From Harrison Ford to Sean “Diddy” Combs to the late Elizabeth Taylor, there are true mega-star homes on the market right now, and these incredible properties reflect the success of their owners.
Interestingly, when it comes to the most famous celebrities, real estate may be one of the few non-inflated things you can buy. You can buy a mid-1970s Rolex Submariner 55XX series for under $5000, but the same watch, except that it was worn by actor Steve McQueen, went for over a quarter of a million dollars. Likewise, JFK’s cigar humidor fetched more than half a million dollars at auction, and it takes up about a square foot of real estate. So in a world obsessed with celebrity, where provenance can increase values hundreds or thousands of times, celebrity homes, which get only slightly inflated by their history, might seem like a bargain in comparison. Of course, when you go to sell, you’ll find the same lack of celebrity appreciation disappointing, but in the meantime, at least you can throw great parties in a mansion where one of the most famous people on the planet once threw parties.
Celebrity homes are on the market all the time, with plenty to choose from, and compared to the recent rash of high eight and even nine-digit billionaire homes, they can be surprisingly affordable, even for the true A-Listers. Of course, some are plenty expensive.
Here is a look at some of the homes of the ultra-famous currently on the market, courtesy of TopTenRealEstateDeals.com, which lists celebrity and other famous and unique homes (think Amityville Horror house, Godfather 2 Tahoe estate, etc.) weekly.
Bing Crosby Estate: One of the best-selling recording artists in human history, Bing sold more than half a billion, with a B, records. He did lots of movies, adding a Best Actor Oscar, the very first Grammy Award for “Global Achievement,” and has not one, not two, but three stars on Hollywood’s walk of fame. Most famously, his rendition of the holiday favorite White Christmas is the best-selling single of all time. His circa 1936 7200-square foot Southern Colonial mansion sits on a 2-acre compound in LA’s Touluca Lake, and seems like a steal at $4,795,000. It has six bedrooms, a star-worthy MBR suite with steamroom and marble whirlpool bath, a billiard room, commercial kitchen, plenty of other bells and whistles, and a separate two-bedroom, two bath guest house.
Harrison Ford NYC Pied a Terre: The leading man of our era, no one is as bankable as Ford, whose box office earnings are headed towards $10 billion worldwide. He headlined not one but two of the greatest film franchises of all time, the original Star Wars trilogy and the four Raiders of the Lost Ark films, in addition to countless other hits, including Blade Runner, Presumed Innocent, American Graffiti and The Fugitive. Ford famously lives in the billionaire haven of Jackson, WY, but has this 11-room, 5,664 square foot NYC penthouse in Chelsea, with concrete floors boasting radiant heat throughout, secured elevator, gourmet kitchen, and private roof deck. $16,000,000.
Elizabeth Taylor Estate: The standout beauty of her era, Taylor became as famous for her string of failed high profile marriages as for her amazing track record in film, and later, became a noted philanthropist and charity superstar. She won the Best Actress Oscar and co-starred with onetime husband Richard Burton is 11 films, including the title role in Cleopatra and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Much more than an actress, she epitomized stardom and Hollywood glamour, and has been called the greatest movie star of all time. Her longtime Bel Air residence is on the market for the first time since she bought in 1981. The 1.3 acre lot overlooks LA, and has its own guard house fronting the driveway. The home is 7,000-square feet and has numerous suites and an open floorplan, along with a lovely pool of iridescent mosaic tile, with adjoining sauna and shower facilities. Grounds have extensive formal flowerbeds, a bamboo jungle, rose gardens and walking paths, plus a koi pond and greenhouse for cultivating orchids. $8,600,000.
Sean “Diddy” Combs Estate: No matter how many times he changes his name, the music impresario can’t seem to stop hitting commercial home runs as a music producer, singer, actor and clothing designer. While his own career includes lots of hits and awards, he has been most successful as a producer and is one of the most powerful people in the music biz, as well as having lots of success with his Sean John clothing line. He recently listed his New Jersey estate for $13,500,000. It includes the 26,000 square foot 17-room main house plus guest house, pool, tennis court, and putting green on three acres in posh Alpine.
