Seeing Stars: Where the Stars Live


STREET OF THE STARS

If you want to see movie stars' homes, but you don't really feel like spending all day driving around the hills of West L.A. looking for addresses, here's a simple shortcut: from Hollywood, just take Sunset Boulevard to Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills (three blocks west of Rodeo Drive), and turn north.

On this single street, you'll find a remarkable number of stars' homes.

       

    918 N. ROXBURY.

    At 918 Roxbury Drive, you'll find the long-time home of JIMMY STEWART. His beautiful house, a Tudor-style delight accented with brick, birch trees, and a stone walkway, looks a lot like what you might expect from the star of such films as "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." Prior to his recent death, Jimmy could often be seen walking his dogs along Roxbury. (His is the last home on the right before you reach Lexington.)

    [Update: alas, following Mr. Stewart's death, his home was demolished in mid-1998 by its new owners.]



    A little farther north, on the other side of the street, at
    921 Roxbury, is RICK SCHRODER's ("Silver Spoons," "Lonesome Dove" and later "NYPD Blue") old house.




Just a short drive farther north takes you to a spot where you'll find
three major stars' homes in a row, on the east side of the street.
      

    1000 N. ROXBURY.
    At 1000 Roxbury Drive is the former home of LUCILLE BALL, star of "I Love Lucy." It's a beautiful, gray & white, modern colonial home, with large, rounded hedges out front. Lucy used to personally hand out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween.


    1002 N. ROXBURY.

    Right next door, at 1002 Roxbury is the longtime home of comedian JACK BENNY, a wonderful brick home, with a large bay window, and brick walkways. Back in 1944, Jack and his wife Mary set up a huge tent in their back yard for a New Year's Eve party, which was attended by (among others) Clark Gable, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Errol Flynn, Ginger Rogers, Tyrone Power, Claudette Colbert, Dorothy Lamour, Robert Taylor, Joan Crawford, Sam Goldwyn and David O. Selznick!

    A neighbor, annoyed by gawking tourists, once put up a sign in his front yard, with an arrow pointing to Jack's house, which read:  "Jack Benny Does Not Live Here. He Lives There."


         

    1004 N. ROXBURY.

    And right next door to Jack Benny's place, at 1004 Roxbury, is the Mediterranean-style home of "Columbo" himself, actor PETER FALK. It has a red tile roof, large trees, and a red-tile walkway.




    At 1019 N. Roxbury (in what was once the home of legendary songwriter GEORGE GERSHWIN), lived singer ROSEMARY CLOONEY (who starred in 1954's "White Christmas," and is George Clooney's aunt ). Her husband also lived here: actor JOSE FERRER, best known for 1950's "Cyrano De Bergerac."

    Their kids used to sell lemonade to tourists. Rosemary reports that on Christmas of 1955,
    Bing Crosby and his four sons sang carols outside the homes along Roxbury.



    One of .George Gershwin's best friends and greatest admirers was fellow pianist, actor, and and acerbic wit, OSCAR LEVANT, the man who coined the term "Tinseltown" for Hollywood. Oscar lived just south of Jimmy Stewart, at 905 Roxbury Drive.




    Actress/singer JEANNE CRAIN lived right next door to Gershwin (at 1017 Roxbury). With a spectacular singing voice, Jeanne specialized in playing adorable young innocents in musical comedies such as "State Fair" and "Margie," but also did serious drama, such as 1949's "Pinky."

    And two doors away (at 1015 Roxbury) was the home of actress Dianne Keaton, star of "Reds," "Looking for Mr. Goodbar," "Father of the Bride," "Annie Hall" and other Woody Allen movies.

    I have heard that the home was later purchased by
    Madonna.



A few houses up the road...

    At 1021 Roxbury, you'll find the former home of George Gershwin's brother, composer IRA GERSHWIN, who wrote the lyrics to "Porgy & Bess" and such hit songs as "Fascinating Rhythm," "The Man I Love," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "I Got Rhythm" and "They Can't Take That Away From Me."





    Next door to Ira's house, at
    1023 Roxbury Drive, is the former home of AGNES MOOREHEAD, best known as the witchy mother-in-law on TV's "Bewitched." It was also once the home of film legend SPENCER TRACEY.







    ( And if we're going to mention 'Endora', we should mention that actress Elizabeth Montgomery ('Samantha Stevens' on "Bewitched") lived less than a mile to the northwest, at 1230 Benedict Canyon Drive, where she passed away in 1995.)





    1025
    N. Roxbury: Polly Bergen - (actress, she hosted her own TV show in the late 1950's, was a long-time a panelist on "To Tell the Truth," starred in movies such as the original "Cape Fear" (she played Gregory Peck's wife), and numerous TV movies through the 80's and 90's, including the epic "The Winds of War" miniseries.




    Meanwhile, on Roxbury south of Sunset Boulevard, you'll find:

    800
    Roxbury Drive is the former home of actor LIONEL BARRYMORE (perhaps best known today for his role as the mean old Mr. Potter, in the 1946 classic "It's a Wonderful Life." Ironically, he lived on the same street as Jimmy Stewart...)




    Just a few houses up the street, at
    809 Roxbury, is the former home of actress MAUREEN O'SULLIVAN
    (Jane in the "Tarzan" movie series), and her daughter,
    MIA FARROW (star of "Rosemary's Baby" and a slew of Woody Allen films).





    721 
    N. Roxbury, was the home of NELSON EDDY, the singer/actor famous for his MGM musicals with Jeanette MacDonald such as "Rose-Marie," "Naughty Marietta," and "Maytime."

    [Actually, Nelson apparently liked to move a lot. This was just one of his former addresses. He also owned homes at 729 Maple Drive, 703 N. Alpine Drive, and 485 Halvern (Fred MacMurray moved into that one after Nelson left.) and his last home was at 166 Ashdale Place, in Brentwood.]





    At 708 Roxbury, you'll find the home of actress NANETTE FABRAY, perhaps best known today as Anne Romano's mother on the TV sitcom "One Day At A Time," and as the real-life aunt of actress Shelley Fabares ("Coach.")





Other stars with homes on Roxbury Drive include:

  • 518 N. Roxbury: Gilbert Roland - (Latino actor, his career spanned seven decades, from the silent movies of the 1920's to television in the 1980's, including the role of Don Domingo de Montoya in "The High Chaparral."

  • 806 N. Roxbury: Frank Lovejoy - (star of many movies movies in the 1950's, including "House of Wax" and various westerns and war movies.)

  • 909 N. Roxbury: Hal March - (star of early 50's TV, he portrayed 'Harry Morton' on the "George Burns & Gracie Allen" TV show, 'Joe Vance' on "My Friend Irma," and was emcee of "The $64,000 Question" quiz show.

  • 911 N. Roxbury: Warner Baxter - a movie star in the 1920's through the 1940's, he was the original "Cisco Kid" in the movies, and starred in musicals such as "42nd Street" and dramas such as "Kidnapped."


(Note: When you're driving north on Roxbury Drive, the odd-numbered addresses are on the left (west) side of the street, and the even-numbered addresses are on the right (east) side of the street. Fortunately, the house numbers are stenciled in white on the curb outside each home.)







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