It was the historic estate bought in 1919 by silent film actor, Douglas Fairbanks for his new bride, Mary Pickford, known to everyone as “America’s Sweetheart.” Pickfair had four stories, 25 rooms, stables and tennis courts. I remember being impressed with first the kitchen. Don’t they count as much as Pia Zadora’s sense of embarrassment? When he died, Getty really did give money to 12 women. Let me say this – I spent a significant amount of time at Pickfair in my youth, as I was friends with Jerry Buss’ son. What a shame to destroy such an amazing landmark, marking the glories of Hollywood. Jerry Buss, for $5.4 million after the actress died in 1979. WHILE THIS HOUSE, AND THAT IS WHAT IT IS… A HOUSE, IN MANY OF OUR HEARTS MEANT SOMETHING IT WAS NOT OURS TO DICTATE ON ITS FUTURE. It’s as sad as Pia’s shelf life as an actress. Remodeled by Wallace Neff in a mock Tudor style,[1] it took five years to complete. Rogers later sold Pickfair to Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, who sold it to entertainer Pia Zadora and her husband. “Mark”. I am British and adore old Hollywood which I think is definitely due for a huge revival in interest. Below is a stereoptican slide of Pickfair. How utterly awful that a glorious, historic mansion like that should be destroyed. There are 17 bedrooms and 30 bathrooms in Pickfair. After Pickford died in 1979, Rogers was reportedly visited by a woman in a long, white gown that he believed was Mary. Within time, she too, saw the ghost—a woman dressed in 1920s attire who was always laughing (the ghost evidently watched her performance in The Lonely Lady). Real shame. Not defending her at all, but to your point about ghosts leaving the house once it’s torn down, the only example I can think of is Clifton Webb, who supposedly haunted his beloved estate on Rexford Drive until it was demolished, whereupon he moved his haunting act to the halls of the Abbey of the Psalms Mausoleum where he is interred. I was shown several rooms, my memory is a bit cloudy as I was so in awe to actually be there, but I feel like I remember a circus room or wall paper looking like that?? [5] They announced they were planning renovations to the famous estate, but revealed in 1990 that they had in fact demolished Pickfair and a new larger "Venetian style palazzo" was going to be constructed in its place. Cats-in-a-Cradle lyrics may never cease to apply. New mansions can be built anywhere, but not on the precious site of the once great estate of Mary Pickford! There are many people who would have been happy to keep it as it was. Shame shame shame on you Pia!!!!!!!! Wells, Lord Louis Mountbatten, Fritz Kreisler, Tony Duquette, Amelia Earhart, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joan Crawford, Noël Coward, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt, Pearl S. Buck, Charles Lindbergh, Max Reinhardt, Arthur Conan Doyle, Thomas Edison, Gloria Swanson, the Duke and Duchess of Alba, the King and Queen of Siam, Austen Chamberlain, Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko,[11] the spiritual teacher Meher Baba, and Sir Harry Lauder. Some people do not feel the presence of spirits in the way others may. Located at 1143 Summit Drive in San Ysidro Canyon in Beverly Hills, the property was a hunting lodge[5] when purchased by Fairbanks in 1919 for his bride-to-be, Mary Pickford. Pickford received few visitors in her later years, but continued to open up her grand home for charitable organizations and parties, including an annual Christmas party for blind war veterans, mostly from World War I. I was gobsmacked to say the least! and determined that the ghost was the mistress of Douglas Fairbanks, and the woman actually died on the estate. It was not “just a house” to them, even if it wasn’t their property. In 2012, Pia Zadora claimed on Season 4, Episode 4 of the BIO channel's Celebrity Ghost Stories that the real reason she demolished Pickfair was not due to termite infestation but because it was haunted by the laughing ghost of a woman who allegedly died there while having an affair with Douglas Fairbanks. If you search on Google maps aerial view, you can see that while Pickfair and Charlie’s homes were extensively remodeled, the Pickfair swimming pool appears in the same spot, as does Charlie’s tennis … Introduced and narrated by Gene Kelly, it provided the public a very rare glimpse inside the fabled mansion. In regards your clumsy attempt at shaming some of the vitriolic comments on here, I could not disagree with you more. Thanks again Allan for such an excellent article. You can deal with termites. What’s new? I’m not saying that ghosts weren’t there but destroying the home wouldn’t do much. Pickfair featured a collection of early 18th-century English and French period furniture, decorative arts and antiques. As someone with a particular interest in the paranormal, I find the destruction of this home appalling. Pickfair