Monday, January 6, 2014

Hollywood Home Tour - Don Ameche

We're off again on our bus tour, but this time we're going a little ways off the beaten track and taking a spin around Encino to see the beautiful ranch home of the debonair actor, Don Ameche. Here's Al to tell you more about Don and his home : 

"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. 


  1. Replies
    1. It is indeed a very pretty place, Caftan Woman. I only wish we were able to find out more information about the house. I thought for sure that Photoplay would have done a "house sitting" on Ameche's place during his hey-day. I guess we'll just have to make our own one of these days!

  2. What a beautiful house! And, yes, it sounds much better if you say that you won a house in a poker game!

    1. Yes, doesn't it? Ameche was known as a really GOOD poker player too so I don't think anyone would have doubted that story.