Home & Garden

Hot property: ‘Gotham’ star Ben McKenzie speeds out of the Hills

Filmmaker Jim Wilson has sold his ranch in Calabasas for $13.95 million.
Filmmaker Jim Wilson has sold his ranch in Calabasas for $13.95 million. TNS

Ben McKenzie, who stars in the series Gotham, listed his Hollywood Hills house for sale at $1.895 million and in less than a week it was in escrow.

And why not? The 1950s charmer is updated, designer decorated and in the popular Nichols Canyon area.

The Spanish-style house has been adapted for indoor-outdoor living and entertaining with a detached guest suite that can serve as a bedroom, office or gym. The 2,081 square feet of living space, with such details as hardwood floors and interior archways, includes living room and den fireplaces, three bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms.

With nearly a third of an acre, the grounds contain a swimming pool, an outdoor kitchen with a barbecue, two patios, mature trees and a lawn.

McKenzie, 36, has starred in Gotham since the Batman-prequel series started last year. He was on Southland (2009-13) and The O.C. (2003-07).

The property last changed hands in 2005 for $1.429 million.


In a closing that was a long time in the making, Oscar-winning film producer Jim Wilson has sold his 190-acre Avalon Ranch in Calabasas for $13.95 million — making it one of the most expensive sales yet in the Santa Monica Mountains community.

Listed for as much as $25 million back in 2010, the bucolic property had been on and off the market until Wilson himself got involved in the sales process. Working with footage taken from drones, he jumped in and directed a YouTube video promoting the sprawling equestrian center.

Called Avalon Ranch, the gated property and farm centers on a rambling main house custom built in 1999 for the filmmaker. Inside the red front door, massive stone fireplaces, beamed ceilings, slate floors, French doors, built-in bookcases and wraparound porches are among the architectural details. A country-style kitchen, six bedrooms and four bathrooms are within the 7,500 square feet of living space.

There are two guesthouses, a 16-stall horse barn with a tack room, a tennis court with viewing pavilion and a dark-bottom swimming pool with spa and pavilion. The grounds include a duck pond, corrals, a one-acre horse pasture, a rose garden, a seasonal stream, and citrus and apple orchards. Views take in the surrounding mountains.

Wilson shared the best picture Academy Award with Kevin Costner for Dances With Wolves (1990). He has produced more than a dozen films, including Wyatt Earp (1994) and Swing Vote (2008).


Shane West, who stars on the supernatural series Salem, put his towering home in the Hollywood Hills up for sale at $1.995 million and was in escrow in six days.

The villa has multiple levels of living space above a street-level garage. Expansive views take in cityscape, ocean, canyon and mountain vistas. Architectural details include wrought-iron railings and exposed beam ceilings.

A billiard room, a gym and a self-contained guesthouse that could be used as a recording studio are within the 3,642 square feet of living space. Built in 1979, the house has an updated kitchen with stainless-steel appliances, a living room fireplace, four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms.

There’s a shallow shelf for sunning in the saltwater swimming pool.

West, 36, also starred on Nikita (2010-13) and was a regular on ER from 2004 to 2009. When he’s not acting, West enjoys punk rock and has served as frontman with Germs and Johnny Was.

He bought the property in 2006 for $1.775 million.


Actress-writer Alexia Landeau has listed a Hollywood Hills compound with a storied history at $2.895 million.

The ownership records read like a who’s who of celebrities: writer-producer Barry Poznick, actress Christina Applegate and Applegate’s mother, actress-singer Nancy Priddy. Other names associated with the property include Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz and actor David Niven.

During Niven’s tenancy, he was starring in the mid-’60s television series The Rogues, and the property earned the nickname the Rogues Retreat.

The Laurel Canyon-area hideaway was built in 1923 and is in use as a compound, although it is a legal duplex with two addresses. It includes an al fresco dining patio, the original outdoor fireplace, winding paths and fruit trees. An artsy timber-frame writer’s cabin with a redwood deck takes in canyon views.

The Traditional-style main house and separate guesthouse have a total of five bedrooms, five bathrooms and 3,670 square feet of space. The two-story main house has a great room with walls of windows, a reclaimed-brick fireplace, high ceilings and a media room/library with built-ins. The master suite features a vintage marble fireplace, a window seat and two walk-in closets.

In addition to a bedroom and bathroom in the guesthouse, there’s a living room and a tiled kitchen.

Landeau, 40, appeared in and co-wrote 2 Days in New York (2012). She was also in 2 Days in Paris (2007) and Moonlight Mile (2002). Her latest writing effort is the upcoming Days Out of Days.

She bought the property from Poznick last year for $2.485 million, public records show. He bought it from Priddy in 2003 for $705,000.


Actor and frequent home buyer Anthony Clark has sold an investment home in Hollywood Hills for close to $2.3 million.

The Yes, Dear sitcom star bought the house eight years ago for $1.2 million and remodeled using a variety of woods to achieve a mountain resort ambience. He has leased out the 2,574-square-foot home off and on since then.

The walled two-story has black bamboo floors and Douglas fir beamed ceilings. Other architectural details are done in ironwood, teak and oak. A balcony sits off the den and living room. A terrace off the master bedroom has a spa. The detached guest bedroom can be used as an office or art/music studio. There are three bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms.

The canyon-view home is in a star-studded neighborhood where such celebrities as actors William Macy, Felicity Huffman, Jason Statham and Charlize Theron have homes.

Clark, 51, has been involved in nearly a dozen real estate deals in the last 15 years.

Before his days on the sitcom Yes, Dear (2000-06), Clark played a reverend on Soul Man (1997-98) and starred in Boston Common (1996-97).