Back in 2001, when William Peter Blatty, author of best-selling book “The Exorcist,” and his wife, Julie, decided to leave California and move east for their sons’ education, their housing search focused around the Heights School in Potomac.
Having left a mission-style house with views of the Pacific Ocean, the Blattys struggled to find a home until they came across the 1988 Georgian near Burning Tree Club.
“This was not our style,” Julie Blatty said. “But my husband said we can Blatty-ize it. We grew to love its beauty.”
Like her famous husband, who died earlier this year, Julie Blatty made her mark in Hollywood. A onetime Embraceable Ewe, the nickname given to the Los Angeles Rams cheerleaders, Julie Blatty had roles on TV shows such as “Charlie’s Angels” and “CHiPs.” She was the subject of a 1980 Washington Post story by Tony Kornheiser. (Google it. It’s worth reading.)
Built by Jeff Robins of Rockville-based Jeffco, the house was formal and traditional. By adding their own touches, the Blattys — who were just the second owners of the house — turned it into a home that seamlessly meshes stately with relaxed and that invites large-scale entertaining and comfortable family gatherings.
The Waterford crystal chandelier and the imperial staircase in the two-story foyer create a striking entrance. Past a bridge that connects the master suite with the children’s wing, the living room is a dramatic space with soaring ceilings and a large arched window. A massive wood-burning stone fireplace anchors the room.
The English-pub-style bar off the living room was where Blatty shared stories about his time in Hollywood with family and friends, and everyone joined in singalongs. “We had more fun in this room through the years,” Julie Blatty said.
Blatty wrote in the wood-paneled library, with its elegant marble-surround fireplace and built-in shelves adorned with clamshell insets. But the room was also a spot for the family to congregate and watch TV.
As with many families, the prime gathering spot was the kitchen. While Julie Blatty prepared meals, their boys played hearts at the kitchen table and her husband read in his overstuffed chair in the corner.
The formal dining room, which can seat 14 comfortably, appears larger because of the mirrored wall.
The spacious master suite on the second floor has his-and-her bathrooms. A large laundry room and two bedrooms are across the bridge from the master bedroom. The top level features a large play area with 12-foot vaulted ceilings and a bedroom.
The lower level has another master suite with what might be one of the largest cedar closets ever built. The walls have three hanging rods with enough space between each for a formal gown. A library-type rolling ladder provides access to the top hanging rod. Walls of built-in drawers and shoe racks provide additional storage. The indoor pool and sauna are also on the lower level.
An enormous deck wraps around the back of the house and overlooks a wooded landscape.
The six-bedroom, seven-bathroom house, which is flanked by two-car garages on either side, is listed at $3.2 million.
Listing: 7018 Longwood Dr., Bethesda, Md.
Listing agent: Kara Sheehan, Washington Fine Properties
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