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Ellen Degeneres downsizes into 8,500-square-foot Beverly Hills home

Cyberspace was a-twitter this week with the news that Ryan Seacrest is buying Ellen DeGeneres' Beverly Hills compound for $37 million, and that she and spouse Portia de Rossi are moving no farther than a Hal Levitt-designed midcentury — also in Beverly Hills.

DeGeneres' new 8,500-square-foot house, built in 1958, features walls of glass, soaring ceilings, multiple fireplaces, a library, a black-and-stainless-steel kitchen, a sunken living room, four bedrooms and six bathrooms. The family room opens to the swimming pool on the less-than-an-acre property, which has a circular driveway.

The property was priced in the $20-million range, according to a website for agent Ben Bacal of Sotheby's. It can take weeks or months for sales prices to appear on the public record.

The Levitt-designed house is quite a downsize from the Emmy-winning daytime show host's 3-acre compound, which includes multiple structures and was formed starting in 2007 through three property purchases on the same street. The 15,000 square feet of interior space include a 9,200-square-foot main house, a secondary house and two guesthouses. The asking price on the compound was $49 million.

Meanwhile, Seacrest's Hollywood Hills West area Mediterranean villa recently returned to the market priced at $11.985 million. The "American Idol" host had tried to sell it in late 2010 for $14.95 million.

The 10,000-square-foot Mediterranean, built in 1974, sits behind wrought-iron gates on nearly an acre of hilltop with canyon and city views. Remodeled during his ownership, the villa features beamed ceilings, a bar, a screening room, a wine cellar and a gym. There are six bedrooms and 61/2 bathrooms. A guesthouse, tennis court, a swimming pool, a cabana and mature trees complete the grounds.

More proof that Hollywood is really just a small town: Seacrest bought the property from two-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker and actor Kevin Costner in 2006 for $11.5 million.

Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency, Beverly Hills, is the listing agent on the Beverly Hills compound and Seacrest's villa.

Teeing up again in Pacific Palisades

Pro golfer Denis Watson and his wife, attorney Susan Loggans, have taken 24% off the price they were asking a year ago for their Pacific Palisades compound and relisted it for $17.95 million.

The renovated Mediterranean-style estate, built in 1982, includes nine bedrooms, 91/2 bathrooms and 10,000 square feet of living space. The 2.5-acre equestrian property features a guesthouse, a tennis court, a swimming pool, corrals and a stream.

Watson, 56, had three PGA tour wins before joining the Champions Tour when he turned 50. He was voted Rookie of the Year in 2007 and has four tour wins.

Watson and Loggans bought the property in 2004 from power couple Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver for $7.95 million, according to public records.

Shauna Walters and Sally Forster Jones of Coldwell Banker's Beverly Hills South office are the listing agents.

Style matters in the Hollywood Hills

Film producer and clothing entrepreneur Brad Zions has sold his house in the Hollywood Hills West area for $7.95 million. Among notables in the home's ownership history is actor Richard Gere.

The gated contemporary features views of the Los Angeles Basin, a two-story entry, a bar, three en suite bedrooms, three additional bathrooms and a home theater. Outside the 4,534-square-foot home is a swimming pool, spa, deck, outdoor living room and kitchen.

Zions founded the L.A.-based production company Breakout Pictures. He also co-founded Young, Fabulous & Broke, a women's contemporary clothing line.

The property previously sold in 2000 for $2.35 million.

Michael Eisenberg of Keller Williams in Beverly Hills was the listing agent. Jeffrey White of Re/Max Execs in West Los Angeles represented the buyer.

A divestiture for Countrywide's ex-CEO

Former Countrywide Financial Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Angelo R. Mozilo and his wife, Phyllis, have parted with their house in Thousand Oaks for $2.9 million.

Countrywide helped fuel the boom in risky subprime loans that led to the foreclosure crisis. Federal prosecutors shelved a criminal probe of Mozilo last year after determining that his actions in the mortgage meltdown — which led to his $67.5-million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission — did not amount to criminal wrongdoing.

The Georgian Colonial-style two-story sits on a half-acre site above the second fairway at the Sherwood Country Club. The 6,238-square-foot home features a cherry-finished library-office, five bedrooms, six bathrooms and an oversized four-car garage. The custom home was built in 1999.

The master suite includes a sitting area, a balcony, two walk-in closets with built-in cabinets, dual sinks, a mirrored dressing area, a spa tub, a steam shower, a bidet and marble floors. An infinity pool, spa, lawn and a built-in barbecue complete the grounds.

Public records show the Mozilos bought the Ventura County property in 2000 but do not disclose the purchase price. They hold other Southern California properties in trust in Riverside and Santa Barbara counties, public records show.

Cathie Post of Prudential California Realty was the listing agent.

Something to 'Gossip' about in WeHo

After leasing her West Hollywood house out last year, "Gossip Girl" actress Kelly Rutherford has returned it to the market at $1.099 million.

The Spanish bungalow, built in 1926, features a living room with fireplace that opens to a dining room with a skylight, an updated kitchen, two bedrooms and 13/4 bathrooms. The deck contains a bar and a built-in barbecue.

Rutherford, 43, plays husband-hopping Lily van der Woodsen on "Gossip Girl" (2007-present). She was also in the series "E-Ring" (2005-06) and "Melrose Place" (1996-99).

The house had been leased at $4,700 a month. Public records show Rutherford bought the property in 2005 for $1.25 million.

Michelle Ficarra of Rodeo Realty, Beverly Hills, is the listing agent.

lauren.beale@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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