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“The scene: An Italianate villa in a once-fashionable section of Los Angeles. Its hallsâonce crowded with the bright, the beautiful, the celebrated. A window barred against the world…”
That’s how this iconic home in Hancock Park was described in the trailer for “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” starring the film legends Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.
The classic L.A. residence was built in 1928 and played a crucial role in the 1962 film. It was where the aging Hudson sisters lived, loved, and fought.
It’s been spruced up considerably since its cinematic turn and is currently on the market for the first time in 50 years. The asking price for this slice of silver screen history is $3,795,000.
The home offers five bedrooms and five bathrooms on 4,778 square feet of living space.
In addition, the quarter-acre lot features a saltwater pool and a detached two-story guesthouse with a cabana, as well as a full bathroom and sauna downstairs. Upstairs is a studio apartment with a kitchen, bathroom, and fireplace.
Most importantly, there are no traces of the dark, dreary interiors that gave the film its creepy vibe.
The classic black wrought-iron staircase railings do still exist, but they’ve been painted a cheery white. Most of the walls are also white and bear no evidence of the sad, patterned wallpaper seen in the movie.
A large kitchen is also stark white and features gray-toned granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances, and a bay window that looks out onto a colorful bougainvillea.
Above that bougainvillea might be the tell-tale window through which the young neighbor caught glimpses of an imprisoned Joan Crawford.
But even with all the changes to the interior, the front view remains the same.
And here’s a reason for that. The home sits in a historical zone, where changes to the facades of homes aren’t permitted.
However, fresh paint and classic landscaping have worked wonders. The arched entryway, red tile roof, and symmetrical windows are as elegant as ever.
The classic psychological thriller tells the story of two sisters, both former child actresses, one of whom is planning a comeback and has evil designs on the other.
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, also in the twilight of their careers, starred along with Victor Buono.
Davis created her own makeup for her role as Baby Jane Hudson and was nominated for an Academy Award. The film received a total of five Oscar noms, and won one for Best Costume DesignâBlack-and-White. A tale based on the story behind the film’s conception was told in the 2017 series “Feud: Bette and Joan.”
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