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Seeing Stars: Where the Stars Live

along Pacific Coast Highway, north of Santa Monica.
(310) 706-1310 or (310) 456-9025

If there is one spot in Southern California that might surpass Beverly Hills in the number of movie stars' homes, it is Malibu.

Robert Redford, Mel Gibson, BarbraStreisand, Richard Gere, Sally Fieldand Whoopi Goldberg (to name just a few) all own homes along the exclusive Malibu shore.


This star-studded coastline also has an interesting history.

From the late 1800's to 1938, Malibu was the exclusive property of a single wealthy family, that of Frederick & May Rindge, Massachusetts millionaires who had founded Union Oil and Southern California Edison. They owned the entire 27-mile-long Malibu coastline, and they kept the rest of the world at bay with chained gates and with armed guards patrolling on horseback through the hills.

The Malibu Colony became a favorite of movie stars when the then-remote area was finally opened up to the public for the first time in 1929. The widowed May Rindge encountered money problems, and was forced to invite a few wealthy celebrities in to build vacation homes on her private Malibu beach. She expected this to be a temporary arrangement, of course - the stars were allowed to rent the land, but not to own it.

The small cloister of Hollywood celebrities took root in the early 1930's with stars such as Barbara Stanwyck, Clara Bow, Ronald Coleman and Gloria Swanson putting up "shacks" at their new "colony" at the shore.

In the late 1930's, Mrs. Rindge finally decided to allow Malibu residents to buy their properties, and the Malibu Colony grew at an even faster rate.

Like Mrs. Rindge, Hollywood celebrities prize their privacy, and the Colony offered not only protection from the prying stares of the curious public, but also a beautiful ocean view and a sandy beach as a front yard. With the back of their homes forming an invincible wall along Pacific Coast Highway, and the front of their homes mere yards from the vast Pacific Ocean, the Malibu Colony is about as private as you can get. There's a guarded gate at the entrance to keep out sightseers, and there's even a police station at the Colony's west end.

A host of stars now make Malibu their home. "Colonyites" (as they call themselves) have included Tom Hanks(who used to live at 23414 Malibu Colony Dr.), Linda Ronstadt(38 Malibu Colony Rd.), Larry Hagman(23730 Malibu Colony Rd.), Jeff Bridges(2882 Hume Rd), Howie Mandell(23456 Malibu Colony Rd.), Cicely Tyson,Bruce Dern(23430 Malibu Colony Rd), Mel Brooks(23868 Malibu Rd),Tatum O'Neal,Rob Reiner, Sting,Bill Murray, Roma Downey & Rachel Ward, to name just a few who live either in the Colony or along adjacent Malibu Road. Charles Bronson(3210 Retreat Court),Rod Steiger and George C. Scott (3211 Retreat Ct.) live nearby.

Property in Malibu doesn't come cheap. When Johnny Carson bought his beach home at Point Dume back in 1983 for $10 million, it was the most expensive house ever sold in L.A. It included 24 karat gold fixtures in the bath, a waterfall, and 11,000 square feet of living space.   Johnny also owned the adjacent island-like parcel surrounded by Wildlife Road & Whitesands Place, which served as his private tennis club.  That property alone sold for $9.4 million in 2007.  And prices have only gone up since then.

In 2013, billionaire money manager Howard Marks sold his oceanside Malibu home (seen here) for a staggering $75 million.

If you want an idea of just how expensive it is to even rent in Malibu, the rent alone on Sting's house on Malibu Colony Drive was $25,000 a month. And quite a few stars, such as "Titanic" heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio, do rent here.

Expensive as they are, most of the stars' homes in the Malibu area are actually second homes - part-time, vacation beach houses. When raging hillside fires broke out in early November of 1993, less than one quarter of the Colony residents were at home at the time.

In January of 2007, a smaller fire hit near the Colony area, this time burning down the oceanfront home of "Three's Company" star Suzanne Somers, along with four other houses on Malibu Road.

Although a drive up the Malibu coast is always a delightful experience (with dramatic ocean views, rocky cliffs, and wildflowers in the springtime), when it comes to the Colony itself, there's not much for a visitor to see while driving along Pacific Coast Highway. The back of the Colony houses create a virtual wall, blocking the view of the Colony and of the ocean.

