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Marion Davies’s Overly Showy Desert Oasis Asks $3.4 Million

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The actress and mistress of William Randolph Hearst constructed this Rancho Mirage home in 1956

This Rancho Mirage compound was constructed in 1956 by actress Marion Davies, the longtime mistress of William Randolph Hearst. Situated on 2.77 acres purchased from hotel magnate Hyatt Robert von Dehn, the sprawling estate is actually a bit modest for Davies. Her more famous residences include a Julia Morgan-designed Santa Monica compound—demolished, aside from what is now the Annenberg Community Beach House—and the massive Beverly House she shared with Hearst, which showed up on the market in 2007 asking an astonishing $165 million.

The Rancho Mirage property includes a tennis court, pool and spa, and a large pond big enough for pedal boating. (We’re not even going to speculate about the water bill.) The grounds are apparently maintained by two full time employees.

Inside, the very pink 13,908 square-foot home is full of long corridors and massive columns. In several rooms, ferns emerge from cutaways in the floor. The huge master bathroom is positively verdant, and features what appears to be an indoor outdoor shower. Other notable features of the home include wide windows and walls of glass throughout, a studio apartment-sized walk-in closet, and an intriguing kitchen that resembles a subway car.

It’s hard to tell how much of the home’s wacky style is the work of Davies, and how much is the work of its next owner—Victor Jules Bergeron, Jr. (aka Trader Vic). Bergeron died in 1984 and the home has switched hands since then, but this quirky desert property seems like the perfect place for the inventor of the Mai Tai. It’s fun, overly showy, and dated in all the best (and worst) ways. Asking price is a dollar under $3.4 million (not $4 million, as originally stated in a press release).


  • 1 Von Dehn Road [Neal Leviton/Rodeo Realty and Bruce Busher/Keller Williams]