Perhaps it is a sign of the times that a garishly large and expensive home along Sunset Boulevard is now being opened up for the world to see.
There was a period, post-riots, when the rich hid their riches, leaving the Rolex at home and driving the Ford Bronco instead of the Range Rover.
But how things have changed.
Case in point:
Engelbert Humperdinck, Las Vegas crooner and star of many a late-night greatest-hits commercial, is offering for sale his historic manse on Sunset through QVC’s new “First Friday: Extreme Shopping” show, to premiere Sept. 5. You heard right. QVC is now in the business of selling mansions - in this case, an almost $4 million mansion.
We’re talking the “Pink Palace” of Jayne Mansfield fame.
Originally built for singer Rudy Vallee in 1935, the meandering Mediterranean-style house features the famous Mansfield-era heart-shaped pool, 15 rooms, seven baths and 3-1/2 acres of lush, jungle-esque landscape with flowing waterfalls.
The property is being offered through Sotheby’s International Realty.
Humperdinck recently gave a tour of his palace to QVC camera crews and the media. QVC is hoping the house will give its new monthly show star power.
The premiere edition also will offer a dozen dinosaur eggs and a Volkswagen Beetle painted by pop artist Peter Max.
The show is sponsored by the $100,000-limit First USA Platinum Visa, “ideal for many of the purchases available through the program,” according to QVC.
“This is shopping as entertainment, shopping as theater,” says Fred Siegel, QVC’s senior vice president of marketing.
The Pink Palace is ornate, with intricate chandeliers, a built-in listening room, a three-level elevator and a couple of balconies that overlook common spaces such as the formal dining room. But it also seems lived-in to its detriment - comfy and cozy but decorated in the style of Humperdinck’s ‘70s heyday, which is when he purchased the house for $233,500, according to Los Angeles County records.
“It was totally uncared for when I moved here 22 years ago,” Humperdinck says. “I put like $1.9 million into renovation.”
Today some of the decor seems as aged and funky as the ‘70s-era red Cadillac Eldorado convertible sitting out front.
Some of the windows have been replaced with aluminum-framed glass. And the bathrooms contain the original pink tile put in by Mansfield.
The 60-year-old pop star, who is one of history’s top recording artists with more than 130 million records sold, says he wants to live in Las Vegas, where he performs much of the time. He offered the house once before, asking $7.2 million in 1992.
But then, he says, he changed his mind and took the house off the market.
“The house is too big for me now,” he says. “I’m the only one who lives in it.”
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