Residents of the Colony naturally value their privacy, and don't want visitors on "their" beach. The fact is, however, that it's a public beach (at least below the high-tide line), so it's our beach too, and coastal access laws require that the public be allowed access to that public portion of it. The trick is getting to the public part of the beach.

You can't trespass over the stars' private property to get there without risking arrest, and access to this stretch of beach is difficult. But fortunately, there are a few (almost hidden) legal public access routes to the Colony's front beach, most notably the "Zonker Harris Accessway" - named after the suntan-crazy "Doonesbury" cartoon character. The pathway is located between the former Windsail restaurant (at 22706 Pacific Coast Highway) and a private residence next door (at 22664 P.C.H.). It's about 70 yards east of (and across the street from) the McDonald's restaurant at 22725 P.C.H.

Stairways are also located in the 20300 and 19900 blocks (to the east), and there are five access-ways between the 24300 and 25100 blocks of PCH (near Jane Seymour's house). You can get exact maps of public access ways from the websites of the California Coastal Commission and the Los Angeles Urban Rangers.

You have the legal right to walk on the beach (below the mean high tide line), once you reach it via these public access-ways. So as long as you stay near the surf's edge and stick to the wet sand, you're perfectly within your rights to stroll there (except except during exceptionally high tides.) On the other hand, the people living there have a reasonable right to their privacy, so don't abuse the privilege. Treat people the way you'd like to be treated if the situation were reversed...

Here's another route. According to the equally well-tanned George Hamilton: "The best way is to go to [the Malibu Pier], and then walk down [the beach] to Carbon Beach. Carbon has every major movie star's home there. They even have a rock called 'Deal Maker's Rock', where all the heads of studios meet and walk and exercise in the morning and make their deals."

But life in Malibu is not without its own hazards.

The terrible fires of November 1993 totally destroyed the $4 million Carbon Mesa Road home of actor Sean Penn (at 22271 Carbon Mesa Rd, east of the Colony, where he previously lived with Madonna). Actress Ali MacGraw's Rambla Pacifico home (even farther east) also burned to the ground.

Fires came close to destroying the houses of Mel Gibson(23333 Palm Canyon Lane), Richard Gere & Mark Hamill. Neighbors and firemen helped save the Serra Retreat home of Charles Bronson. Gary Busey(18424 Coastline Dr) and Rod Steiger also managed to save their homes. Bruce Willis& Demi Moore's Pacific Coast Highway home (at 22470 PCH) survived, but the fire came very close.. Dick VanDyke fled his $2 million Serra Retreat home, and spent the night at Anthony Hopkins' vacant apartment in Westwood. (Fortunately, Dick's home was still standing when he returned the next morning). Barbra Streisand's Malibu home (at 5750 Ramirez Canyon Road) survived, but she donated it to charity shortly after the fires. (The estate was open to the public for tours after that donation, but those have apparently been put on hold.)  One might assume that she preferred the relative safety of her other home in Beverly Hills, but she sold that home and bought another home in Malibu!

It should be mentioned that not all of the stars living in Malibu reside on the beach in The Colony.

Some celebrities live just to the east of the Malibu Pier, including Janet Jacksonand Diana Ross. Johnny Carson lived in that area for years, at 22240 Pacific Coast Highway. Sally Fieldlives even farther down the coast,(3412 Cloudcroft Drive). But recently many stars have been migrating to the Point Dume area, seven miles up the coast. Johnnymoved there, to 6962 Wildlife Road, in the hills above Point Dume. This was right next door to the house where Madonna was married to Sean Penn(at 6970 Wildlife Road). Johnny's new neighbors there included Robert Duvall, Cher, Dick Clark, Rob Lowe, Nick Nolte(6153/6173 Bonsall Dr.), Julie Andrews(27944 PCH), Bob Dylan(29400 Bluewater Rd), Malibu's honorary mayor, Martin Sheen(6916 Dume Dr.)

