Cary Grant's Former Beachfront Home Hits Market for $12 Million

Courtesy of Rogers and Cowan

The 5,530-square-foot French Normandy home on Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica sits on a spacious lot and has some serious Hollywood history behind it.

Cary Grant's former home, where Irving Berlin would stay for vacations and invite George Gershwin over to hold impromptu concerts, is about to hit the market for $12 million.  

Located at 1038 Palisades Beach Road at the base of the California Incline, the 5,530-square-foot French Normandy beachfront compound sits on a 11,503-square-foot lot. It was once co-owned by Grant and his friend Randolph Scott, who were rumored to be lovers.

The home was built in 1930 for actress Norma Talmadge by architect Paul R. Crawley, and, according to the current owner, Jennifer Diener, the only substantive changes that were made was the addition of a garage. “Everything in the house is original, even the lamps on the wall and the chandeliers,” says Diener.  

After you pass through a courtyard, guests enter into foyer that features a circular staircase and leads to the formal living room, elegant dining room and sunroom that overlooks the back garden. A powder room and eat-in kitchen round out the downstairs. The master bedroom is on the second floor and offers ocean views along with sitting area, office and a master bath. In addition to the master suite, the second story has four more bedrooms which overlook the Santa Monica Pier. The spacious back garden has a patio, a large pool and a paddle tennis court, along with a raised viewing deck.

“Right now more than ever, old Hollywood is huge,” says Coldwell Banker’s Jade Mills, who has the listing. She says she plans to lean heavily into the home’s pedigree and hopes to find a buyer that will maintain the home’s unique history.

Diener said that when she decided to sell the home, she had some barbed wire removed along the side of the house that was originally installed there by Howard Hughes, who briefly lived there. “That was not a historic thing to me, that was not worth preserving,” says Diener, who bought the home with her late husband, businessman and philanthropist Royce Diener, 38 years ago. “It just looked kind of hostile.”

Actor Brian Aherne also once owned the property and his wife, actress Joan Fontaine, invited Princess Grace to stay at the property when she was in town.