LOCATION: Malibu, CA
SIZE: 1,980 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: As far as this property gossip is concerned there's no better time to go to the beach than early October, after the summer crowds have traded their bathing suits for scarves and before the moody and damp coastal winter really sets in. Last night, in a dreamy seaside state of mind, Your Mama stayed up late with a (third) gin & tonic and took a slow wander through a few newly listed properties in the bare-footed and boho but hideously expensive ocean-side community of Malibu (CA). It wasn't long before we came across a fetching multi-acre mini-compound recently put on the open market for $6,850,000 and owned, as per property records, by singer/songwriters Matthew Wilder and Tamara Dunn.*
In the late 1970s and early '80s Mister Wilder (née Weiner) sung back up for legendary ladies like Rickie Lee Jones and Bette Midler and in 1983 he rocketed to one-hit-wonder fame with the Reggae-inspired synth-pop hit Break My Stride, a catchy and upbeat ditty that remains in rotation on many retro-themed radio stations. (Here he is, children, back in the day on Solid Gold, kinky-haired, mustachioed, and all decked out in a layered, Flashdance-y sweatshirt situation and skin-tight leather pants.)
His career as a recording artist quickly ebbed but Mister Wilder, who (still) sports creative facial hair configurations and corkscrew curled locks, eventually secured a solid and (presumably) lucrative foothold in the music industry as a song writer and music producer for a variety of movies and television programs including Dawson's Creek, and Pretty Woman as well as a slew of Disney productions like The Lizzie Maguire Movie. In 1995 he produced No Doubt's diamond-, gold- and platinum-certified third album, Tragic Kingdom, and over the years wrote and/or produced tracks and records for a slew of young pop stars who include Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Selena Gomez, and Miley Cyrus...in her pre-twerking Hannah Montana days. In the late 1990s Mister Wilder wrote and produced the score to the Disney animated feature Mulan, an effort that earned him Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Award nominations.
As far as our brief and unscientific research can tell, Tamara Dunn is most often identified on the internets as a songwriter. We did find evidence she co-penned—with Mister Wilder—the 2009 Billy Ray Cyrus song Back to Tennesee but otherwise Your Mama dug up up little specific professional information.
Anyways, Mister Wilder and Miz Dunn own two separate but contiguous parcels that were purchased from the same seller in two separate transactions in October 2004. The larger, 7.39-acre property—the one that's for sale for $6,850,000—cost them $2,375,000. The smaller, 4.57 acre spread next door was purchased for $1.2 million and remains unimproved open space. Online marketing materials show it's available for separate purchase at $1,250,000.
A long gated driveway passes over a rugged, river rock-lined stream bed and cuts sinuously through a manicured swathe of rolling lawn before it makes a sweeping rise to a motor court at the front of the partly stone-faced board and batten-sided ranch-style residence that listing information shows has three bedrooms and three bathrooms in 1,980 square feet. For the record, we think the house seems much larger than two thousand square feet but 1,980 is what the listing says and what do we know anyways, right? Digital marketing materials show that in addition to the fully updated and upgraded 1950's era ranch house, the compound-like property has a concrete pool-side structure, a professional recording studio, and, situated for optimal privacy near the head of the driveway, a self-contained guest house.
The front of the house wraps around three sides of an otherwise walled and gated red brick entry courtyard where a giant carved stone bust of Buddha** that sits in a shallow water-filled trough is but a hint of many, many, many statues and figurines of Buddhist and Hindu deities, not to mention a mountain of New Age-y crystals and geodes, to be found throughout the house and grounds. Clearly Mister Wilder and Miz Dunn feel the need to attract a lot of spiritual energy to their residential surroundings. Be that as it may...
Listing photographs indicate there are two den-type rooms, one a loungey, window-lined yet still dark and brooding room just off the living/dining room and the other a lighter-brighter one off the entrance gallery with polished concrete floors, a vaulted ceiling, a third white brick fireplace (this one surmounted by one of the many flat-screen televisions to be be found throughout), and an attached bathroom.
Richard Appel, sick rich, philanthropic and terminally ill nine-time Emmy-winning comedy writer/producer Sam Simon,*** and Emmy-winning television super-producer Marcy Carsey who also owns a much more fabulous ocean-front spread nearby on the bluffs above Escondido Beach. At the tail end of the road, tucked into a rugged but verdant canyon is the by-appointment-only Ramirez Canyon Park, the 22.5-acre former compound of long-time Malibu resident Barbra Streisand who donated the property in 1993 to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.****
*To be honest, we're not really sure if Miz Dunn and Mister Wilder are married and/or if they have any children, together and/or with other people, and, to be even more honest, we're not really sure those details are particularly important in today's celebrity (-related) real estate tale.
**Identification of religious iconography really isn't a strong suit for Your Mama so we really can't say for sure if the giant carved stone bust in the courtyard is Buddha or—as it very well may be—some other eastern deity.
***Sam Simon, a regular on Howard Stern's radio program, was one of the original creators of the ground-breaking, award-winning, and money-minting animated series The Simpsons. He left in 1993 over creative differences with co-creators Matt Groening and James Brooks but, lucky for him, retains an executive producer title and an income that he himself told the Stanford alumni magazine in 2009 amounts to "tens of millions" of dollar per year.
****(In 2011 Governor Jerry Brown suggested the state sell the property to help close a gaping budget gap but, as far as we know, no real action has been taken to unload the property.)
listing photos: Coldwell Banker