Cary and Jennifer Grant’s Former HouseJul 25th, 2011 | By Lindsay | Category: Celebrity Homes
As I mentioned last month, back on May 28th I attended the Jennifer Grant book signing for Good Stuff, the actress’ newly-penned memoir about her late father, movie star Cary Grant. Well, I finally finished reading the tome last weekend and I can honestly say that it is one of the best books I have ever read. What an incredibly touching gift Jennifer has created for her father – and for her father’s countless legions of fans. If you have not yet read Good Stuff, I cannot more highly recommend doing so. I literally could not get enough of Jennifer’s words and stories and was pretty much drowning in tears by the time I came to the end. Besides the heartfelt memories and sound fatherly advice from Cary that Jennifer shares in her book, my favorite aspect of Good Stuff has to be the fact that in it she refers to her childhood home by its street address – 9966 Beverly Grove Drive. Oh, THANK YOU, Jennifer! A woman after my own heart, I swear! How I wish more celebrity authors would do that very same thing when penning their own memoirs. Sigh! So while out and about in Beverly Hills a couple of weekends ago, before I had yet to even finish the book actually, I dragged the Grim Cheaper right on out to stalk the place.
“9966”, as Jennifer lovingly calls her childhood home, is located high up in the Hills of Beverly, off of Benedict Canyon Drive, at the end of a twisty, turny, fairly remote street which overlooks pretty much all of Los Angeles.
Needless to say, the view, which is pictured above, is pretty darn majestic. Of it, Jennifer says, “We had a ‘You should see the view’ view. Stunning. From downtown Los Angeles all the way to the beach – oh, but please don’t. All my life we had looky loos parking outside the gate and peering in through the metal bars. Our home was on the Movie Star Maps. Can’t blame people for wanting to see, really, but it was a disconcerting inconvenience. People would park their cars in our driveway, just outside the gate. Then they’d stand and gaze in and around the gate, hoping to catch a glimpse of Dad through the windows or in the backyard. Dad, Barbara [Cary Grant’s fifth and last wife], and I likened it to being animals in a zoo.”
To poke fun at their seemingly zoo-like existence, the trio posed for the above photograph in 1983. Of it, Jennifer writes, “One of my favorite pictures of Dad, Barbara, and me is a spoof on all of this. In the midst of a rarely held family photo session (perhaps our only one), we decided to get a shot of us at the gate, mimicking our imagined status as displeased monkeys, our cheeks puffed and heads pressed through the bars. Of course, we did choose the outside of the gate as the imagined cave. We quite liked our own confines.” Love it!
That gate is pictured above. Sadly though, as you can see, little else besides the gate is visible from the street. And no, I did not try to venture up to it and peer in and around it to try to catch a better glimpse of the property as the looky loos in Cary Grant’s day did.
Of her 4 bedroom, 5 bathroom, 7,602 square foot childhood home, Jennifer writes, “There’s a beautiful symmetry to the number 9966, as if it were the end and the beginning of a quotation. The first time I remember seeing my father, and the last time I actually did see him, was at 9966. One of my father’s priorities was providing me with a sense of permanence and stability. The actual structure he chose was a farm-style house. Our home atop a hill.” According to Jennifer, while the house was luxurious, it was also “practical”. She says, “Dad used to say that the state of your surroundings reflected the state of your mind. Also, there could be an inverse correlation. A clean atmosphere provides space for thought. This has become a truism for me. During college exams, regardless of my lack of sleep, my boyfriend used to marvel at the way I had to clean my apartment before studying. A direct offshoot of 9966.” She also says, “Dad wasn’t a fan of overly lavish displays, at least not in the worldly sense. Our home was beautiful and not a mansion. What did we need with a mansion? Our parties were small parties. We had a white, modern-looking oval table that at most sat fourteen. You could see and hear everyone. The mood was festive and intimate. Barbara made scrumptious, home-cooked meals and decorated the table with her own arrangements of flowers. Dad was so proud. I understand why. Our home had love, warmth, and personal care. It was overflowing.” The home was so beloved by the Grant family, in fact, that not only was it the spot where Cary married Barbara on April 11, 1981, but it was also where Jennifer tied the knot with her now ex-husband, Randy Zisk, in 1993. When Cary sadly passed away in 1986, he left the property to Barbara and it appears that she still owns it to this day.
Again, I cannot more highly recommend reading Good Stuff. Just be prepared with a box of hankies when you get towards the end.
On a side note – Located due west of 9966, across Benedict Canyon Drive, is Villa Bella, the Italian-style monstrosity that was built on the site of the now-demolished residence where Sharon Tate was murdered in the early morning hours of August 8, 1969. The Tate house was leveled in 1996 by owner Alvin Weintraub, who subsequently built the ginormous 18,000-square-foot, nine-bedroom villa pictured above.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Cary and Jennifer Grant’s former house is located at 9966 Beverly Grove Drive in Beverly Hills. You can purchase a copy of Jennifer’s book Good Stuff here.