Sunday, November 6, 2016

Hollywood Home Tour - Norma Talmadge

"Everybody pile into the bus now! If we take any more lunch breaks like we have, we will still be on this bus in twenty years time. Once again, we'll be taking a slight detour to see an exceptionally beautiful home....the estate of that star of the silent era, Norma Talmadge. Fasten your seat belts and off we go!

649 West Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles
"On your right you will see the beautiful Spanish stucco St. Vincent de Paul church built in 1925. Just a few steps away is Norma's charming Tudor-style mansion, which is probably one of the most famous movie star homes in Los Angeles, not because Norma lived there, but because it passed hands between so many silent film stars of the 1920s. Originally it was built by Randolph Huntington Miner, a developer, and his wife, socialite Julita Miner, in 1904. Sumner Hunt was the architect who designed it. They lived here for about fifteen years and then sold it to that seductive vamp Theda Bara. Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle bought it in 1921 but moved on after that scandal with the young starlet left his career in ruins. He sold the house to director Raoul Walsh and his wife, Miriam Cooper. Alla Nazimova also resided here for a spell."

"How long did Norma Talmadge live here then?"

"Not long at all. One whole winter season to be precise. Miss Talmadge and her husband, producer Joseph M. Schenck, purchased this house in October 1924 and were gone by February 1925. They went on to own many estates, but this one has long been associated with the Schenk's because it was featured on the front of a postcard bearing their name and was the first home they owned. 

"Inside is as beautiful as the exterior. There is a well-stocked library with a reading alcove which Norma enjoyed, and a drawing room featuring heavy beamed ceilings, ruby red velvet furniture and an antique writing desk where Norma would stack her piles of fan mail to respond to. The dining room features carved teak-wood furniture imported from China with embroidered curtains and bronze ornaments from the Orient as well. There is also a sun parlor among its fifteen rooms." 

Up-to-Date Note: To see the Talmadge estate today ( now called the Randolph Huntington Miner house ), simply click here for a street-view. It is still looking great!

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