It’s no secret that the housing market is absolutely insane right now. Prices are sky high and at the moment, pretty unaffordable for a lot of people. As such, it’s nice to take a trip down memory lane and remember a time when housing prices weren’t so steep. Even the houses of the rich and famous seem cheap compared to the cost of buying a “regular” home today!
Clark Gable and Carole Lombard’s Home
In 1939, actor Clark Gable and his wife, actress Carole Lombard, bought a 20-acre ranch in the San Fernando Valley town of Encino. The house was built in 1933, and consisted of 7 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms. Gable and Lombard originally bought the house for $50,000.
The famous couple lived happily at their ranch home until 1942, when Carole Lombard tragically died in a plane crash. After his wife’s death, Gable had a difficult time returning to the ranch home they once shared. Though he never sold it during his lifetime, he rarely visited it. The home was last sold in October 1977 to financier Michael Milken, who bought the property for $587,500. It appears that Milken still owns Gable and Lombard’s beautiful old ranch home.
Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks
Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks were the “it” couple during the silent film era. This property was originally a hunting lodge, which was purchased by Douglas Fairbanks in 1919 for $35,000. The couple then transformed the home into a massive 22-room mansion that was later revamped to include a total of 42 rooms. The “Pickfair Estate” was known for its lavish parties.
The couple eventually divorced, but Mary Pickford lived in the mansion until her death in 1979. A year after Pickford’s death, the home was sold for $5.3 million. In 1990, the original structure was torn down because of extensive damages. Another stunning home was built in its place. In 2008, the new home sitting on the original property was listed for $60 million.
Actor Errol Flynn built his two-story home off of Mulholland Drive in 1941. It was nicknamed “Mulholland Farm,” and the actor hosted many extravagant parties here throughout the 1940s.
Errol Flynn died in 1959. Shortly after his death, his home was sold for the first time. In 1980, singer Ricky Nelson bought Flynn’s home. Nelson lived here until his death in 1985. The home then sat vacant until 1988, when a developer subdivided the original 11-acres it sat on. The house was torn down, and the land was split into seven different lots, all with extravagant homes sitting on them. In 2013, one of these mansions sold for $7.9 million.
Monroe bought this home in February 1962 after divorcing playwright Arthur Miller. Some sources state the home was bought for $77,500, while others claim the selling price was closer to $90,000. In 2017, Marilyn’s Brentwood home went up for sale. The home was listed at $6.9 million, but sold for $7.25 million.
Judy Garland’s Bel Air home was first built in 1938 – the same year the late actress was cast as Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz. Garland and her mother moved into the five-bedroom home in 1939, where she remained for nearly a decade. The house was later rented to Quincy Jones and Marvin Gaye.
Actress Joan Crawford bought her 10-room house in 1928 for $57,500. This house, located on Bristol Avenue in Brentwood, California, would be Crawford’s primary residence for the next 29 years. She renovated the home numerous times during the years she lived there.
In January 1996, Crawford’s home was sold to the current owners for $1.5 million. However, the home has been extensively remodeled and is hardly recognizable from the days when the iconic actress lived there.
After hitting it big, Frank Sinatra hired architect E. Stewart Williams to design a home in Palm Springs, which became known as Twin Palms. Sinatra paid $150,000 for the desert home. The Twin Palms residence was also home to both Nancy Sinatra and Ava Gardner.
Today, Sinatra’s Palm Springs home is available to rent for a number of different events – including private vacations, corporate events, retreats, and dinner parties.
Before her tragic death, Jayne Mansfield famously lived in a “Pink Palace.” This sprawling Mediterranean home was originally built in 1929 for Rudy Vallee. Mansfield and her husband, Mickey Hargitay, paid $76,000 for it in 1957. The home was dubbed the Pink Palace because the interior was decked out in all different shades of pink.
In 2002, Engelbert Humperdinck sold the property to his neighbor Roland Arnall for $30 million. The home has since been demolished and the area is now a parking lot.