Beverly House on North Beverly. Pink Mediterranean mansion famous for William Randolph Hearst and “The Godfather”
Beverly House, on North Beverly Drive, was not the first residence that famous couple William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies shared. It wasn’t even the largest and most extravagant residence they shared—that honor goes to Hearst Castle in San Simeon. However, it is a beautiful estate in its own right, and the home in which the couple spent Hearst’s last years, and where Davies lived until her later death.
William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies: their story was one of the most famous love stories of the Golden Age of Hollywood. He was a newspaper publishing magnate and she a beautiful young starlet who became an unlikely but loving couple. They met in 1917 when she was twenty and he was fifty-four; they stayed together for thirty four years, until his death in 1951.
His wife Mildred agreed to separate from Hearst and live in New York while he lived in California with Davies as his mistress, where they bought a series of properties. They started with a mansion at 1700 Lexington Road in Beverly Hills. Hearst also bought Marion a hundred-room beach house in Santa Monica. And their most famous residence is the one that bears his name today: Hearst Castle. Located on 127 acres with the house itself on the highest hilltop in San Simeon, the castle became the site of expensive parties for the Hollywood elite.
However, at the age of eighty-four, Hearst developed health issues that made it necessary for him the move closer to Los Angeles. Of course, the man who was used to living in a castle on a hill wanted absolute privacy. So Marion Davies bought him the property at North Beverly Drive. It sat on only eight acres but it was on a hilltop above any neighbors, with panoramic views of Coldwater Canyon Park. While it cost the original owner, Milton Getz, $1 million to build the estate, Marion bought Beverly House in 1946 for the bargain price of $120,000.
Getz had built a Mediterranean mansion finished in pink stucco. Notable features of the gorgeous H-shaped home included a two-story library of rare books, a formal dining room, a ballroom, an airy tiled hallway that runs the length of the house, and a billiard room which holds a stone mantel place Davies had shipped in from San Simeon. But the true gem of the property is the series of three pools cascading down the slope behind the house, framed by Venetian arches, beneath a huge outdoor terrace.
Beverly House became a honeymoon spot for John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Later, the mansion was used as the set for various movies, including “The Godfather” – the famous scene with the horse’s head was filmed here.
Marion continued to live at the property until her death in 1961. After her death, the estate was ultimately sold to new owners. But Marion’s portrait continues to hang in the billiard room, a reminder of the powerful and glamorous couple that once lived there.
Written by the David Kramer Group | Based on an article in the Book, The Legendary Estates of Beverly Hills, By Jeff Hyland