Hollywood stars

Find out how much old Hollywood stars paid for their homes

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You know their movies, their songs, their relationships, but what about the places they called home? Back then, old Hollywood stars took over the Golden State one mansion at a time, buying up places in Encino, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Palm Springs, and more. Some had estates designed from scratch just for them, while others bought existing properties and made them their own. We’ve also included a few homes that we could only find sale prices for good measure. Be ready for some surprises!

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Jayne Mansfield reinvented the color pink when she bought this Mediterranean-style home for $76,000 (about $650,000 today) in 1958. She and her husband Mickey Hargitay transformed the estate into the Pink Palace, complete with a swimming pool and a heart-shaped bathtub.

Hargitay went above and beyond to make his wife happy: he handcrafted a wooden fireplace and had the pool engraved with the phrase “I love you, Jaynie” in gold. Oh and did we mention there is a champagne fountain?

Marilyn Monroe rented this Hollywood Hills home for $237 a month in 1952. She was seeing Yankees baseball player Joe DiMaggio at the time, and the two spent a lot of time here.

Monroe and DiMaggio were married and divorced, but reconciled before his death in 1962. Years later, a professional Marilyn Monroe impersonator and her husband bought their iconic home in 2019 for $2.7 million.

Marilyn Monroe’s Brentwood home was the only property she ever owned. She first purchased the 23,200 square foot property for $75,000 in 1962.

Sadly, the same year she bought the house, Monroe was found dead inside a few months later. In 2017, he sold for $7.25 million, with the deal closing a day before what would have been his 91st birthday.

Ol’ Blue Eyes had this beautiful estate in Palm Springs, called Twin Palms, specially designed for him in 1947. How much did it cost? Only $150,000, or about $1.9 million today.

Celebrities from all aspects of the industry frequented Twin Palms during the Golden Age of Hollywood. In fact, Sinatra often hung a Jack Daniels flag to signal to his famous friends that they should come party.

Joan Crawford bought this Brentwood, California estate for $57,500 in the summer of 1928. The actress named the house “El JoDo” – a combination of her last name and the first name of her then-husband, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. She lived there for nearly three decades.

The starlet installed several elements while living in the house, including a pool house, a theater and a very large dining room. Over the years, the historic home has been sold and bought many times, with previous owners spending thousands of dollars on renovations. In January 1996, it sold for $1.5 million.

Elvis Presley was just 22 when he bought the Tennessee mansion known as Graceland in 1957. He spent $102,000 on the estate, equivalent to about $924,000 today.

Graceland’s interior is just as grand as its exterior, as seen here in the living room. Fun Fact: Over 500,000 people travel to see the estate each year, making it the most visited home in the United States.

Judy Garland’s rustic Bel Air home was built in 1938, a year before she rose to fame in The Wizard of Oz. In 2011 it sold for $5.2 million, was flipped and resold the following year for $6.7 million.

Garland and her mother were instrumental in planning the design of the home, working with professionals to create her own slice of New England in sunny California. A warm brick exterior and an inviting porch have both been added. His mother’s touch? Yellow umbrellas in the garden.

Here’s an interesting tidbit from Old Hollywood history: Clark Gable moved into Mickey Rooney’s former Encino home in 1939. He and his wife Carole Lombard bought the house for $50,000.

Gable lived happily in the ranch house until his wife died in 1942. Although he never sold it, he rarely visited it due to his grief. In October 1977, financier Michael Milken purchased the property for $587,500.

When the young actress was just 5 years old, her family bought this quaint Santa Monica bungalow. In 2014, the domain sold for $2.5 million.

However, as Temple’s career began to take off even more, the family grew concerned about her privacy and had kidnapping issues. They moved again, this time to the Brentwood area of ​​Los Angeles, and installed a top-notch security system with sensors linked to the local police station.

In 1950, Jerry Lewis and his then-wife, Patti Palmer, dropped $65,000 on this Pacific Palisades home. That was nearly seven times the median home value at the time.

The house had plenty of room for the comedian’s large family. It was also used as a space for him and his famous neighbors, including Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis, to make home movies under the name Gar-Ron Productions.

Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks

Silent film actress Mary Pickford and her then-husband Douglas Fairbanks spent just $35,000 on their now famous Pickfair estate. They transformed the hilltop cabin into a 22-room mansion, which was later expanded to 42 rooms.

Pickfair often hosted the biggest names of the time. The actress became reclusive later in life, but is said to have always hosted parties and talked to guests over the phone from her bedroom. Pickford lived here until his death in 1979.

This is where the history of the Pickfair estate gets even more interesting: in 1980, the property was sold to Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss for $5.3 million, who then sold it to Israeli businessman Meshulam Riklis for around $6.6 million in 1988. Unfortunately, termites were discovered. soon after, the entire estate was demolished and a mega-mansion was built on the land. It was listed for (get this) $60 million.

Rudolph Valentino, an Italian actor who dominated the Hollywood movie scene in the 1920s, bought this Beverly Hills mansion for $175,000 in 1925 (about $2.5 million today). He filled it with the rarest collectibles, including antique swords, antique furniture, and first edition books.

Valentino called the house the Falcon Lair, after a movie he hoped to make with his then-wife, Natacha Rambova. Unfortunately, she got divorced shortly after moving into the mansion.

Throughout the 1940s, Errol Flynn’s 11-acre Mulholland farm was the place to be. The land has since been divided into seven lots with extravagant homes, one of which sold for $7.9 million in 2013.

Flynn’s estate was unlike any other: it was filled with secret passageways, a casino, peepholes, and one-way mirrors. A 2015 book detailed the wild parties that took place there.

In 1949, Jimmy Stewart bought this house on Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills. The actor and his wife, Gloria, raised their children here and lived on the estate for the next 50 years. In 2018, the property was listed for $47.9 million.

Stewart’s former home (he is seen here watching a film in his living room) was purchased shortly after his death in 1997. However, it was demolished and in its place a lavish mansion was built, with Italian style features, a white marble lobby and perfectly manicured park-like grounds.

Buster Keaton’s estate was one of the most famous in Beverly Hills in its heyday. He had the mansion custom-built for him in 1926 and joked to guests that it “took a lot of pratfalls to build this dump”.

However, in 1932 Keaton’s wife divorced and sold the house. Over the next few years the estate was subdivided, but the property was reunited in 2016 when the couple who bought the first half in 2002 for $17 million purchased the second half for $16.2 million. .

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