It’s one of California’s most historic and opulent mansions. Once a honeymoon love nest for Jack and Jackie Kennedy, the famous Hearst estate has featured in film classics like The Godfather and The Bodyguard.
The Hearst Estate mansion has seen all sorts of Hollywood history, from being the backdrop of The Godfather, a private getaway for the Kennedy’s, to the home of the scandalous journalist who inspired Citizen Kane, according to TopTenRealEstateDeals.com.
Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst was the inspiration for the Charles Foster Kane character in Citizen Kane, and he began a love affair with 19-year-old actress Marion Davies. They moved into the Hearst Castle in San Simeon in 1917. He was 53 and married at the time.
Previously known as The Beverly House, the mansion has been a frequent filming site used as a backdrop for the movies The Godfather and The Bodyguard and most recently, Beyoncé’s music film, Black is King.
The home was also where Jack and Jackie Kennedy stayed during the Southern California segment of their 1953 honeymoon.
Mrs Kennedy was so excited to be staying in such a stunning estate, she wrote a four-page letter about her stay, which is framed along with photographs that are on display at the home.
The mansion was later used by Senator Kennedy as the West Coast headquarters for his 1960 presidential campaign.
Behind iron gates on 3.5 acres and down a 244-metre driveway past a five-room gatehouse, the impressive 2800sq m mansion first comes in to view.
On entering, the living room has 6.5m arched ceilings that are hand painted.
The room also serves as a screening room with wooden shutters that can be closed to block out light. The family room is also used as a second screening room.
There is a magnificent two-storey, hand-carved, wood-paneled library where the pattern in the carpet replicates the same ceiling pattern.
The billiard room’s fireplace surround is from Hearst Castle and is one of eight in the house. The pool table is from 1868 and is one of only three like it still in existence.
An Art Deco nightclub is on the lower level, modelled after Hugh Hefner’s former Beverly Hills club, Touch, with the club’s original etched glass and doors.
Outside the Hearst Estate, the Olympic-sized pool is fed by two reflecting pools that spill into the main pool surrounded by terraces, manicured lawns, columned pergolas and splashing fountains – an area that can accommodate up to a thousand guests.
Tucked into the landscaping is a tennis court with its own pavilion. Ancillary improvements include two staff/guest apartments, a pool house and a two-story, five-bedroom gatehouse.
Having been on and off the market during the 40 years it has been owned by financier-and-attorney Leonard M Ross, who was forced into bankruptcy in 2010, the Hearst Estate was listed in August 2020 at US$125 million.
In April 2021, the price was dropped to US$89.75 million and in June down to US$69.95 million. After reaching the June price, the estate received multiple offers which were reviewed by the bankruptcy court.
A price of US$47 million was accepted by the court, but during the final proceedings will be open to a brief auction in the attempt to garner a higher price before the gavel falls.
Regardless of what happens before the gavel hits its mark, Mr Ross will be saying goodbye to his exquisite mansion, and it will move forward to welcome a new set of owners and guests. Reminiscent of The Godfather, Mr Ross is awaiting an offer he can’t refuse.