los Angeles Holmby Hills legendary gated estate once belonging to Audrey Hepburn, Eva Gabor and other top movie stars is now for sale, priced at $13.995 million.
Photographer: Adrian Anz
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