The century-old abode, which was listed earlier this month by Douglas Elliman, formed part of what is quite possibly one of the most memorable openings in cinematic history. The columned front entrance was featured in the title sequence and first scene of Nicholas Ray’s 1955 classic Rebel Without a Cause. To recap, Jim Stark, played by the cultural icon of teenage disillusionment James Dean, lays intoxicated on the pavement in front of the house playing with a toy monkey, before the police promptly arrive to take him to the station. Naturally, the legendary American actor pulls focus, but the stately residence is more than deserving of a moment in the spotlight.
Hidden amid the Hollywood Hills in Nichols Canyon, the elegant Southern Colonial home spans just shy of 4,400 square feet and is characterized by vaulted ceilings and classic furnishings. The generous layout comprises four bedrooms and four bathrooms, along with a gourmet kitchen, elevated living room, hand-painted formal dining room, office and sunroom. There are also balconies on every level offering incredible views from the city all the way to the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Perfect for entertainers, the private porch comes complete with a dedicated grilling area and overlooks the picturesque pool. Elsewhere on the lush grounds there is a separate two-story guest house that features a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and lounge. You can expect a nice amount of privacy, too, since the property is surrounded by hedges and accessible only via a long gated driveway.
As mentioned, a scene with James Dean wasn’t this property’s only brush with fame. According to listing agents Lloyd Ross and David Williams, the home once belonged to the late Sid Bernstein, the American music promoter credited with bringing the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks and other English bands stateside. Ross and Williams say the Beatles even used to hang out at the Hollywood pad. Furthermore, the current owners, Michael Taverna and Cindy Nelson-Mullen, produced and directed the 2012 horror flick Apartment 1303 3D, among other films. According to the agent’s, the couple recently moved to their home in Italy.
“This home is like a rare piece of art,” Ross told Robb Report. “It is over 100 years old, perfectly maintained and manicured and set in the most prime part of Los Angeles, yet tucked away with complete privacy.”
As for price, the Franklin Avenue home is listed for $4.195 million. That’s not bad for a piece of Hollywood history.
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