Throughout the steep hills, wooded glens and serpentine streets of LA’s renowned Laurel Canyon are countless homes that have passed from one showbiz heavy hitter to another. Case in point, a 1920s Spanish villa that was long ago owned by “The Maltese Falcon” star Mary Astor, later owned by Denny Doherty of the Mamas and the Papas and rented by David Bowie.
Tax records show that about 18 years ago, the impressively pedigreed pad was purchased for about $2.1 million by another star, “The Sopranos” alum Drea de Matteo, who is now looking to sell the distinctively appointed ridge-line oasis at a smidgen under $4 million. Listing agents are Craig Strong and Kristin Neithercut of Compass.
Enveloped in trees and foliage that ensure celeb-style privacy, painted with a variety of rich colors, and emblazoned with vibrant tile work, both inside and out, the vintage home offers four bedrooms and two bathrooms, plus a couple of powder rooms. The 3,400-square-foot character-filled abode is chockablock with an eclectic and deeply personal array of antiques and collectibles enhanced by lots of original detailing, including hand-carved wooden ceiling beams, decorative wrought iron work and lustrously polished wood floors.
Beyond the turreted entrance are a vast living room with soaring ceilings, a fireplace and French doors, a dining room that easily accommodates a dozen, and a homey kitchen complemented by a window-lined breakfast nook. Other spaces of note include a blood-red library/den, and a vermillion-walled family/games room funked up with royal-blue trim and sassy cheetah-print carpeting.
Three guest bedrooms share a single bathroom sheathed in minty-green antique tiles, while the primary suite offers a small balcony, a sunroom/sitting room, a walk-in closet with more cheetah-print carpeting, and a boldly tiled butter-yellow bathroom housed in the turret. (Denny was photographed leaning out of one of the windows that lines the turret.)
Surrounding the house are numerous patios, decks and walled courtyards. One showcases a tiled fountain, another is shielded by a wooden pergola, and a third, outside the living and dining rooms, overlooks the swimming pool and spa. Beyond the pool, a meditative canyon-framed view skitters towards the sunset across the tops of the surrounding mountains.
This being Laurel Canyon, or at least one of the highest points above Laurel Canyon, there is no shortage of homes currently and/or formerly owned by an entertainment industry notable in the immediate area: Ginger Rogers once lived in a turreted house set behind a high wall and cleaved to the precipitous slope; a home once owned by The Doors drummer John Densmore is currently for sale at $2.2 million; a turreted French Normandy cottage was owned in the late 1960s by Carole King — the cover of her seminal album “Tapestry” was shot in the living room — and in the late 1980s by Courtney Cox; punk icon and “Rugrats” music composer Mark Mothersbaugh owns a sprawling contemporary mansion with sweeping views over the city.
Since she won an Emmy in 1999, for her pivotal role as Adriana La Cerva on “The Sopranos,” arguably one of the best TV shows ever made, de Matteo has held down roles on “Joey,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Sons of Anarchy,” and “Shades of Blue.” More recently she appeared in the Amazon Prime musical drama “Paradise City,” and she’ll soon be seen in “The Latin from Manhattan,” an indie biopic about legendary adult film star Vanessa Del Rio.