Even farther to the west, beyond Point Dume, is Broad Beach, which is home to such superstars as Dustin Hoffman(31054 Broadbeach Rd.), Goldie Hawn& Kurt Russell(30804 Broadbeach Rd), and until his death, Frank Sinatra(30966 Broad Beach Rd.), Walter Matthau(30936 Broadbeach Rd.),Pierce Brosnan(31663 Broadbeach Rd), Eddie Van HalenValerie Bertinelli (31736 Broadbeach Rd.), and Carroll O'Connor(30822/26 Broadbeach Rd.), plus Robert De Niro, Jack Lemmon, Sly Stallone, Mel Gibson, Steven Spielberg and Robert Redford. Like those at the Colony, the homes along Broadbeach Road face the ocean, so all you can see from Pacific Coast Highway is a wall.

But like the Colony, you are allowed to walk along the public beach in front of the stars' homes (within high-tide limits). You can reach the beach here via an access path near 31346 Broadbeach Road, and another access is located near the 32000 block (but both are difficult to spot).

Even if you don't bother to actually walk along the beach, I still strongly recommend a trip to Malibu, preferably on a bright sunny weekday. It is one of the most beautiful natural areas in the Los Angeles region, and cruising along Pacific Coast Highway, right next to the crashing surf of the blue Pacific, has to rank as one of the quintessential Southern California experiences.

There are a number of fine restaurants right on the coast in Malibu offering great ocean views, there are a number of cozy shopping centers (such as the Malibu Country Martand the newMalibu Plaza), and just south of Malibu is the astounding Getty Villa.

Dean Cain (Superman in "Lois & Clark"), who grew up in Malibu (and now lives at 3224 Malibu Canyon Rd.), reports that he enjoys breakfast and brunch at The Marmalade Cafe in the Malibu Country Mart. And actor John Stamos ("Full House") likes to play the conga and dance on Fridays at the nearby Taverna Tony (23410 Civic Center Way) - where Mel Gibson has also been spotted.

Come and see what attracted so many of the Hollywood elite to Malibu.

 Getting there: The southern border of Malibu is located about four miles north of Santa Monica, via Pacific Coast Highway. Malibu continues northwest for over 20 miles of coastline. Take the Santa Monica (10) Freeway west to its end at the ocean, where it merges with Pacific Coast Highway, and follow PCH north, then west (about 12 miles) to the Malibu Pier.

The Malibu Colonyis located on the Malibu coast, a half mile west of the Malibu Pier, and just west of Cross Creek Road. The stars' homes are located between Pacific Coast Highway & the ocean.

(To reach the Colony's main, guarded gate, from Pacific Coast Highway turn south on Malibu Colony Drive. But be warned that the Colony is a private, gated community, and you won't be admitted unless you are a property owner or an invited guest. There are, though, public accessways to the beach that runs in front of the Colony homes.)

Point Dume is located about seven miles west of the Colony.

Broadbeach is located about two miles west of Point Dume.

Getty Museum: The original Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway (at Coastline Drive), in Malibu. Parking reservations are required. Call: (310) 458-2003.


What It’s Like to Live in Broad Beach, Malibu

Broad Beach Road

Broad Beach is truly the epitome of laid-back luxury beach living. Many of the homes here have a casual Cape Cod feel about them that reminds one of the Eastern shore. Broad Beach also offers some of the best ocean views that California has to offer.

Living here gives you instant access to the ocean, and entrance to a safe and well-to-do neighborhood.

Direct Beach Access

Direct Access to Broad Beach

Although this is a public beach, only homeowners have direct access to the sand. Others can only enter through two designated entryways off Broad Beach Road, or by walking along the shore from other beaches.

In the summer, locals love this gently sloping beach with its great surf, soft sand, and tide pools to the north. Many homes have yards that face the ocean, which is perfect for barbecuing and enjoying the fantastic Malibu sunsets.

The levels of sandy beach fluctuate based on swells, storms, and wind events. More sand is typically accumulated in the winter months and recedes during the south swells of summer.

Broad Beach Living

The homes on the 1.1 mile stretch of road here are some of the most exclusive and expensive in all of Malibu.

