Elizabeth Taylor’s cliff top home in Beverly Hills, where she lived during the 1950s, according to TopTenRealEstateDeals.com, is listing for $15.9 million.
Taylor lived in the house from 1954 to 1957 while she was married to her second husband, British actor Michael Wilding. She referred to it as “the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen” in her book “Elizabeth Taylor: An Informal Memoir.”
Taylor, who married eight times to seven husbands (Richard Burton twice) with four children, died at age 79 in 2011. Taylor, who epitomized Hollywood glamour in a 61-year career, won two Academy Awards for “BUtterfield 8” in 1961 and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” in 1967. She was nominated for “Raintree County” in 1958, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” in 1959 and “Suddenly, Last Summer” in 1960.
The low-lying six-bedroom, seven-bathroom house is angled around a central courtyard with mature palm trees and a working fountain. The rear of the house looks out to Los Angeles with views of the Pacific Ocean.
Taylor’s two eldest children, Michael and Christopher Wilding, were born during the time she lived there. After tabloid rumors swirled alleging the elder Wilding consorted with strippers while Taylor was filming “Giant,” the couple separated and were divorced in 1957.
The owner bought the house in 1997 for $2 million and eventually hired architect Budd Holden, famous for designing luxury and celebrity homes in Beverly Hills, to create a 2,000-square-foot addition that brought a greater variety of living spaces plus a long sunken living room to the house.
The redesign also opened it up to the panoramic views by adding sliding glass doors and floor-to-ceiling windows in nearly every room. The home marries a midcentury modern architecture with California casual decor themes.
The house has a compound-like configuration with a fountain and palm trees in the center courtyard. It sits high on a cliff offering sweeping ocean views. A privacy wall and gated entrance make it impossible to see the house from the street. The 7,761-square-foot house sits on a double lot of more than 50,000-square-feet and contains an atrium, art studio, exercise room, sauna and walk-in pantry.
The multi-peaked roofline and elongated living spaces that were popular in the 1950s provide a backdrop for the sand-colored slate and tile floors, rustic wooden beams and highly detailed design touches right down to the herringbone pattern in the fireplace’s stonework.
“There was a level of craftsmanship back then,” said listing agent Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury who has co-listed the property with Arlene Rutenberg. “Now the cost of labor is such that when people are building houses they don’t do that sort of thing.”
The kitchen comes with a Viking stove, Subzero fridge/freezer and two Bosch dishwashers. An open space at the back allows for a table and chairs. Off the kitchen is a rustic dining room with a wood paneled wall and slate floor. The coffered ceiling with extra angles in each corner is a design decision that appears in several other rooms in the house.
A portion of the ceiling in the master bedroom is coffered. There is a fireplace with brick surround, ample seating room and an attached bath. A sliding-glass door leads to the backyard and pool.