Dec. 19, 2012 at 8:31 AM ET
9555 Heather Rd, Beverly Hills, Calif.
For sale: $25.58 million
The home is at the end of a long drive, and it's paved with stone, rather than yellow brick.
Private and luxurious, the Beverly Hills estate was first built for actor Bert Lahr, best known for his role as the Cowardly Lion in "The Wizard of Oz." Lahr had just finished playing the lion when he hired architect Paul Williams to build a colonial-revival-style home.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in the 1970s, Williams explained that Lahr wanted a cozy stone fireplace, wood paneling and "graceful entryway" that inspired a feeling of home.
"It turns out that the lion from the 'Wizard of Oz' was a wizard of design," said listing agent Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker Previews International. "He brought in one of the most celebrated architects of the day, Paul Williams, and then added his own original touches to create a countryside home in the heart of the city. The traditional architecture brings that wonderful Hamptons, East Coast feel to Los Angeles."
Lahr wasn't the only one who was attracted the lot. After Lahr, the home passed on to a number of celebrities, including Betty Grable and husband Harry James, Paul McCartney, the Osbourne family and Melanie Griffith and ex-husband Don Johnson.
Quite a bit of star power for one home. It's the location, as well as the privacy, that attracted each of the celebrities to the property, Rey says.
And each owner put their own touch on the country estate. Originally built as a 6,000-square-foot home with 4 bedrooms for Lahr, the home now spans 12,000 square feet with 8 bedrooms and 10 baths.The wallpaper and paneling are no longer present in the home, but many of the original details Lahr envisioned are there.
Sitting on 1.3 acres behind tall gates, the Lahr estate has abundant outdoor terraces, an outdoor kitchen and dining area as well as a pool, spa, tennis court, koi pond, sports court and putting green. Inside, a vintage-style two-lane bowling alley, game room and wet bar have been added. The living spaces are generous, with high ceilings.
The listing is shared between Rey and Marie-France Salaun.
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