After Its New Owner’s Untimely Death, Work Continues on the Bela Lugosi House

December 26, 2012 § 7 Comments

The Bela Lugosi House 12/14/12/Hope Anderson Productions

The Bela Lugosi House 12/14/12/Hope Anderson Productions

When the Bela Lugosi House in Hollywoodland changed hands last year, I was glad to find out the new owner had the means and will to repair decades of neglect, including a leaky roof and non-functional plumbing. He was David Copley, billionaire heir to the San Diego Union-Tribune fortune. I told Copley’s realtor, who also happens to be mine, “I’m looking forward to meeting him.” “Oh, you never will,” he replied. “Why? We share a property line.” “He has lots of other houses–he’ll never be here.”

Sadly, that prediction has turned out to be true: just before Thanksgiving, Copley died in a car crash after suffering a massive heart attack.
At that point the house, after extensive structural repair, was getting a new slate roof. In the garden, a big hole had been dug for the pool. All work abruptly stopped for a time. Then, about three weeks ago, it resumed.

Although I’ll never meet David Copley, I’m grateful that his estate is continuing the renovation of his house. How tragic that he didn’t live to enjoy the result.

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§ 7 Responses to After Its New Owner’s Untimely Death, Work Continues on the Bela Lugosi House

  • sad to learn of the death but at least the house will be lived in and loved again

  • Fine Urban says:

    Reblogged this on Search Fine Urban Homes Los Angeles and commented:
    ITs great to see someone is fixing the place up

  • Llamalover22 says:

    The house just sold again this week, July 25 (2013). At least there is a Sold sign on it.

  • I was in town and walked up the stairs from Beachwood this last weekend – the house looks like it’s being lovingly cared for and restored. Glad to see it – I have many fold memories of this, my Grandparents’ home for 30 years.

  • Beau Rivage says:

    its odd to read “the Bela Lugosi House” when he only lived there for a couple years. While my Grandparents Phillip and Helen Leslie , LIVED & LOVED there for 30 plus years.As with Mr. Lugosi my Grandfather, worked in the “industry “he, as a writer for 35 yrs..Early on as the head writer for Fibber Ma gee and Molly…then onto writing for many of the Iconic Television Shows that today ,enjoy such a vital resurgence in popularity . Such as “I LOVE LUCY; DENNIS THE MENACE,THE ADDAMS FAMILY, THE MUNSTERS , GET SMART, PETTICOAT JUNCTION, BRADY BUNCH. AND MAN\Y MANY MORE….He was a wonderful story teller, he told of growing up around the Mississippi just as”Tom Sawyer ” raising a family in post depression America and Bathing all 4 kids in the same bath water then using that same soapy water to do laundry ,(or did the laundry come 1st its one of those stories you didn’t really want to contemplate at least they didn’t make soup! ) He told of a rainy night and an unexpected knock and how Startled he was to find Bela Lugosi at the door” my name is Bela Lugosi , I had once owned this house and as I was in the neighborhood and wondered if i might see how the Old house was,naturally he was invited in ,stayed for about 30 minutes…then left. He spoke with a heavy Hungarian accent , was very charming …and yes he did wear a black cape and tuxedo….honest….. Helen was the quintessential wife and mother grandmother of the time, a loving supportive partner who had very few peers in the kitchen and who was honestly embarrassed by the effusive praise heaped upon her after every meal 10/12 times a year 30/40 people pies ,cakes, roasts and turkey dinners.,all by herself ,No problem!!! I still faithfully use her recipe for Stuffing on Thanksgiving and Christmas.its the Best!!!!

    My grandfather taught me how to carve a turkey, how to trim a rose bush , to recognize the call of a California Quail , how to tie a Clinch knot , how to Fly Fish.(after his family his greatest love)how to find Polaris in the night sky thus knowing ,always, which way was Home.He gave everyone iust what they needed .HE wrote about what he knew ,the humor that pervades the lives of the common man. He truly loved people and anyone who had the pleasure of spending a moment with him would be better for it ,,,,you see he too was a common man and if he were here today he would consider that association ,the highest form of praise.So if love, laughter,hugs, holidays and happiness count for anything in your world ………

    When you drive bye 2835 West shire dr. & For the Lovely feeling you get when you see it….. How about “The Leslie House “.. I bet , even Mr. Lugosi would agree!


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