English performer Russell Brand has opted to ring in the new decade by springing for a celeb-style new house in the proverbial heart of Hollywood. The stand-up comic and occasional blockbuster actor (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Get Him to the Greek”) has paid just over $3 million for a very private property in Outpost Estates, a particular neighborhood pocket of L.A.’s Hollywood Hills that’s home to scores of high-profile people.
Originally built in 1956, the sprawling Spanish-style hacienda was given a major renovation in the mid-1990s by the prior owners, two non-famous gentlemen. Thus, the interiors display some distinctly ’90s design hallmarks — beige paint everywhere, wall-to-wall carpeting in the master suite, beige-colored granite countertops in the kitchen — and there are also some offbeat decor choices, including one bathroom done up floor-to-ceiling in luridly aquamarine tile.
Still, the property has plenty of charm: vaulted ceilings and large windows allow plenty of natural light to filter through the house, and the skylit foyer has some authentic appeal with terra-cotta tile floor. Multiple sets of French doors allow easy access to various parts of the gardens, and the vast living room contains a fireplace. There’s also a detached music studio that could easily be converted into an office, accessory storage space or perhaps a guest bedroom.
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The half-acre estate is ringed by mature sycamore and liquid amber trees, and the house is admirably private, completely invisible from the street, secreted up a long driveway that’s shared with one other home, and behind its own private electronic gate. There’s off-street parking for at least six automobiles, camera security, and an outdoor shower set in the lush garden.
Brand, now in his mid-40s and married to his longtime partner Laura Gallacher, has been candid about his long-running battle with addiction. He’s also recently adopted a lower-profile brand of celebrity, eschewing his former bad boy image in favor of a more mature, if still outspoken, public presence.
Of course, this is not Brand’s first turn on the L.A. real estate rodeo. During his fleeting marriage to Katy Perry, the couple paid $6.5 million for a Mediterranean-style compound elsewhere in the Hollywood Hills. The pair never even moved into that house before it was sold, at a staggering million-dollar loss, to its current owner: Las Vegas-based businessman Lorenzo Doumani. Brand also once owned the former castle-like Hollywood Hills home of Laurence Olivier, which he sold some years ago to another Brit.
It’s no secret that Outpost Estates has long been a favored residential enclave for celebrities. Besides Brand, current residents include Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy, Winona Ryder, Shaun White, Danai Gurira and Charlize Theron.