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Famed L.A. Estate of Edie Goetz Sells to Billionaire Investor

A second parcel that made up the 4.5-acre Holmby Hills property is still on the market for $37 million

The hub of Hollywood history sold for $40.8 million.

Billionaire investor and philanthropist Nicolas Berggruen has snapped up the famed Los Angeles estate of Edie Goetz, the late Hollywood socialite who made her vast mansion a gathering place for Golden Age stars from Frank Sinatra to Elizabeth Taylor.

Once coined the “homeless billionaire” for choosing to live in luxury hotels over a permanent residence, Mr. Berggruen eventually settled in Los Angeles and now has bought a hub of Hollywood history for $40.8 million, according to property records, which show a company tied to his New York City office bought the storied mansion.

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Mr. Berggruen, 55, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Seller Gary Wilson, former chairman of Northwest Airlines and chief financial officer of Walt Disney Company, was marketing the large, 4.5-acre estate as two separate parcels: the 11-bedroom main mansion and two acres for $45 million, and a slightly larger parcel with landscaped grounds and a two-bedroom guest house for $37 million.

Mansion Global exclusively reported in February that splitting the estate into two parcels had quickly attracted a buyer, though it’s not clear if that buyer was Mr. Berggruen. The Los Angeles Times first reported the sale.

From property records, it appears that he has purchased only the main house—a Georgian revival mansion built in 1938 and designed by starchitect Gordon B. Kaufmann, whose work includes the historic Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills and The Los Angeles Times building.

In light of the estate’s storied past, listing agent Jeff Hyland, president of Hilton & Hyland, had been hoping to keep the two parcels together, he told Mansion Global in February.

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Goetz was the eldest daughter of Louis B. Mayer, the founder of MGM, and the wife of Bill Goetz, co-founder of 20th Century Fox. She passed away in 1987, at the age of 82.

In the 1950s and ’60s, the Goetzes were the reigning socialites of Holmby Hills, and the mansion their palace.

“The highest accolade for someone coming into this town was to be invited to the Goetzes,” Oscar-winning director Billy Wilder once said. “They had the best food, the best people and the best things on the walls.”

Goetz’s famous parties also attracted the praise of actor Cary Grant, and on a number of occasions, she made her estate a refuge for troubled A-listers. Elizabeth Taylor fled to the house after her first breakup with Richard Burton, according to the listing with Hilton & Hyland.

Her extensive modern art collection also helped Goetz and her home become the epicenter of social life. After her death, Christie’s auctioned off dozens of works from the Goetz collection, including “Motherhood” by Pablo Picasso, which sold for $24 million—reportedly the highest price ever paid for a work by that artist at the time, in 1988.

The second piece of the Goetz estate is still listed on the market for $37 million. It spans 2.2 acres, planted with an arboretum-like variety of tree species, including Mediterranean dwarf palms, Arizona cypresses and Japanese maples, according to the listing. There’s also a two-bedroom guesthouse and a two-story pool house on the property.

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