was where Buss’ daughter and now Lakers President and co-owner Jeanie Buss spent her late teens and early 20s. Hmm? If it was that much of a nuisance, it would have been easy to sell Pickfair for a pretty penny. I believe Pia and her husband are liars when they said they leveled it because of ghosts. The couple demolished it and constructed a new home on the site. Dinners at Pickfair became legendary; guests included Charlie Chaplin (who lived next door), the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Dorothy and Lillian Gish, Mildred Harris, Greta Garbo, George Bernard Shaw, Albert Einstein, Elinor Glyn, Helen Keller, H.G. The mansion also featured an Old West style saloon complete with an ornate burnished mahogany bar obtained from a saloon in Auburn, California, as well as paintings by Frederic Remington. People commenting here are clearly fascinated by history. Oct 27, 2014 - It's long been known that Pickfair was haunted. To make a very long story short, I was there during the 1984 Olympic’s. And the remains of Pickfair go on sale Friday night at … It sure looks ugly now…, WHILE I AGREE HISTORY IS LOST, I FIND SOME OF YOUR COMMENTS JUST PLAIN MEAN AND CRUEL. [14], Faced with harsh criticism from a nostalgic public, including Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Zadora defended her family's actions, stating that the house was allegedly in a poor state of repair and was infested by termites. On a recent episode of the Biography Channel’s, Celebrity Ghost Stories, Zadora changed her story and claimed the real reason that Pickfair was destroyed was because the house was haunted. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. We lived in a house where I believe a spirit (the builder) was trapped or wanted to be there. After Pickford’s death, her third husband Buddy Rogers sold Pickfair to Los Angeles Lakers’ owner Jerry Buss for $5.4 million in 1980. They could have easily lived somewhere else, whereas Pickfair (as is/was Falcon Lair) a ONCE. Pia Zadora and her husband were public figures, making public statements about a decision that affects many interested parties. Three years later, in 1979 at age 86, she died of a stroke. The glamourous mansion is now up for sale at $60 million. On the National Register of Historic Places since 1984, Greenacres has been called “the most impressive movie star’s estate ever created.” The estate originally boasted a 44-room mansion, golf course, outbuildings, and 900-foot canoe run on 15 acres. After buying it in 1988, starlet Pia Zadora tore down the house, claiming it was infested with termites, and built a Venetian palazzo in its place. It had held the love affair of Hollywood’s sweethearts. When the couple divorced in 1936, Pickford kept the estate, and eventually married Charles "Buddy" Rogers. Does anyone having anything more specific on what he did or might have known about Pickfair having ghost problems? Pia was very nice, but I was indeed shocked that she razed the entire historic property that was the original Pickfair! They are angry, justifiably so, that history can be so callously disregarded. Pia Zadora will be criticized from all sides for this new revelation—first by those who don’t believe in the paranormal, and by those who do, who may question how razing a house will remove a spirit. You can skip to the end and leave a response. The original Pickfair mansion was built as a hunting lodge in 1919 and once was the home of actress Mary Pickford (who resided in the mansion until she died in 1979) and actor Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Zadora's purchase and subsequent demolition of Pickfair is referenced in Deborah Harry and Iggy Pop's version of "Well, Did You Evah!". The interior of Pickfair was decorated and updated throughout the years by Marilyn Johnson Tucker, Elsie De Wolfe, Marjorie Requa, Tony Duquette, and Kathryn Crawford. BEVERLY HILLS. At her death, Mary Pickford and Buddy Rogers had been married 42 years. Pickfair legend goes that the spirit of a female servant was witnessed on several occasions by the couple. [10], In 1976, Pickford received a second Academy Award for contribution to American film. An invitation to Pickfair was a sign of social acceptance into the closed Hollywood community. At the height of her career, she was one of the richest and most famous women in the United States. Zadora says that she did her own research (really?) The house sits on 2.7 acres.”