There are few names more synonymous with Hollywood’s Golden Era than the late, great Elizabeth Taylor. A child actor turned superstar of the silver screen, Taylor’s glamorous style and flair for the dramatic came to define the national perception of the entertainment industry and “Tinseltown.” Now, for the first time in over 20 years, luxury home buyers have the opportunity to own the home she shared with her second husband, Michael Wilding.
When Taylor and Wilding purchased the home (purportedly after trespassing to sneak a peek, jumping the gate) the property was brand new. Built in 1953, this mid-century retreat in Beverly Hills stands on two separate lots that total over two acres. This advantageous location offers sweeping views of the dramatic Los Angeles skyline and the serene Pacific Ocean. The gleaming towers of Century City and Wilshire Boulevard peak out from the shrubs lining its perimeter.
Wilding and Taylor lived in this home in the canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains during the 1950s. The pair raised their two children at the property before they split up in 1957 and put the home on the market. It’s at this estate that Taylor perfected the art of arriving “fashionably late,” entering her own parties as much as an hour late, dramatically emerging from a moving wall between the bedroom and living room. However, this private retreat at 1375 Beverly Estate Dr. has much more to fall in love with beyond its glamorous celebrity connection.
The gated estate is located within in the world-famous 90210 zip code. It’s part of the Beverly Hills Post Office Section of Los Angeles, which is one of the most exclusive residential communities in the city. The property’s location along a narrow canyon road that snakes up the east face of Benedict Canyon gives it great privacy and tranquil peace and quiet.
A well-manicured carpark entrance located behind a secured gated driveway greets guests and residents. The level of security and seclusion offered by this gated Beverly Hills estate doesn’t come at the cost of convenience – it’s just a short drive from this hilltop home to major cultural destinations such as Downtown Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and Century City.
At the center of the Ranch-style main residence is a lush central courtyard featuring a serene fountain shaded by a thick grove of palm trees. This open space at the center of the property gives residents and guests ample opportunity to take advantage of Southern California’s perfect year-round weather. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide views of the back lawn and pool areas while window walls and sliding doors offer access to the estate’s patio and gardens, as well as its breathtaking views of the city, canyons, and Pacific Ocean.
The traditional original design of the Beverly Estate Dr. residence has been given an appealing update by acclaimed architect Budd Holden. Holden is a well-regarded architect who designed glamorous Los Angeles homes for stars like Cher and Barbra Streisand in the 1980s and 1990s. He gave the home an elegant facelift with design touches such as floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors and wood beam accents in the living room and dining room.
At nearly 8,000 feet with six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, this Beverly Hills estate offers plenty of room for its residents and guests. The home also has an art room, library, and sauna, adding to its many comforts. In addition to the large main residence, the property features a detached three-car garage on the northwest side of the property.
Spectacular views, plenty of open outdoor space, floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors, and inviting patio areas make this Beverly Hills home ideal for indoor and outdoor entertaining. A formal dining room features a coffered ceiling and the kitchen is outfitted with high-end modern appliances. A spacious entertainer’s island is built with wood-paneled storage cabinets and a full prep area, ideal for preparing meals for large gatherings. Side doors lead guests from the kitchen to a side patio that faces west towards Benedict Canyon.
The geometric shape of the master suite includes an octagonal cut out in the ceiling, which emphasizes the room’s unique design aesthetic. The living room has an open floor plan and window walls opening to the outdoor areas — along with its rustic exposed beams and fireplace, this room makes for an ideal indoor gathering space. A large home office features built-in storage and a white painted brick fireplace.
Whether you’re drawn in by the magnetic appeal of this home’s glamorous Hollywood history or simply appreciate its impeccable design, location, and privacy, this is a must-see luxury home. The Ranch-style design and emphasis on outdoor living make it an archetypal Southern California hillside home and it’s no surprise the home was off the market for 21 years.