On October 20, 2011, the fine folks at L.A. Times Hot Property reported on the newly listed home of Hollywood legend Marlon Brando in Sherman Oaks for an asking price of $1,625,000. The property is situated on 0.69 acres with 5 Beds/3 Baths on 3,027 sqft which was built in 1939. The property is located in the exclusive Chandler Estates area which is conveniently located next to the Orange Bus Line if you happen to be car-less. According to the property listing, the home includes a huge detached guest house, family gazebo, sauna, N-S tennis court, beautiful pool and spa, and a hand crafted diving house built by Marlon Brando himself for his children. Not sure to the validity of the hand crafted diving house but just reporting what the listing states.
Based on the property records on Redfin, the last sale transaction was on June 1992 for $810,000 by Brando. A review of the property records show that the current owner is Maria Christina Ruiz who is Brando's former housekeeper and a mom of three of his many kids. I have lost track of all his kids but I think its somewhere around 14 including adopted children. So back to real estate, on Feb 17, 2004, this property transferred ownership from Brando to Ruiz which was a few months before Brando passed away on July 1, 2004. So why the change of ownership? Going back to 2002, Ruiz sued Brando for $160 million in a "palimony" suit claiming he fathered her three children during a 14 year romantic relationship including breach of contract, demanding damages and living expenses. The lawsuit was settled in April 2003. Was this the reason for the change in ownership by the Brando estate?
After reviewing the pictures and the location above, I highly doubt that Brando "lived" in this home just based on his stature and the lawsuit mentioned above. Brando was a living legend with a career spanning some 50 years with numerous awards and accomplishments including his work in the memorable film, Godfather, which won an academy award for Best Actor which he declined to accept due to his objections of Hollywood's portrayal of American Indians.
Brando has owned numerous homes in the L.A. area based on The Movielanddirectory.com site. His last home was on 12900 Mulholland Drive which is not too far from Jack Nicholson's longtime home. This location is where he passed away in July 2004. This home is also the location where, Dag Drollet, the lover of Brando's daughter Cheyenne, died of a gunshot wound after a confrontation with Cheyenne's half-brother Christian. Christian eventually pleaded guilty and was sentenced to ten years in prison. Cheyenne eventually committed suicide in 1995 (after her baby boy was born) from the lingering effects of Dag's death and a serious car accident. Christian eventually died of pneumonia at the age of 49. Additionally, according to an article by the UK's Daily Mail, Is the World's Sexiest Man Dying by Glenys Roberts on April 16, 2003:
He (Brando) gave his housekeeper Maria the house he had bought for Cheyenne and her baby - but it hasnt stopped her suing him. Though he said he wanted to raise their children properly, he could not bring himself to live with them.
I wanted to point out that Brando probably never lived in the Sherman Oaks home and continued to maintain his residence on Mulholland contrary to what the listing states based on the reasons stated above. Sherman Oaks is definitely a nice area but Mulholland is more befitting of Hollywood royalty even when they become reclusive and fading in the glory.
After Brando's death in 2004, nearby resident Jack Nicholson purchased Brando's home in 2005 for $5,000,000. The property was said to be in a decrepit state that Nicholson razed it down to build a new home. I wonder if it was worth the purchase price of $5,000,000 near the peak of the market? Not that it really matters for Nicholson anyways, its just another parcel to add to his estate holdings.
One last thing about this property, it was originally listed for sale by Ruiz on December 2008 for $3,500,000 back when the world was going to end. The property continued to be listed for the same asking price into the next year until it was finally removed. This takes us to today where the property is listed for roughly 50% of the original asking price. Furthermore, comparable properties are being listed at the low $800's to $1.2 million, so we wish Ruiz luck in trying to offload this supposed Brando home for $1.6 million which was originally listed at $3.5 million. Do you think its worth the going asking rate?