Take a step back in time to the Golden Age of Hollywood and stay at this classic Los Angeles home nestled against the Santa Monica Mountains on Mandeville Canyon Road. This home was once owned by legendary actor Gregory Peck and showcases one of the finest and oldest neighborhoods in all of southern California. Since purchasing the home from Mr. Peck the owners have dedicated their efforts over the last fifty years to ensure the home has maintained all of its original charm and magic.
Step inside and take in the footprint left by Mr. Peck whose quintessential sense of beauty, grace and intelligence remain imbedded in the home. Mr. Peck not only won the Academy Award for Best Actor for To Kill a Mockingbird, but received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his humanitarian efforts and is in the International Best Dressed Hall of Fame. His keen eye for style is evident in the simple, yet dignified design of the home. Close your eyes in the evening and you can hear the voices of Bogart, Bacall, Mitchum, President Reagan, Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman, James Cagney, the Kennedy’s, Gary Cooper, the Rat Pack and others who socialized at the home. Mr. Peck, however, was not the only star to live in this wonderful abode. At the peak of his popularity, famed comedian Bill Dana called this rustic treasure home. Many know Mr. Dana as 'José Jimenéz', a classic character he created on The Steve Allen Show in the late 1950s and continued to perform throughout his career, but Dana has also been a successful writer, author, cartoonist, producer, director, recording artist, inventor, and stand-up comedian. Mr. Dana wrote for Don Adams including the now-famous “would you believe?” jokes. He was the chief writer for Steve Allen on the original Tonight Show and had his own series on NBC called The Bill Dana Show. His comedy albums, as both José and Bill Dana, were top-sellers. He helped launch the careers of comedy greats such as Don Adams, Jackie Mason, Don Knotts, and Jim Nabors.
After Mr. Dana, the home was entrusted to William and Abigail Ahmanson the legendary philanthropies who frequently entertained at the home. Abigail was an avowed equestrian (along with many other interest such as sailing) and loved to have western themed bar-b-ques in the back yard for luminaries from the worlds of finance, politics and entertainment. The hay bales may be gone, but you might stumble on a horseshoe once thrown by John Wayne. Former Screen Actors Guild President Ken Howard and his wife, stuntwoman Linda Fetters Howard (a former President of the Stuntwoman’s Association of Motion Pictures, Inc.) also called this house their home for many years. You will likely recall Mr. Howard as the star of the television program The White Shadow. His resume is too long to list, but you may also have seen him in Dynasty, The Thorn Birds, Arli$$, The West Wing, The Office, 30 Rock, the Brentwood driven Curb Your Enthusiasm or one of his numerous movie appearances in vehicles such as Rambo, Clear and Present Danger or Michael Clayton. If we are fortunate enough to have you as a guest, we hope you will take a moment to envision trained stunt driver Ms. Howard moving her SUV at warp speed around the circle drive. One can only envision what would have happened if there was ever a race-around-the-drive between The Duke in the saddle and Ms. Howard behind the wheel.
We have loved all of our tenants and guests, but have a special place in our heart for renowned composer and lyricist John Bettis who managed to capture the romance of the home while writing in the garage apartment now occupied by caretakers. He called it the writer’s loft. You may not know the name, but you know the music. He wrote the lyrics for 'Top of the World', a huge hit for both Lynn Anderson and The Carpenters. He wrote some other songs you may recognize for artist such as Madonna('Crazy for You'), Michael Jackson ('Human Nature'), The Pointer Sisters ('Slow Hand'), Diana Ross ('When You Tell Me That You Love Me'), Jennifer Warnes ('Nights Are Forever'), Peabo Bryson ('Can You Stop the Rain'), George Strait ('Heartland'), Ronnie Milsap ('Only One Love in My Life'), and Barbara Mandrell ('One of a Kind Pair of Fools') and co-wrote 'One Moment in Time', the 1988 Summer Olympics anthem performed by Whitney Houston and the theme song to the 1980s sitcom Growing Pains, 'As Long as We Got Each Other'.
This home is decorated in the classic vintage design style for well accustomed homes in the Canyon, but features all of the modern amenities from stainless steel appliances to Wi-Fi. Interior design enthusiasts will recognize the Eames furniture from the world famous American designers who made major contributions to, not only modern furniture, but architecture as well. The Knoll dining room table was designed by Eero Saarinen as part of a five year design investigation which led to his revolutionary Pedestal Collection first introduced in 1958. When designing this particular table, Mr. Saarinen vowed to address the “ugly, confusing, unrestful world…” he observed underneath chairs and tables. Finally, the dining room table, chairs and coffee table were all hand made by Minton Spidell on Melrose.
But you are not going to this premier “bucket-list’ destination just to stay inside. You want to enjoy all this prime location has to offer has to offer from the amazing architecture to the fine art museums such as the Getty Center just minutes to the east or make the short drive across Sunset Boulevard to Pacific Coast Highway and spent some time in Malibu at the J. Paul Getty Museum. If you want to head south a couple of miles to Wilshire Boulevard why not enjoy the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) which is the largest encyclopedic museum in the western United States, and its newer addition, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM), has already gained a reputation as one of the most impressive contemporary art venues in the country. The LACMA campus anchors Museum Row along Wilshire Boulevard, which also includes the La Brea Tar Pits, the Petersen Automotive Museum and the Craft and Folk Art Museum.
You will not be short of activities. Affluent and influential, the Westside is Los Angeles glitz and glamour to its core. Take a drive through Brentwood, Bel-Air, Westwood, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Pacific Palisades or Century City. It’s a place of movie stars and movie moguls, swimming pools and sports cars, but please do not neglect the world-famous cultural landmarks, grandiose shopping in Beverly Hills or the quaint Brentwood Market and most of all, the incomparable dining that round outs the Westside experience. Be prepared and have your head on a swivel as the famous neighbors range from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Michael Douglass to Dr. Dre in the home he bought from Tom and Gisele for $40,000,000.00.
If you like the outdoors – and who doesn’t- The Canyon is a major gateway to the wonderful trails of the Santa Monica Mountains, including access to the Sullivan Canyon trailhead, the Westridge fire road, the Garden Land fire road and the Hollyhock Trail up to the East Kenter fire road above Mountain gate. This makes the Canyon an extremely popular place among mountain bikers, including those who start and finish their rides within the Canyon. It is an equally amazing trek for hikers and walkers with or without their dogs. Just want to lay out and relax? All you need to do is drive down the hill to Sunset Blvd and turn right. A few spectacular minutes later you will be on the beach looking out at the vast Pacific Ocean.