Monday, May 17, 2010

Pia Zadora Lists Pacific Palisades Pad

SELLER: Pia Zadora
LOCATION: Pacific Palisades, CA
PRICE: $10,000,000
SIZE: 9,268 square feet, 4 bedrooms 5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Last night, while sipping down our third gin & tonic desperate to forget the horror we'd just witnessed on The Real Housewives of New Jersey–that piece of dried up turkey jerky Danielle really is some kind of narcissistic sociopath, isn't she?–Your Mama was flipping through the newest real estate listings in Los Angeles when we stumbled upon Pia Zadora's Pacific Palisades, CA pad that she listed this week with a nice round asking price of $10,000,000.

Surely all the children know who Pia is. Yes? No?

As a child, Hoboken, NJ born Pia Zadora (nee Pia Schipani) appeared on stage with the late, great Tallulah Bankhead in Midgie Purvis and a few years later she worked the boards of Broadway in Fiddler on the Roof. Yes puppies, young Pia wanted to be an actress. But alas, poor Pia grew up only to become an ack-tress, a beloved but campy caricature of a Hollywood starlet.

In 1977, with her only film role a 1964 sci-fi catastrophe called Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Pia married much older Israeli multi-millionaire Meshulam Riklis. Mister Riklis boosted the essentially non-existent "career" of his young bride in the late 1970s when she became the 'Dubonnet Girl,' appearing in idiotic adverts for the wine-based apĂ©rtif distributed by a company owned by–you got it–Mister Riklis. A little nepotism never hurt anyone, right? Now children, Your Mama confesses that we didn't know what Doo-bow-nay is before we started looking for dirt on our Pia. A wee bit of poking around on the internets informed us that the Doo-bow-nay a favorite boozy beverage of the Queen of England who apparently likes a little Dubonnet and gin before lunch. Who knew the Queen and Your Mama had so much in common?

In the early 1980s, Mister Riklis financed a film called Butterfly, a bizarre and silly thing about father-daughter incest starring Pia. The movie was a universal flop but it earned Pia a Golden Globe Award in 1982 as the 'Best New Star of the Year," a bestowal widely believed to have been granted not by Pia's abilities as a ingenue but rather by Mister Riklis glad handing the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. A few more equally unimpressive attempts at acting followed the Butterfly debacle but Pia's career as an honest to goodness actress never materialized.

Ever the enterprising lassie, Pia plunged head first into making music, a venture that resulted in some success in Europe, an album of standards with the London Philharmonic, a duet with Jermaine Jackson, and little respect from the music industry. If the children haven't seen the video for Pia's little disco ditty with Jermaine, they really should because it's just so wonderfully awful you'll want to watch it twice.

By the late 1980s, despite appearing in John Waters' Hairspray in 1988–the original one, not one of those stoopid remakes–what little career Pia had as an ack-tress and singer had done swirled down the terlit of Hollywood hard luck.

Although Pia effectively disappeared from the silver screen, she and Mister Riklis remained in the gossip glossies and tabs in part due to their 1988 purchase of Pickfair, the legendary Wallace Neff designed Beverly Hills estate built by silent film stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. Pia and Mister Riklis paid around $7,000,000 for the storied estate on Summit Drive, purchasing the 22-room residence from L.A. Lakers owner Jerry Buss.

Claiming the existing house was riddled with termites and beyond repair, the couple razed the residence and built a beastly 25,243 square foot mansion designed by architect Peter Marino. Based on what Your Mama has read and heard we think that all that remains of Pickfair are the driveway gates, an unrecognizable portion of the guest wing, and the swimming pool, believed to be one of the first swimming pools on private property in all of Los Angeles. Although we don't know if it's true, it has also been widely reported that Mister Riklis commissioned a nude portrait of Pia that was hung in the entrance hall so that all guests were greeted by Pia's nipples and naughty bits.

