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Famed comedian Bob Hope's Toluca Lake estate up for sale

September 23, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The late comedian Bob Hope was once one of California's biggest property owners. His crown jewel was his house in Toluca Lake. Monday, that estate hit the market. The place is a lot more than a piece of celebrity real estate.

From 1940 until the day he died in 2003, the estate is where Bob Hope called home. And now it's on the market with an asking price of $27.5 million.

Step inside the 15,000-square-foot estate, walk into the living room and you can almost see frequent guests like Phyllis Diller or Elizabeth Taylor, and you can hear the famous voice that entertained so many thousands at USO shows.

Bob and Dolores Hope raised a family here. Dolores died two years ago. Their furnishings were sold at auction. The home is now staged with furniture for prospective buyers. All proceeds, including the sale of the house, are going to the charities of the Bob and Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation.

Prospective buyers have already shown interest.

"People will always come to see a celebrity home, but normally that is not what sells it," said realtor Jade Mills. "And I really feel what's going to sell this home is its uniqueness. It's five acres."

Realtors say that in all of Los Angeles, there are only 22 homes on five acres or more. This one comes with a restriction that once sold, at least for a while it can't be subdivided.

The house has six bedrooms, seven baths, plus outbuildings and two pools. And it gradually grew larger when Bob went on tour.

"Every time Bob would leave town, Dolores would remodel or add on," said Mills. "So he would come home and say, 'This is a different place.'"

Hope, who poked gentle fun at presidents, must have been thinking of his Toluca Lake home when Johnny Carson asked the comedian if he ever had aspirations for the White House.

"I wouldn't want to be the president," Hope said. "Dolores wouldn't want to move to a smaller house."

The estate preserved in time, a dream house filled with memories.