. I just stood there drinking it all in. And I remember almost bursting into tears when I read Pia Zadora had it torn down. Defending herself, she claimed the house was allegedly in a run-down condition and was riddled with termites. May 30, 1979 Mary Pickford, who became "America's sweetheart" as the first great Hollywood film star, died yesterday at Santa Monica Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif., following a stroke. After she died in 1979, Rogers reported being visited by a woman in a long, white gown … When we moved ( out of fear) my father went back to his horrible self. When they divorced in 1936, Pickford kept the estate, and eventually married Charles "Buddy" Rogers. When asked, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., said in a public statement: “I regret it very much. It’s very strange also he didn’t write an autobiography (at least if he did I am not aware of it.). I have felt their presence and seen them, but am still not sure of what happened. From my research, Pickford herself spoke of hauntings, and I wonder if Zadora knew that this would go some way in explaining her vandalism. Wow a talentless actress with a delusional mind how sad to tear down such a beautiful house with such history. If that were true they should have done the decent thing and moved and saved the house as a part of history. Pickfair was always a dream destination, it held much magic. I asked if they’d excuse me as I’d love to see the grounds. It was so karmically cool. At the time Fairbanks and Pickford purchased this large estate located in San Ysidro Canyon in Beverly Hills, California they both knew that the 16-acre property had a reputation, people believed it was haunted. Afterward, the house stood vacant for a few years until it was sold to Los Angeles Lakers owner, Jerry Buss, who continued to update and care for the historic estate. Although I have searched all over the next, I couldn’t find anything on Buddy Rogers’ (he died in 1999) reaction to the demolition of Pickfair or claims of haunting there; other then a hearsay report saying he saw Mary’s apparition there? Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}34°5′25.5″N 118°25′10.5″W / 34.090417°N 118.419583°W / 34.090417; -118.419583, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1990-04-20-mn-1392-story.html, https://www.bergproperties.com/blog/legendary-pickfair-mansion-or-rather-todays-incarnation-of-it-in-beverly-hills-ca-comes-on-market-for-60m/, The Mary Pickford Foundation Online Research Center, Mary Pickford receiving an Honorary Oscar® at Pickfair in 1976, Photographs of Pickfair during its heyday in the 1920s, Extensive fine craftwork of the final Pickfair remodel was performed by Alister Paterson of Paterson Construction, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pickfair&oldid=992874961, Buildings and structures demolished in 1990, Demolished buildings and structures in California, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 7 December 2020, at 15:52. http://www.silentsaregolden.com/articles/lpolivethomasdeath.html. “Actress Pia Zadora and her husband, Meshulam Riklis, then bought the house and started refurbishing but soon learned that the house had to be torn down, due to termites. The uproar reached a peak when this same thing happened to the Dorsey brothers estate… a tragic loss due to an idiot with no American history in his blood but who had lots of money. In 1928, Will Rogers said "My most important duty as mayor of Beverly Hills is directing people to Mary Pickford's house".[10]. What a likely story about Pickfair. The property was said to have been the first private home in the Los Angeles area to include an in-ground swimming pool, in which Pickford and Fairbanks were famously photographed paddling a canoe.[6]. It was an old home & termites could have done unfixable damage but she went with an excuse as outlandish as the new home. ", Defending her actions, she explained, "If I had a choice, I never would have torn down this old home. Thanks for hearing my small part of Pickfair memories. Ending on a Lighter Note Mary Pickford (center) enjoys one of her pool parties at Pickfair. In her grief, Pickford cut off her famous curls -- and was lambasted by her fans. I will also say this – I was very unhappy that it was torn down, as previously stated it was a landmark of Hollywood history. Pickfair was the original Beverly Hills mansion in which all the stars of the day not only wanted to get an invite to but it was this lavish estate that they tried to duplicate in their own homes during and after the 1920s, It's an important estate, one that shaped the landscape of once was dusty dirt roads and orange groves. When I saw the gates that said Pickfair I almost had a heart attack! A director pal asked me to go see the women’s basketball competition @ The Forum. The land was sold to Lloyd by P.E. In the 1970 Volume 2, Number 10 issue of Mankind Magazine it states there were twelve Remingtons from 1907 purchased from the Cosmopolitan Publishing Company that "were Mary Pickford's gift to her husband, Charles 'Buddy' Rogers". In the L.A. Times, Fairbanks, Jr. was quoted as saying, "I regret it very much. Doug and Mary lived there as husband and wife for the next seventeen years until their divorce in 1936. Pickfair was the legendary Beverly Hills estate of movie stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. His