James Dean Daydream

 

The Hollywood Hills home once owned by Hal B. Wallis, former head of Warner Bros., where legendary actor James Dean lived in a rented room during the year he made East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, and Giant, is now for sale, priced at $3.995 million. Having just completed East of Eden, Dean met the casting director for Rebel Without a Cause at a party held there.

Privately tucked away behind its gated wall and overlooking the canyon, the 1927 Spanish-style house has undergone an elegant transformation since Dean’s time while retaining and highlighting its original architectural features. Sited on a double lot, the 4,000-square-foot house includes three bedrooms, four baths, sunroom, chef’s kitchen with marble countertops and Viking appliances that are open to the dining room. White walls are a foil for the dark hardwood floors, beamed ceilings and views of the green landscape through large arched windows and ceiling-to-floor glass walls filling the home with cheerful light. Dean’s quarters were on the lower level, which include a living area with fireplace, an ensuite guest room, terrace and private entrance. Grounds have a stone pathway through the foliage and mature trees leading to an outdoor dining area, pool and spa. Perfect for entertaining, the house was considered a party hub of the film industry during the 1950s.

Brooding, sullen and with the promise of mystery behind his oftentimes menacing stare, James Dean was the personification of the troubled youth of the mid 1950s just when teenagers were first beginning to rebel against society’s staunch up-tight morality. Dean made only three films, all in the same year at the age of 24, but they were so powerful they remain top classics today. His parts in East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, and Giant instantly catapulted him to fame. After the completion of his last scene in Giant, while on the way to race his new Porsche 550 Spyder in Salinas, California in 1955, he was killed in a wreck at a highway intersection. He was only 24 and of the three films he had only seen East of Eden as the others had not yet been released.

Could the buyer of this Hollywood Hills Spanish contemporary end up renting to filmdom’s next James Dean? Priced at $3.995 million, fantasy included. The listing agent is Eric Lavey of The Agency, Beverly Hills.

Courtesy of Top 10 Real Estate Deals