Once Owned by The Godfather’ Then Beyoncé: Famed L.A. Estate Relists

Once asking as much as $195 million, a Beverly Hills estate once owned by William Randolph Hearst is returning to market for the reduced price of $89.75 million following a protracted bankruptcy saga.

A bankruptcy court recently appointed an administrator to sell the property after being petitioned to do so by Fortress Investment Group, which has said it is owed more than $52.3 million in unpaid loans and interest, according to public records. A spokesman for Fortress declined to comment.

William Randolph Hearst’s Historic Los Angeles Estate
Packed with elaborate details, the home has been in ‘The Godfather’ and Beyoncé’s ‘Black is King’

The property’s longtime owner, attorney Leonard Ross, placed the limited-liability company that owns the property into chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2019 in a bid to avoid a foreclosure auction and pause litigation over loan defaults, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Mr. Ross had been trying to sell the property on and off since 2007 and tried a number of different price tags on the estate, the highest being $195 million in 2016. He also briefly tried using a crowdfunding platform to refinance the house.

On roughly 3½ acres, the estate, which dates to 1927, is one of the best known in Los Angeles. After Mr. Hearst’s death in 1951, it was owned by actress Marion Davies. President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis vacationed at the home as part of their honeymoon.

The property was featured in the movie “The Godfather,” including the scene where an enemy of Vito Corleone finds a severed head of a horse in his bed. The property was also recently used as a location for Beyoncé’s visual album “Black Is King.”

The main house is about 29,000 square feet and has eight bedrooms, but there are a total of 28 throughout the property, including the guesthouse and the security house, the listing agents said.

Designed by the architect Gordon Kaufmann, the home is built in an H-shape and features elaborate balconies, archways and colonnades. It has a two-story library with hand-carved wood paneling and a billiards room with a hand-carved stone fireplace brought in from Hearst Castle in San Simeon. A more recent addition is an Art Deco nightclub, which includes elements from the old private Los Angeles supper club Touch, which was owned by the late Hugh Hefner.

“People always talk about wasted space like it’s a bad thing, but wasted space is what makes a house great. This house has all these great, generous hallway spaces that you just never see,” said Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland, who is listing the property with Anthony Marguleas of Amalfi Estates and Zizi Pak of Rodeo Realty.

Mr. Marguleas said, this time, the property is priced to sell. “The seller is serious about selling, they’re realistic about selling, so it’s priced very favorably,” he said.