The community includes approximately 108 homes, with some renovated older homes sitting next to newly constructed houses. Broad Beach Road itself was once part of the Pacific Coast Highway before the highway was relocated inland.

What Do Homes Cost?

Homes here are often luxuriously ornate and highly detailed. There are homes available for all tastes, styles, and prices, from a seaside cottage, to a Mediterranean bungalow, to a palatial estate home. Many face the ocean and offer spectacular sunset views.

Infinity pools, lounging areas, and large windows offering perfect ocean vistas are some features of many homes in this part of Malibu.

Home prices start around $3 million for homes on the landside of Broad Beach Road. On the beach, home prices range from $10 million to the Brosnan home recently listed at $100 million. The median listing price is about $12 million, which is higher than much of the rest of Malibu, due to the location, beach proximity, and style and size of homes in the area.

What’s Nearby?

There are a host of markets, restaurants, places to see, and things to do near Broad Beach.

The closest market is Vintage Grocers, which is well loved for its selection of organic foods. The store is located at Trancas Country Market, which also has a Starbucks, a nursery, a smattering of restaurants and other stores. All this is a hop, skip and jump down the highway.

If you like hiking, Solstice Canyon, and Zuma and Trancas Canyon are all nearby, offering trails leading deep into the mountains.

Schools in the area include Webster Elementary and Malibu High School (includes grades 6-12). Pepperdine University is only a 15-minute drive down the coast.

Who Lives on Broad Beach?

Hollywood stars have always been drawn to Malibu, and Broad Beach in particular has a star-studded past. Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy rented a home on Broad Beach in the 1960s. Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw lived in a multilevel house in the 1970s.

Today, Broad Beach is home to a host of Hollywood’s finest, with names such as Ray Romano, Dustin Hoffman, Pierce Brosnan, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Mel Gibson, Robert De Niro, and more gracing the neighborhood directory.

There are also billionaires like Patrick Soon-Shiong, a renowned surgeon and philanthropist, living here.

Why Live Here?

Broad Beach is truly a gateway to the beach lifestyle.

Being situated off of Pacific Coast Highway with limited public access, it is both private and quiet in comparison with Malibu’s more popular beaches. The location doesn’t get better, walking distance to Trancas Market and the expansive Zuma Beach.

Lastly, the homes themselves are some of Malibu’s best. From stunning Cape Cod homes to immaculate modern enclaves, Broad Beach offers something for every discerning buyer.

Click here to view all of our exclusive offerings on Broad Beach Road.


Filed Under: Broad Beach, Living, Malibu Luxury Realty Blog, Malibu NeighborhoodsTagged With: Broad Beach, Living in Broad Beach, Malibu Neighbohoods

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Where Stars Live in Malibu

Millionaires' and billionaires' cottages line Carbon Beach, east of the David Geffen property.Copyright
Millionaires' and billionaires' "cottages" line Carbon Beach, east of David Geffen's property.

March 2003 satellite image of the Malibu Colony, where more than a few celebrities and wealthy businesspeople make their seaside homes.Copyright
March 2003 satellite image of the Malibu Colony, where more than a few celebrities and wealthy businesspeople make their seaside homes.

Many true stars, those instantly recognizable faces, go to a lot of trouble to avoid the public in their private life. Otherwise they wouldn't have any private life since there is always someone who wants to say hello, shake hands, or hand over a copy of their new script. Understandably, the stars can't put up with this all the time. As a result, even if you have their address (available on "Star Maps" or on lots of websites) you can't just walk up and ring the door bell. If you do, and if someone on staff actually answers, you will be told Ms. Star is not at home (whether she is or not) and will not accept any letter or package. If you are persistent, and keep on hanging around, you will quickly become acquainted with Ms. Star's private security people.

You will also find out about California's anti-stalking laws that came about as the result of the murder of young TV star Rebecca Schaeffer, who played in the 1980s series My Sister Sam, and the repeated stabbing of film actress Theresa Saladana in 1982 by an obsessed fan. These laws make it a crime to, "willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follow or harass another person ... " Make sure you don't.