Billy Joel Waterfront Estate: The third best-selling solo artist in US history, the Piano Man did for Long Island what Bruce Springsteen did for New Jersey, immortalizing his hometown while cranking out hit sing after hit song and famously marrying and divorcing Supermodel Christie Brinkley. The 23-time Grammy nominee amassed six wins, and famously wrote all his own songs, securing 33 Top-40 hits and selling 150 million records through three decades. His four bedroom “beach house” is more like a mansion in Long Island’s Sagaponack, and has double provenance – it was previously owned by actor Roy Scheider of Jaws fame. It spills onto a sandy beach and has 145 feet of oceanfront, which can be viewed from twin terraces on the upper floor. Recently renovated by an interior designer, the house in turn-key ready with gourmet kitchen and twin MBR suites. The price has been reduced at least twice, from a high of $22,500,000 to the current $16,750,000.
Kenny Rogers’ World: This is the big winner in the group. The man who People’ Magazine readers voted their Favorite Singer of All Time, with dozens of mega hits across multiple musical genres and dozens of awards from everyone who gives award, including the AMA, CMA, and Grammys, He is best known for The Gambler, a hit so big they made a series of movies out of it, and also Coward of the County, Islands in the Stream, Lucille, and Don’t Fall in Love With A Dreamer. But Rogers’ career pales in comparison with his truly awesome estate, which he designed himself, Beaver Dam Farms. Rogers sold the estate in 2003 and it is now operated as a private island-style boutique resort focused on single group takeovers, and is more a Four Season or Ritz Carlton type resort than a private home Located outside Athens, Georgia, 90 minutes from Atlanta, it spans 1200-acres and has a world class equestrian facility, gardens, hiking trails, a 30-acre lake – with a separate lake house – like going on vacation for the weekend without leaving your property. There is also a lakeside entertainment pavilion, swimming pools at every turn, a movie theater, full spa facility, two gyms, a 13,000 square foot main mansion, several guest houses, and best of all, a full-size high quality 18-hole private golf course – with clubhouse. Especially with the golf course, it seems like a bit of a steal at $20,000,000.
John Madden’s Classic NYC Apartment: A superstar as an NFL player, coach, and TV commentator, Madden is now better known – and better paid – for his uber best-selling Madden NFL video game series (since 1988) than for his Superbowl ring. His exceptionally spacious two bedroom Manhattan apartment has added celebrity cache from being located in the classic Dakota, also John Lennon’s residence and the building he was hot in front of. Overlooking Central Park, The Dakota was also the film location for Rosemary’s Baby. The building has its own interior courtyard with private entrance, full-time doorman, and even a throwback elevator operator. The classic apartment has high ceilings, elaborate original molding, fireplaces, and tons of built in bookshelves and cabinets. $4,395,000.
Katherine Hepburn’s Paradise: In her six-decade career, the First Lady of Film amassed more Best Actress Oscars (four wins and 12 nominations) than anyone else, ever. True Hollywood royalty, Hepburn was arguably the greatest actress of all time, and was named such by the American Film Institute. She headlined a string of mega-hits, from True Grit-sequel Rooster Cogburn to the African Queen to On Golden Pond, co-starring with every important leading man of her lifetime, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracy, Sir Laurence Olivier, Henry Fonda, and so on. This home in Old Saybrook, CT, on the shores of Long Island Sound, has been in the Hepburn family since 1913. It was rebuilt in 1939 after a hurricane destroyed it, and the star lived there until her death at 96 in 2003. The 8,400-square foot six bedroom home has a private dock and beach, as well as a pond, is very private, features large grand spaces, huge porches, sweeping views and a wonderful gourmet kitchen. It occupies 3 lots spanning 3.5 acres with nearly 700 feet of waterfront and runs a whopping $28,000,000.