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John Barrymore's Famed 1920s Estate in Bev Crest Has Opium Den, Wants $42.5M

Photos courtesy WEA
Photos courtesy WEA

Not too far away from a different property associated with John Barrymore, the Bella Vista is a place that Barrymore famously called home. Built in the late 1920s for early Hollywood filmmaker King Vidor and designed by architect John Byers, the mansion was sold in 1927 to Drew Barrymore's grandfather, Variety reported earlier this summer. Barrymore lived in the house until he died in 1942, but it still has plenty of Old Hollywood glamour.

It's not clear from the listing how much from Barrymore's time remains, but we're guessing that the "opium den" over the master bedroom and the floor made of the trunks of redwood trees in the in-home pub are holdovers from the time when his eccentric habits and collections (shrunken heads, a 30-foot-tall totem pole he stole from an Alaskan village) ruled the place.

Under Barrymore's ownership, an on-site aviary was converted to living quarters; later, it was rented out by stars like Katharine Hepburn, Marlon Brando and Candice Bergen—presumably, before they were stars. It's not clear from the listing if that aviary is part of this sale or even still exists (though it was there was the current owners bought), but it's all part of the legend of the estate.

The main house is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom residence with the aforementioned pub (maybe the Barrymore-era basement tavern?), two libraries, and an octagonal living room. In addition to two older "guest cottages," there's also a brand new two-story guesthouse with three bedrooms, two kitchens, and two living rooms. The sprawling property is on six lots and takes up 3.44 acres; it also includes a pool and "meandering paths."

Bella Vista was purchased in the 1990s by the late film producer/director Tony Scott (Top Gun, Enemy of the State). Scott committed suicide in 2012, and property records show that a trust in the name of his wife, Donna Scott, is the current owner.

The property had appeared for sale earlier this month with no listed price. (Even before that, in May, it was rumored to be whisper-listed for around $25 million.) Now, it's on the market for a very hearty $42.5 million.

· 1500 Seabright Place [WEA]
· Your Mama Hears: John Barrymore's Bella Vista Whisper Listed at $25 Million [Variety]
· A 1920s classic in Beverly Hills [LAT]
· John Barrymore's Once-Glam Beverly Crest Estate Hasn't Been Totally Ruined [Curbed LA]