Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bea Arthur's Cliff May Available to Lease

OWNER: Estate of Bea Arthur
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $32,500 per month
SIZE: 5 bedrooms and at least as many bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Although she's a pop culture icon who occupies hallowed ground at the very pinnacles of high-camp gaydom, Emmy- and Tony-winning actress and comedienne Bea Arthur (Mame, Maude, Golden Girls) was a formidable, principled and ground-breaking woman of substance who–in the 1970s–fearlessly took on taboo social and political issues such as abortion, the Vietnam War and civil rights at a time when it was strictly verboten for those subjects to be dealt with openly...on a woman, an actress with the voice of a man. We say that, children, with only deepest of respects for the late great gravel-voiced Bea Arthur who went to meet her great director in the sky in April 2009.

Thanks to a kind and covert communique from our trusted informant Ima Tattletale that included semi-secret listing information we've learned that the executors of Miz Arthur's estate–whomever they may be–have quietly put her home in the rustic and bucolic Sullivan Canyon area of Los Angeles, CA out for lease. The listing information Your Mama has in hand does not explicitly state an asking price but, once again, our insider Miss Tattletale snitched that they–whomever they may be–wants $32,500 per month for the nearly 4-acre estate with its sprawling and fully updated Cliff May-designed hacienda style house.

Property records show that twice-married and twice divorced Miz Arthur owned the urban Arcadian estate since at least the mid-1990s. It was here at this house, as we understand, where the former Marine–that's right, puppina-weenahs, Miz Arthur was a Marine–lived out the end of her days.

Listing information in our possession shows that the entire house and grounds were given a thorough overhaul in 2005-2007 by a "visionary designer/builder" named Matt Saks who may or may not be Miz Arthur's son Matthew Saks. The house, as best as we can surmise includes four guest suites–two large and two smaller–each with private pooper plus an expansive master with sizable bedroom, well-scaled sitting area with fireplace, two offices, big bathroom with jetted tub and steam shower, and a fitted walk-in closet the size of a small garage.

The main living spaces–living and dining rooms and a den–have vaulted ceilings with exposed beams, honed travertine floors and painted brick fireplaces. Wood-framed sliding doors marry the spacious living room to the large terraces that surround the house and in the newly re-worked kitchen there are slab marble counter tops, high-grade stainless steel appliances and a not entirely successful combination of white and chestnut-colored wood cabinetry. The kitchen, which has a short breakfast counter, is open to a dining area and cozy family anchored by a stone fireplace.

The halcyon grounds include an over-sized flagstone motor court, three car garage, crescent-shaped swimming pool and raised sap surrounded by flagstone terrace, and a tennis court. Paths and trails with night-lighting for evening strolls wind and meander the hillside grounds.

And with that, it's back to our semi-warm quasi-vacation...

listing photos: Partners Trust

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