No joke: ‘Funny Girl’ estate hits market for $58M
Rebuilt Holmby Hills mansion dates to 1930s, boasts ties various entertainment, media luminaries
A lavish, old world-style estate with ties to various Hollywood players — including the legendary comedienne Fanny Brice — has hit the market for $58 million.
The “gated ultra prime European-inspired compound” is located at 312 N. Faring Road in Holmby Hills. It features a three-story, Georgian-style main house with four bedrooms, a grand spiral staircase, chef’s kitchen, and marble and stone fireplaces. The two-acre grounds also include two guesthouses, a circular motor court, saltwater pool, tennis court, koi pond and gardens, according to a listing.
The primary house retains much of its original 1930s-style but is actually relatively new–– the current owners demolished most of the structure in 2001 and then hired the high-end architecture firm Fergus & Shamamian to lead a remodel. The project, which sought to match the home’s original doors and windows, ended up taking more than half a decade.
“If I had been smarter, I don’t think everything would be as nice as it is now because everything we did was the best, the best, the best,” Lauren King, an interior decorator, told Forbes in 2013. “It’s good news for whomever gets it next.”
Nearly a decade later, though, it’s still unclear who that lucky person might be.
King, an interior decorator, bought the property in 2001 for $15 million with her late husband, Richard King. Richard, who died in late 2020, was the former director of King World Productions, a now-defunct major production company and television syndicator that at one point partnered with Oprah to launch Harpo Productions and had the syndication rights to hits including “Jeopardy!” and “The Merv Griffin Show.”
Around 2013, several years after the extensive rebuild, the couple tried listing the property privately; in early 2020, it also went on the market for $62 million.
For the right buyer, the property’s Old Hollywood connections could help: The original mansion was built in 1938 for Brice, a singer, actress and comedian who was among her era’s biggest stars. (During her career Brice was perhaps best known for creating “The Baby Snooks Show,” a wildly popular radio comedy; in the 1960s she was also portrayed in “Funny Girl” on Broadway by Barbara Streisand, who won an Academy Award as Best Actress when she reprised the role for a film with Omar Sharif opposite.)
Brice lived in the home until her death in the 1950s. In the ensuing decades the property changed hands various times, with owners who included the actor and Hollywood executive Alan Ladd, from “This Gun For Hire,” and the advertising pioneer Dennis Holt, who “literally invented the idea of unbundling media,” according to one corporate bio. Holt and his wife Brooks sold the estate to the Kings in 2001, according to records.
One guesthouse on the property was also designed by the famed Hollywood architect John Elgin Woolf, which the Kings decided to leave standing. Over the years the estate itself has garnered a fair amount of fame, including with multiple cover appearances on Architectural Digest.