Your Mama heard this scuttlebutt from a Tinseltown insider and real estate obsessed pal back on December 10—and we have the emails to prove it—but weren't able to come up with the necessary evidence to prove, as was revealed by celebrity gossip juggernaut TMZ today, that Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, Portia de Rossi DeGeneres paid $39,888,000 for the stunning and downright soo-blime Brody House in L.A.'s hoity-toity Holmby Hills 'hood.
Philanthropists and art collectors Sidney and Frances Brody commissioned the house in 1949 from venerable architect A. Quincy Jones. They hired top-flight interior designer Billy Haines to do up the exquisite interiors, engaged the services of accomplished landscape architect Garrett Eckbo to do up the grounds of the 2.3 acre spread, and, in 1952, commissioned a de-voon ceramic mural from Henri Matisse for the home's courtyard. (It's now installed at the L.A. County Museum of Art.)
While it certainly isn't the largest or the most expensive house in L.A. Brody House is widely considered by many architecture aficionado to be one of the best houses in Los Angeles. The multi-winged mansion measures in at a celebrity-sized 13,511 square feet with six bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms. The property includes a pool and pool house, gym, spa, and tennis court.
The has was last sold in late 2010 for $14,888,000 to an as-yet publicly unidentified buyer frequently (if perhaps not quite accurately) described to Your Mama as—and we paraphrase—"an Asian billionaire lady" who hired designer Stephen Stone and spent a pretty petty giving the place a much needed refresh and light reconfiguration—i.e. a necessary kitchen enlargement—that largely and thankfully maintained the residence's original architectural integrity.
Yolanda Yakketyyak snitched to Your Mama that the unidentified seller of Brody House happens to be the same investor from Thousand Oaks (CA) that sold the Dr. Phil McGraws their big ol' mansion up in Beverly Hills back in mid-2010 for $29,816,500.
At the same time they were buying Brody House the couple—inveterate high-end house flippers—also quietly sold their house in Beverly Hills, another iconic (and pedigreed) mid-century modern originally designed by Hal Leavitt. She paid $17.4 million for the house in May 2012 and sold it, according to reports, for $21million. Peter Property seller told us the buyer is film producer Roger Birnbaum.They still own, as far as we know, a stunning John Saladino-designed villa in Montecito (CA) they purchased in May (2013) for $26.5 million.
Note: Post renovation photos of Brody House have not been released to the public—or at least to this property gossip. However, in October (2013) the L.A. Conservancy held their annual benefit on the property and those wily kids at Curbed managed to snap a magnificent handful of photos of the exterior and grounds. Go here to see them all. Photos were not allowed inside but somehow this gal got a few and posted them on Vine.
photo: Elizabeth Daniel for Curbed