clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pedigreed estate once owned by Sonny and Cher sells for $90M

New, 7 comments

A sunken tennis court and two gatehouses

The storied, 10-acre Holmby Hills estate known as Owlwood has sold, fetching $90 million. The Wall Street Journal reports that the residence, which counts numerous celebrities among its former owners, was sold to a real-estate developer affiliated with Woodbridge Luxury Homes. (One of Woodbridge’s current projects is an unbuilt, $100-million spec house in Bel Air.)

The estate, which is situated in an ultra-posh spot between Sunset Boulevard and the Los Angeles Country Club, had been for sale off the market for years with a $150-million price tag.

In addition to the nine-bedroom main residence, the property includes a sunken tennis court, two guesthouses, a swimming pool, and two gatehouses.

Owlwood is comprised of three estates that have been absorbed into one expansive compound. The main house is an approximately 12,000-square-foot Italian Renaissance-style structure designed by accomplished architect Robert Farquhar. It was built in 1936 for Florence Quinn, the ex-wife of Arthur Letts Jr.—the original owner of what is now the Playboy Mansion and the son of the founder of Holmby Hills.

The house has changed owners a number of times since then, passing through the hands of Joseph Shenk (the founder of the studio that went on to become 20th Century Fox) and William Keck (the founder of Superior Oil). In the 1960s, the house was purchased by actor Tony Curtis (Some Like It Hot), who later sold it to Sonny and Cher.

Two of the three lots were added to Owlwood more recently, in the early 2000s, says the Journal. That was when mortgage company founder Roland Arnall and his wife Dawn purchased the property. One of the adjacent lots was the site of actress Jayne Mansfield’s famed "Pink Palace"; the 40-room mansion adorned with hearts and decorated in various shades of pink was demolished to add more acreage to Owlwood.

The CEO of Woodbridge told the Journal that Owlwood won’t be demolished, but will probably be renovated and expanded before it’s listed for sale again.