Look hard enough and you’ll find a lot of Los Angeles homes for sale come with their own well-chronicled histories, thanks to generations of entertainment-world inhabitants.

On that note …. kudos to the Hollywood-centric blog “Paradise Leased” for finding the perfect book excerpt to describe a Beverly Hills home once owned by Patty Duke when she was married to Harry Falk.

It was a colonial mansion off Benedict Canyon in Beverly Hills, jutting out on its own precipice at the top of the mountain with a twelve-car parking lot, a four car garage and a 360-degree view of Los Angeles. Its nine rooms were big, bright and airy, with bay windows and fireplaces everywhere. Everyone who sees this house loves it; Sharon Tate later rented it for a while when she first got pregnant, and she and Roman Polanski wanted to buy it. For Harry and me, two young people supposedly starting out in life, there was great, great excitement about living there.” – Patty Duke in “Call Me Anna”

According to LA Curbed, the house Patty Duke was describing was the one she owned from 1966 until 1970 at 1600 Summitridge Dr. in the Beverly Glen neighborhood of the world-famous 90210 ZIP code.

The 5-bedroom, 6-bathroom house with 360-degree views of Los Angeles has been on the market for the better part of 15 months, with a current list price of $5.395 million, down from the original list price of $6.5 million in March 2011.

The home was built in 1942 and has been maintained in pristine, move-in condition. It has found a new selling point as real estate experts in the real estate market have started to connect its history to Duke, as well as Sharon Tate and Polanski, who instead of being able to buy the Duke home instead moved across the street to the infamous house on Cielo Dr. (now torn down and replaced) where Tate was murdered by Charles Manson.

Long before Miley Cyrus or Selena Gomez or Hillary Duff or even Marlo Thomas, Duke was the talented young star whose television series helped interpret and reflect modern American life and culture circa 1960.

But when Duke was trying to leave behind “The Patty Duke Show” and the persona(s) she created — she played herself and her cousin, a la Haley Mills in “The Parent Trap” — she went looking for new roles. That’s how she would end up fighting for a part in the perfectly dreadful, but box-office success “Valley of  the Dolls.”



About the Author

Laura Vecsey is a former sports columnist, news reporter and politics writer and has worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Baltimore Sun, Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union and Harrisburg Patriot-News. She was also a regional editor with She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College.

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