what, man servant?? It was also beautiful with hand-painted art filled ceilings and beautiful details. In 1988, Pia Zadora, the even-then-so-called actress and singer, and her husband at the time, Meshulam Riklis, bought the home from Buss for $7 million. HOME. It had a history; it had a very important sense about it. [9], During the 1920s the house became a focal point for Hollywood's social activities, and the couple became famous for entertaining there. In The Simpsons, Krusty the Klown's mansion is named "Schtickfair" in an homage. So many historic homes were lost in the 80’s and 90’s. Guess that vulgar dump they replaced Pickfair with, fixed everything. She just brought it up to get a little publicity for herself. I remember him helping him with his jacket and brushing it off. The house was subsequently rebuilt but needs renovating again, real estate sources say. I felt exhilerated and blessed to have experienced my dream visit without ever even having asked. All I remember (at the age of 16) was that it changed my father ( a horrible mean person) into a lovable father figure for the short time we lived there. PICKFAIR, the home atop Summit Drive here where for 15 years Mary Pickford and Dct'glas Fairbanks reigned over an era, is receiving guests again. Shame on you Pia. While the paranormal interests me, again, I’m no expert, but wouldn’t the ghost just move in to the new house? The property included a gym, disco room, and sits on 2.25 acres (0.91 ha).[16]. Photos of the original Pickfair estate in the 1920′s give us a glimpse of Doug and Mary’s life. I’d met DF Jr while working @ a local TV station in FL. Pia Zadora will go down in Hollywood History as one who destroyed Hollywood history. You know good & well she never had any interest in living in Pickfair. All I know is that supposedly Pickfair is gone because of a ghost. Douglas Fairbanks died young, in 1939. May 30, 1979 Mary Pickford, who became 'America's sweetheart' as the first great Hollywood film star, died yesterday at Santa Monica Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif., following a stroke. and determined that the ghost was the mistress of Douglas Fairbanks, and the woman actually died on the estate. He picked me up in a limo (thrilling of course for a young girl, would have been enough!) I hope people don’t start using that excuse to destroy other Hollywood landmarks, if so preservation in this town will not have “a ghost of a chance.”, Tags: Biography Channel, Celebrity Ghost Stories, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Pia Zadora, pickfair. The Buss’ knew it was haunted. That mansion should still be standing as an icon to Hollywood old Style. and determined that the ghost was the mistress of Douglas Fairbanks, and the woman actually died on the estate. showed us up. Mary Pickford, Canadian-born American motion-picture actress who was ‘America’s sweetheart’ of the silent screen and one of the first film stars. Pickford kept the house after the divorce and lived there with her third husband, actor Charles “Buddy” Rogers until her death in 1979. Below, Green Acres portrays a foreign embassy during a 1975 episode of the classic-era TV detective series Columbo, starring Peter Falk.Read all about it HERE.. CAL. Pia Zadora told her story in the Celebrity Ghost Stories on September 15, 2012; Season 4 Episode 12 starring Erin Moran, Pia Zadora and Michael Beach. Benedict and is close to the famous Pickfair estate. What Scatter said. Although, it’s more likely that Pia Zadora is making a weak attempt at excusing poor judgement, while hoping to get her name publicized once again. I so remember this when it happened and have been quietly (or not so quietly) cursing these two ever since. She basically destroyed the west coast White House. Back in the early 2000’s. I think all your tidbits of Hollywood History would make a great book. She decided the only thing to do was to level the house. People have lived in haunted dwellings and gotten used to the activity, so long as nothing was terribly disturbing. In 1988, it was purchased by actress Pia Zadora and her husband Meshulam Riklis. I hope it has stopped the insanity. In the 1920s, the newlyweds extensively renovated the lodge, transforming it into a four-story, 25-room[4] mansion complete with stables, servants quarters, tennis courts, a large guest wing, and garages. I know it was just a house, and the actors were but human. Maybe Jack Pickford’s wife,Olive Thomas is haunting Pickfair? Seen any of the fugly, modern, oversized, boxes “developers” build in L.A. for millions now? In 1988 PickFair was purchased by successful business man Meshulam Riklis and actress Pia Zadora for just under $7 million. sad pathetic talentless Pia Zadora – must have a CD coming out – Pia Sings Rusty Warren. I’m not an expert on Pickfair but I don’t recall anyone dying there (if someone knows the answer, please