I’ve worked Hollywood Patrol for over 33 years. It’s the “Entertainment Capital of the World.” I had more than my share of meeting celebrities. I worked the Green Room at the Hollywood Christmas Parade for years and I was at more movie premieres than Siskel & Ebert.
I wasn’t that impressed. Some were very nice and thanked the cops for their dedication and professionalism. Others had a real disdain for the police and considered us a necessary evil. One of the things I loved about working Hollywood was you never knew who was standing behind the door of your next radio call.
I won’t give out names of the celebrities I’ve encountered. If I was going to tell, I’d have sold the information to TMZ or the Enquirer. I once handled a screaming women call at the home of a rather famous female star and sex symbol. She was having a domestic dispute with her then husband. She looked like crap, but then who looks good at 3 AM in a fight with a spouse? I was later in her house high in the Hollywood Hills on a burglary alarm. I was shocked that she had very little furniture, her TV was on the bedroom floor and it was obvious that she was a slob.
Another time, I handled a burglary call at the house of a former Playboy Playmate of the month. The year was 1985, that is the only clue I’ll give you. Anyway, the front door was open and we entered to see if there had been a break-in. Right behind the front door was a stairway to the second floor. On the wall above the stairway landing was a picture from the playmate’s centerfold. The picture was huge, about 3 feet by 3 feet and it showed more than I saw in that emergency birthing class at the academy. As we searched the house for a bad guy I noticed that she had a small child. Now, I’m a bit modest but not a prude. I just don’t know if I would want a picture of me naked for my kids to see as well as the Sparkletts delivery man. Maybe it’s about ego.
By the way, want to piss off a celebrity? I was at a radio call of a band leader of the most watched late night talk show. He answered the door in his whitey tighty underwear and gold chains around his neck. After discovering that his problem was over hours ago, I asked for his last name for my log. He was indignant that I didn’t know who he was. I knew, I just wasn’t as impressed with him as he was. You won’t see that on the “Rich and Famous”.
Ok, I’ve gotten a little off track. A lot of celebrities live in Hollywood and I’ve been in a lot of their houses. I was told that Johnny Mathis had an indoor swimming pool just inside his front door. I often drove by the large castle sitting on a hill within view of the Hollywood sign. It was once owned by Bugsy Segal and later Madonna. I never made it inside. I once had a list of celebrity residence addresses, but the list was like a list of wanted suspects–they’re always moving. Most really big stars have numerous houses and are upgrading or downgrading depending on which way their career is going.
I used to give tours to new captains, radio dispatchers, and ride-alongs. Hell, I even gave a tour for my son when he was applying for the LAPD. That’s the house where Jan of Jan & Dean lived. That’s the house where Errol Flynn really lived and later, Ricky Nelson’s daughter and even later, Helen Hunt. Right around the corner was the Space Needle house built on a pedestal. I knew where Drew Carey lived on Mullholland and Steve McQueen on Nicholas Canyon. I knew where Judges and has-been actors lived. I could point out famous crime houses. One of my favorites was a house in Beachwood Canyon that looked like a medieval Castle. I could have printed a map to stars’ homes that would have made Starline Tours jealous.
So I’ve seen big houses and small houses–I wasn’t impressed. Now, Hollywood doesn’t have the huge properties that Beverly Hills, Bel Air, or Brentwood has. I was never invited to the Playboy Mansion or a beach house at Malibu. What we did have is “Marmont Manor.” Never heard of it, did you? It’s only a few blocks away from an old Burt Reynolds house.
It was clear beautiful day, a Friday, I think and a radio call came out “All Hollywood units, 211(armed robbery) silent (alarm) at the residence XXXX Hollywood Boulevard.” We drove down Sunset Blvd and turned up past Marmont Chateau Hotel, where John Belushi overdosed. I arrived first and was met by the owner of the house. This was a large house—no, it’s gigantic by the standard house in the Hollywood Hills—above the Sunset Strip.
We were met at the gate by the owner. She apologized and told us that they were having a wedding Saturday and one of the workers set off the alarm. I mentioned that she had a nice house. She replied those three magic words: “Want a tour?”
I could hardly contain my excitement. She walked us up a path past lush green lawns, where white swans were walking about. She led us to a large pond. I could see fish swimming. She told me they had trout, sturgeon and catfish in the pond. Being a fisherman, I was going to ask, but she read my mind. She said her husband would catch trout for dinner. Past the pond was a bird aviary with exotic species.
She pointed out the guest house (picture #1). It was bigger than most houses. She said the architect lived there. My favorite room was the game room behind the swimming pool on the left. It had all kinds of exotic stuffed game animals. Included were a full size bear, African lion, and a tiger. The walls were covered with both North American and African head mounts. It was a kind of party room, lots of couches, a bar with an open ceiling and a 2nd floor balcony all the way around the inside of the building. To the right of the swimming pool was the pool room, it had a full chefs kitchen, another bar and bathrooms. It was bigger than my
I never made it inside the main house, the maids’ quarters or to the tennis courts. She did tell me that they had 5 full time gardeners and a vet who came out regularly to check out the birds and the fish. I thanked her for the tour and as I left I asked for her last name for my log. I expected a famous name, but when she told me it didn’t ring any bells in my small brain.
For years I couldn’t get the size and grandeur of that house out of my mind. I said that I’m not that impressed with celebrities or their houses, but this one is amazing. I added the house to my tour of famous Hollywood spots.
I just recently saw that Marmont Manor was for sale, for a mere $24,500,000 dollars it can be yours—14 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, gardeners not included.
I found another link to the inside of this mansion. Click here for more pictures.
Thanks for the read 🙂 I did carpentry for them on that house and their other properties since the late 90’s. They really are the nicest people and treated everyone with the utmost respect. That property was like being in a fantasy, and there was a story behind everything, such a magical place 🙂
It looks like a fairy tale house. Hal doesn’t seem to be impressed by much but this house did!