So you have to be discreet and respectful to stay out of trouble. If you do happen upon a star, in Malibu or anywhere, either don't interact at all, or just politely nod and smile. Only attempt a conversation if the situation really calls for it. Stars, when off duty, are just people going about their lives and don't want to be verbally assaulted just because you recognize them. You will have the thrill of seeing a famous person and they will appreciate your restraint.

Broad Beach Road sign on PCH in MalibuThe top three neighborhoods with entertainment celebrities in residence are Carbon Beach, the Malibu Colony and Broad Beach. Of course the very private Colony is where it all started as described on the page about the history and development of the Malibu Beach Motion Picture Colony. Broad Beach has larger lots and a wider beach than the Colony, but is further west, away from LA. Carbon Beach is a beautiful stretch of sand, closest to LA of the three, and home to billionaires, but the multi-multi-million dollar "cottages" are side-by-side and directly on PCH.

Here is a list of just some of the names who now or recently lived in these very special neighborhoods. By the way, these properties, some of the world's most expensive residential real estate, are just beach getaways for some, not their only home.

Carbon Beach:

  • Jennifer Aniston
  • David Arquette & Courtney Cox
  • Eli Broad
  • Larry Ellison
  • David Geffen
  • Jeffrey Katzenberg
  • Nancy Daly Riordan
  • Haim Saban

Malibu Colony:

  • Dyan Cannon
  • Jackie Collins
  • Bruce & Laura Dern
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Larry Hagman
  • Tom Hanks
  • Brian Keith
  • Howie Mandell
  • John McEnroe
  • Bill Murray
  • Tatum O'Neal
  • Rob Reiner
  • Linda Ronstadt
  • Sting
  • Cicely Tyson

Broad Beach:

  • Pierce Brosnan
  • Robert De Niro
  • Danny DeVito
  • Mel Gibson
  • Eddie Van Halen & Valerie Bertinelli
  • Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell
  • Dustin Hoffman
  • Ali MacGraw
  • Walter Matthau
  • Robert Redford
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Sly Stallone

Until their passing, Jack Lemmon, Frank Sinatra and Carroll O'Connor also lived along Broad Beach Road.

These neighborhoods are not the only places where stars live in Malibu, far from it, but this is the top of the heap. Still, many stars with money to burn choose other parts of Malibu -- Barbra Streisand, Cher, and Johnny Carson to name a few. And other well-known Hollywood names can be found in "ordinary" Malibu neighborhoods where most other residents are merely in the top one percent, not particularly famous or uber-rich, for example Nick Nolte's home in Bonsall Canyon or Mariel Hemingway's in Monte Nido.

Return to Where the Stars Are in Malibu or up one level to the Home Page.

Is Pierce Brosnan's home REALLY worth 100 MILLION DOLLARS??? 💸💸💸 (You decide!)

A Mediterranean-Style Home on Malibu’s Broad Beach Lists for $42 Million

A Mediterranean-style estate is listing for $42 million on Malibu’s Broad Beach, an area popular with celebrities such as Pierce Brosnan and Mel Gibson.

One of the largest in the area, the roughly 13,500-square-foot home is owned by Bill Spears, who runs the manufacturing company Waterway Plastics, and his wife, Sandy Spears. They paid about $2.85 million for the oceanfront site in 2000, according to public records, then built the house.

Completed around 2004, the six-bedroom house features a landscaped Italianate courtyard and a waterfront swimming pool. The interiors include elaborate wood ceilings, ornate chandeliers and wrought-iron stairway railings. There is also a bar, a plant-filled solarium, and a screening room. Some of the interior details were imported from Europe, Ms. Spears said.

More:Kelly Clarkson Is Offloading Encino, California, Estate for $10 Million

Ms. Spears said she used to see Mr. Brosnan, known for "The World Is Not Enough" and other James Bond movies, on the beach outside the house. She said she and her husband, now in their 80s, are selling because they want to live closer to their daughter in Lake Sherwood, Calif.

The couple have lived on Broad Beach for more than three decades, Ms. Spears said. They originally had another home nearby but wanted something larger.

"We’re going to miss it for sure, but it’s time for us to go," she said.

The property is listed by Alessandro Corona and JJ Smith of Douglas Elliman.

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