In 1995, Pia and Mister Riklis went splitsville. She quickly remarried a writer/director named Jonathan Kaufman. Records show that during the time she was married to Mister Kaufman, Pia owned a big house up in Beverly Park, the famous guard gated Beverly Hills community of steroidal mansions. Pia and Mister Kaufman got a dee-vorce 2002 and Pia sold her palatial Beverly Park mansion in May of 2003 for $5,850,000. The vampy vixen also owned a 16th floor condo at the star studded Sierra Towers building in Los Angeles that records show she also sold in 2003 for an even steven $1,000,000. Sometime around this time Pia and her three children moved back to Pickfair, reportedly occupying the main house while her first ex-husband Mister Riklis resided in the guest house. So remained the living situation until 2005 when the 17 bedroom and 30 pooper property was snld for $17,650,000 to Korean biznessman Corry Hong who re-listed the property September of 2008 with the psychically unsettling asking price of $60,000,000. The property was not sold is currently off the (open) market.

In January of 2005, shortly before selling the new and not necessarily improved Pickfair, Pia purchased a 7 bedroom and 9 pooper mansion on .7 acres in posh Pacific Palisades for $8,300,000. Although the Tudor Revival residence has an architectural patina about it, listing information shows the 9,268 square foot mansion was actually built in 1992. Listing information also indicates the house, all done up and did over in a monochromatic, dignified and boring palette of beige, buff and biscuit, has 4 bedrooms and 5 poopers plus 2 guest houses.

A double height, paneled entrance hall with parquet de Versailles style hardwood floors and massive crystal chandelier gives way to the impressively scaled formal living room with its enormously high beamed ceiling, gigantic bay window where Pia has hung another crystal chandelier and placed an antique piano, massive stone and carved wood fireplace surround, and a series of French doors that open to the rear terrace. It looks like the sort of room that no one but the vacuuming and dusting gurls ever go into except at Christmastime when Your Mama imagines ol' Pia transforms it into an extravaganza of nutcrackers, white lights and glittery ornaments.

Pia's dining room, wrapped in half-paneling, heavy moldings and some kind of abstract wallpaper that makes Your Mama kind of dizzy, has a circular table that seats eight or 10 and is fitted with a Lazy Susan. A Lazy Susan? Now listen celery sticks, as far as Your Mama is concerned, Lazy Susans are just fine in barbecue restaurants and dim sum parlors but they do not belong in formal dining rooms of any home that aspires to elegance. We just have a difficult time imagining someone like Betsy Bloomingdale saying, "Pia, hunny, could you please spin that Lazy Susan thing around here so mother can have another helping of that truffled pasta thing Chef Seamus whipped up?" Even Your Mama, who is as lazy as they come, isn't so indolent we can't pass a bucket of peas around the damn table.

Therefore, Rule #367 in Your Mama's Big Book of Decorating Dos and Don't states that "No private residence of refinement and universally recognized good taste, regardless of `rchitectural category, shall have a Lazy Susan installed in the formal dining room."

Other rooms at Pia's place in the Palisades include some sort of sitting room with a heavily coffered ceiling treatment, fireplace and a couple of comfy looking leather sofas with chocolate brown velvet cushions, a massive movie theater with a lot of matching tan furniture, a billiard/game room, a home gym set up, and a massage room.

The backyard, completely surrounded by mature trees that offer oodles of privacy and shade, has several terraces that stretch out from the back of the house, large expanses of lawn, and a stacked stone wall tucked into a slope from which a waterfall tumbles into the free form shaped swimming pool.

As it turns out, we've learned from the boys at Celebrity Address Aerial that Pia is also selling her house up in Lake Arrowhead, CA that records show she purchased in July of 2001 for $4,400,000. Listing information for the property, currently listed at $4,450,000, shows the lake front house has 5 bedrooms and 7.5 poopers including a master pooper that is, ugh, carpeted. Besides its very challenging day-core other features of the house, according to listing information, include a formal living room, family and game room, each with fireplace and a home gym and something painfully described as a "Unique Spa Room."

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