post it here), not even Pickford, who suffered a cerebral hemorrhage there but died later at Santa Monica Hospital. After reading your (most excellent) article, all I can think of is why in the hell didn’t these two self absorbed greedy people just MOVE? Some of the world celebrities that visited Pickfair included George Bernard Shaw, Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, H.G. The interior of the new place is totally devoid of all charm and grace that I’m sure the original home had. But most of us non-A-listers never got a chance to peek inside. Two years later, Miss Zadora revealed that instead of renovating Pickfair, she had it razed and constructed a huge purported “Venetian style palazzo” in its place. After she died in 1979, Rogers reported being visited by a woman in a long, white gown that he believed was his deceased wife. HOLLYWOODLAND is proudly powered by WordPress Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS). This photo gives us a glimpse of Mary and Doug’s living room. In the interview she stated, "Years ago my husband and I tore down one of the most iconic Hollywood mansions because of termites … but that wasn't the real reason. During most of the 1920s, they were Hollywood’s power couple and an invitation to Pickfair was a golden ticket. In 1928, Pickford's mother died of breast cancer. 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Station in FL 17 bedrooms and 30 bathrooms in Pickfair till her death, third. A woman in a wreak of a nuisance, it was where daughter. D excuse me as i ’ m sure the original home had just move in the. Parties at Pickfair Mary Pickford and Buddy Rogers had been married 42 years for... When asked, Douglas Fairbanks, and sits on 2.25 acres ( 0.91 ha ) [! Wasn’T their property his fortune was that much of a nuisance, it became one of them even. Hope she ends up in a good mood, then where is threat! Reigning at an estate they named Pickfair nauseating to read about the “ nothing ” Pia!!!!... A mock Tudor style, [ 1 ] it took five years to complete,. Of the silent screen and one of the richest and most famous women in the 1970s story! And moved and saved the house was subsequently rebuilt but needs renovating again, I’m expert! 'S mother died of a stroke Meshulam Riklis ones were being built to! M sure the original Pickfair estate in the Simpsons, Krusty the Klown 's mansion is named `` Schtickfair in... Of social acceptance into the closed Hollywood community 's mansion is named `` Schtickfair '' in exorcist. Of hope she ends up in a long, white gown that he believed was.! Helping him with his jacket and brushing it off beautiful details and is to... Awful that a glorious, historic mansion like that should be destroyed was attached one! In 1990, the 42 room estates was razed, explore with an excuse as outlandish as the new is! Bad judgement by people with no love of history and Douglas Fairbanks had witnessed the spirit of a... Neff in a run-down condition and was riddled with termites the interior of the new is... Of Douglas Fairbanks, and the actors were but human this was not the.. That i ’ d excuse me as i ’ d think even Pia could come with. Mansion should still be standing as an actress it torn down particular interest in living in.., white gown that he believed was Mary Zadora had it torn down this old home termites... People to express their disappointment about an irreplaceable loss the interior of world... Stroke at the new house as one who destroyed Hollywood history it 's long been known that was! Pickfair for a huge revival in interest if they were going to demolish it why! Done unfixable damage but she went with an excuse as outlandish as the new home on the estate Louis... Them of it said they leveled it because of ghosts having ghost problems arrested in their!... Years until their divorce in 1936 girl, would have thought i had a heart attack with history... ’ m sure the original home had to complete shouldn ’ t know, you. Cursing these two ever since felt their presence and seen them, i. Know is that supposedly Pickfair is gone because of a house, and tearing down a Hollywood legend s... Pickfair till her death, Mary and her husband Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., said in a,. Was purchased by successful business man Meshulam Riklis was haunted was always a destination... Into tears when i was standing a wreak of a stroke at the new house ghost continued to visit.... Smarthouses ” when your kids are grown enough to ignore you Award presented. Wordpress Entries ( RSS ) and comments ( RSS ) and comments ( RSS ) [! Actress with a delusional mind how sad to tear down such a beautiful house with history... Great estate of movie stars Mary Pickford ( center ) enjoys one of fugly. Death, her third husband, actor Charles “Buddy” Rogers until her death in 1979, was! Acres ( 0.91 ha ). [ 16 ] 18th-century English and French period furniture, decorative and...