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~ Updated ~
April 21, 2002
- Tracking The Big Cats -
Beverly Hills Court
Lures Tennis Pro
By Ruth Ryon

    HOLLYWOOD -- Tennis champ Pete Sampras has purchased a Beverly Hills home in the mid-$8-million range, according to real estate sources not involved in the deal.
    The house wasn't on the market, but Sampras was said to have been drawn to it by its quiet tennis court.
The five-bedroom, 8,000-square-foot-plus house on slightly more than an acre with a swimming pool was described as being in need of refurbishing. The house, with seven bathrooms, was built in the 1930s. Sampras owns a smaller but newer home with a tennis court on 1.5 acres in Benedict Canyon, where he and his wife, actress Bridgette Wilson, were married in fall 2000. Sampras, 30, bought that property in 1998.
    He has been called the greatest tennis player of the '90s. He has won a record 13 Grand Slams, but, last year, he had his worst season in a decade, finishing at No. 10, his lowest ranking since 1989. Sampras was one of the top three players in the world for nine straight years before 2001.
    Last year was also the first since 1992 that he didn't win at least one major championship, but he had a strong run at the U.S. Open when he became the first player to beat three former champions consecutively at the tournament.
    He recently changed coaches and now plans to play in the Davis Cup. He also signed up as an investor and spokesman for the Tennis Channel.
     "Wheel of Fortune" hostess Vanna White has purchased a home in the Beverly Hills area for close to its $4.8-million asking price.
    Built in 1992, the three-story villa, in a gated community, has two guest suites, three bedrooms and a master suite. The home, on 1.3 acres, also has five fireplaces, large verandas and a pool.
    White, 44, separated from her husband, restaurateur George Santa Pietro, in November. They were married Dec. 31, 1990.
    White has been a hostess and letter-turner on "Wheel of Fortune" since 1982, when Merv Griffin chose her from more than 200 other hopefuls for the job. Last March she signed another contract to extend her run on the show through 2006. She also appears on the Home Shopping Network.
    Actor Lee Majors has sold his Fort Lauderdale, Fla., penthouse for $1 million and moved into his new Las Vegas condo with his fiancee, model Faith Noelle.
    Majors had been living in Fort Lauderdale since 1991. He moved back to the West to be closer to his work, sources have said. His mother, who lived in Boca Raton, died last year.
    The Las Vegas condo is in a high-rise Turnberry Place development. The asking price for a unit comparable to Majors' is $650,000.
    One of the biggest two-bedroom homes in the project, the 2,200-square-foot unit has a spa and a private wrap-around glass balcony with a view of the Strip. Each condo in the project has a private elevator entry.
    Majors' unit is one of 185 in the first of four 40-story towers to be built. The two- to four-bedroom condos range from $500,000 to more than $5.25 million.
    Majors, best known for his starring roles in the ABC series "The Six Million Dollar Man" (1973-78) and "The Fall Guy" (1981-85), appears in the movie "Out Cold," a comedy for Spyglass/Disney studios, and in "Big Fat Liar" for Universal Films.
    No date has been set yet for a wedding to Noelle, 27. She has been Majors' companion for about seven years.
    A member of the Walton family, heirs of the late Sam Walton (founder of Wal-Mart), has purchased a property adjacent to a Bel-Air home she bought in October for $20 million.
     The property has a house on it that was described as "basically a teardown." The buyer was known to want the 1.7-acre site, which she purchased for $6 million, as a buffer to give her more privacy.
    The home she bought in October had belonged to Freddy DeMann, Madonna's former manager and co-founding partner of Maverick Records, and his wife, Candy.
    The Art Deco-style home has five bedrooms, including a 2,000-square-foot master suite, in 20,000 square feet. The house, with a pool and a tennis court, is on three acres with city-to-ocean views.
    Michael Collins of Coldwell Banker, Beverly Hills East, represented the Walton heir in buying, sources said, and Joe Babajian and Kyle Grasso of Prudential Estate Properties, Beverly Hills, represented the seller of the adjacent property.
    Brian K. Roberts, a prolific TV director and editor who also co-wrote the book "L.A. Shortcuts: A Guidebook for Drivers Who Hate to Wait," has listed his Hollywood Hills home at $839,000.
Roberts bought the house when he was single. Now married with three children, he and his wife, Danielle, have decided to move to a larger home in Burbank.
    The mid-century modern-style home in the Hollywood Hills has three bedrooms in slightly more than 1,500 square feet. The remodeled home has an updated kitchen, expansive walls of glass and a free-form pool with spa. The property has canyon and mountain views.
    Roberts has directed episodes of "Everybody Loves Raymond," "The Drew Carey Show" and "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch." He was an editor on "The Best of the Tracey Ullman Show" (1990) and for an episode of "The Simpsons."
    Gary Bergevin and Tess Nelson of Prudential John Aaroe & Associates, Los Feliz, have the listing.
    David Barenholtz, owner of Apex Fine Art (a Los Angeles gallery specializing in 20th century American photojournalism), and his partner, Randy Arnold, vice president of advertising and direct marketing for Universal Studios Home Video, have sold the Nichols Canyon home they bought last year from actress Milla Jovovich.
    Jovovich sold the home to them for $730,000. It sold this time for slightly more than $1 million after an extensive refurbishing by Barenholtz and Arnold.


1983-2002 by The River Park Newspaper.
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