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.
906 N. ROXBURY.
|At 906 N. Roxbury Drive, you'll
find the former home of actress/dancer GINGER ROGERS, who lived here with her husband, actor Lew Ayres, back in the mid-1930s.
That was around the time she was filming "Top Hat" with screen partner
Fred Astaire, one of 10 musicals they made together. They were
widely considered the greatest movie dancing team of all time.
The trees in front of the house have grown so much that it's almost impossible to see the house itself from Roxbury, but here is a peek via Google's StreetView.
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.)
following Mr. Stewart's death, his home was demolished in mid-1998 by its
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...
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
Garland, Bing Crosby,
Sam Goldwyn and David
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."
N. Roxbury is what was once the home of legendary songwriter GEORGE
GERSHWIN, composer of the classics Rhapsody in Blue and Porgy & Bess, as well aspop American standards such as Someone to Watch over Me, Strike Up the Band, They Cant Take That Away from Me, Embraceable You, and Lets Call the Whole Thing Off.
Later, it was the home of 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 outside.
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
CRAIN lived right next door to Gershwin
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
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."
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
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.)
N. Roxbury: Polly Bergen - actress,
she hosted her own TV show in the late 1950's, was a long-time a panelist
on TV's "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
Sunset Boulevard, you'll find:
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,
(star of "Rosemary's Baby" and a slew of Woody Allen
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."
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.]
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:
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."
N. Roxbury: Frank Lovejoy - (star of
many movies movies in the 1950's, including "House of Wax"
and various westerns and war movies.)
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"
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."
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.)