Classic Celebrity Homes for Sale: Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Danny Thomas
When it comes to movies, music, television and real estate, we all hold special places in our hearts for the old classics. And sometimes those gracious old worlds collide, as they did recently on TopTenRealEstateDeals.com‘s list of Top Celebrity Homes of 2015. Three of these gracious properties are still for sale here in Southern California, and once belonged to some of the most brilliant stars of yore, as well as of TV Land and TCM. As of this writing, the former homes of Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Danny Thomas are still on the market. You’ll never believe which one is the priciest, and how much the owners are asking for it. Check them out and decide which would you rather:
Bob Hope’s UFO House
In 1973, Bob and Dolores Hope asked famed architect John Lautner to design their dream house in Palm Springs, and he created a massive home that would become known as the volcano or spaceship house. But by the time the house was completed, Dolores had made so many changes to Lautner’s original plans that he no longer claimed it, even though it was the largest private residence he ever designed.
At 23,000 square feet under the dramatic high undulating roof, it has open spaces in the walls and ceiling which allow daylight — or stars — to shine through, casting shapely shadows into the interior. The curved openings also allow for stunning views across the landscape and mountains, while the entire home appears to be nestled comfortably into its desert landscape.
The house has a spa with a greenhouse wall, six bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, indoor and outdoor pools, a pond, putting greens, and a tennis court. Originally listed in 2013 for $50 million, it has experienced price cuts to $34 million and to $25 million, where it’s been for about a year. Find out more about it at Patrick Stewart Properties.
The Bing Crosby Home
Known for his love of golf, Bing Crosby, along with many of his peers, picked the Coachella Valley in Southern California for his vacation retreat. But instead of choosing the city of Palm Springs, as an avid golfer inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, Der Bingle chose Rancho Mirage, with its twelve golf courses. Every holiday season we remember Bing Crosby when his melodious baritone gets us in the White Christmas spirit, although this year, even the chilliest east coast climbs feel more like Palm Springs.
Bing’s former home in Rancho Mirage is still available, for a relatively reasonable price. It’s my personal favorite of the three. Located in Thunderbird Heights, the ranch-style home sits on 1.36 acres with grand views of mountains and city lights. Built in 1957 for indoor and outdoor living and entertaining, the 6,700 square foot mid-century house contains a total of six bedrooms and six baths.
Other features include custom Moroccan wood entry doors, large, open and airy formal living and dining rooms, media room and chef’s kitchen with granite and stainless steel. All glass walls surrounding the outdoor entertainment area retract and open the house seamlessly to the pool, patios, outdoor kitchen and bar with mountain and Coachella Valley views.
Also on the property is an attached casita with two bedrooms, two baths, a living room and complete kitchen with its own private entrance. The casita is completely private and was named for President Kennedy after he stayed there, as legend has it, with Marilyn Monroe.
The property has undergone a complete restoration, and is priced at $5 million.
The Danny Thomas Mansion
Make Room for Daddy star Danny Thomas appeared as a nightclub comedian and father who was always on the road, returning home to a family who was all too accustomed to his absence. Adhering to the theory that success comes from doing what you know, the sitcom was based so much on his own family life that his wife was the one who came up with the name for the show. As his career soared, Thomas spent much of his time raising money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
In the late 1960s, Danny bought two and a half acres on a private promontory in Beverly Hills’ Trousdale Estates. It wasn’t until 1970 that he built the mansion with its Moorish flair. The 18,000-square-foot, eight-bedroom, 12-bathroom home has 360-degree views of all of Los Angeles.
After Thomas died in 1991 and his widow passed away in 2000, his three children sold the property for $5.764 million in 2012. The current owner undertook a total restoration and renovation, bringing in French architect Jacques Garcia to freshen the decor by enhancing the Moorish design and ornate detail, adding $2.5 million of Baccarat chandeliers and hand-woven carpets, all of which are included in the sale. The Danny Thomas family home for 30 years is now on the market, listed at a mere $135 million.