Landmark Samuel-Novarro Home by Lloyd Wright Up For Grabs in The Oaks

True story. He was embezzling money and got caught. As repayment, he hands over the keys to this landmark home designed by a famed architect.

Samuel was the personal assistant, business manager, and trusted confidant to silent screen and box office superstar Ramon Novarro. He hired Wright, son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, to design this home in the Los Feliz Oaks.

Reports say, “In 1930, Novarro discovered Samuel had been embezzling from him. Samuel was using the money to play the stock market (not a great move in the fall of 1929) and using his client’s money to pay the mortgage on his Los Feliz home. Novarro wasn’t the type of guy who needed the press digging around in his private affairs, so he quietly opted not to press charges. However, he did take over ownership of the Wright house.”

The living room of the Samuel Novarro Residence Lloyd Wright Los Feliz

Some say this may be the most beautifully sited home in Los Angeles. Built on a 13,000-plus hillside lot, the exterior is Mayan-inspired, sporting smooth stucco with eye-catching oxidized copper accents.

The dining room and balcony sitting area

The home was initially built as a one-bedroom with a living room, dining room, kitchen, and lounge leading you to the swimming pool. When Novarro retrieved ownership, he hired Wright to expand the home by adding a  pergola, a music room, and a bedroom suite.

The bedroom, wide wooden cabinet, and outside view

Throughout the years, the home continued to be a celebrity magnet. In the 1940s, composer Leonard Bernstein, director Jerome Robbins, and the comedy duo Betty Comden and Adolph Green rented it.

Swimming pool, sitting place with a great outside view

In the 90s, actress Diane Keaton rehabbed the space with the help of architect Josh Schweitzer. Keaton later sold it to actress Christina Ricci, who lived in the home for a year. This home last sold in 2014 for $3,800,000. It will be interesting to see if it keeps its “Celebrity Owned” status this time.

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