"Welcome back to the bus folks, and a very happy new year to you all! Can you believe that we've been on this bus since last May and have only visited six Hollywood homes? My goodness, at this rate we won't finish the Hollywood Tour till 1971. But, what does that matter... when you're on a time-travelling bus, what's a few years gone by?
"Since the gals are doing a salute to the "South American" 20th Century Fox musicals this month, I thought we'd take a drive out to see Don Ameche's lovely ranch. He made so many great musicals with Alice Faye and Betty Grable. Here's the house now, coming up on your left, down that long driveway...
|4684 White Oak Avenue, Encino, California|
"This beautiful Spanish stucco home was purchased by Mr. Ameche in the mid-1930s. The great comedian W.C Fields rented the home from 1934-1935 for $300 a month before the owner put it up on the market.
"Don Ameche was just becoming a rising star in the 1930s when he fell in love with this property. The 3,000+ ft. house is situated on five acres and includes a tennis court, swimming pool, aviary, orange groves, a truck garden, and a healthy crop of cows and chickens. Mr. Ameche was very happy in the years he spent here with his wife and their four sons...Donny, Ronny, Tommy and Lonny.
"He remained there until the mid 1940s when he, supposedly, won in a poker game a 22-room house that Al Jolson and Ruby Keeler built out in Encino, and moved the family there. ( Don actually paid $28,000 for that home, but it sounds so much better when you tell others that you won it. )
Update : The current owners added a second-story to the house in 2003 , bringing it's square-footage up to 6,800. They claim the "spirit" of W.C. Fields resides in the home with them.