Elijah Wood’s Former HouseJul 6th, 2012 | By Lindsay | Category: Celebrity Homes
As I have mentioned many times before on my site, this stalker absolutely loves herself some L.A. Magazine – especially “L.A. Story”, one of the publication’s newer columns in which, each month, a different SoCal-bred celeb shares his or her experiences growing up in La La Land. This month’s column was written by The Lord of the Rings actor Elijah Wood, who moved to Southern California from Iowa when he was just seven. In the article, Elijah wrote, “For five or six years we lived on Hesby Street, and it was the first house of ours that felt truly like home. When we were buying it, I was shooting a movie called North with director Rob Reiner. He overheard a conversation about the house and said, ‘I used to live on Hesby.’ Turns out he and Penny Marshall had lived in the same house—our house!—back in the ’70s.” Well, believe you me, once I read those words, I became just a wee bit obsessed with tracking the place down (I mean, hello, Elijah Wood, Penny Marshall AND Rob Reiner???), which, thankfully was not too hard to do.
In a definite stalker maneuver, I looked up the name of Elijah’s father (Warren) and then inputted “Warren Wood” and “Hesby Street” into a Google search and was directed right to this page on the BlockShopper website which stated that Warren Wood had once owned a residence at 12247 Hesby Street in Valley Village. Voila! And, not ten minutes later, I dragged the Grim Cheaper right on out there to stalk the place. Sadly though, as you can see below, not much of it can be seen from the street. The one-story abode, which was originally built in 1936, boasts three bedrooms, two baths, and 1,937 square feet. The Woods purchased the dwelling in April of 1993, after Elijah had already become quite famous from his roles in Radio Flyer, Avalon and Forever Young. While living there, his career further skyrocketed and he starred in such hits as The Good Son, Flipper, The Ice Storm, Deep Impact, and The Faculty. In his “L.A. Story”, Elijah also said of the home, “For me it’s where I became a teenager. I learned to drive at that house, and with that I learned Laurel Canyon was the gateway, the connective tissue, between the Valley and basically the rest of L.A.” Elijah’s mom, Debra, who had since divorced Warren, sold the property in October of 1999, a little over six years after purchasing it.
While searching for the exact location of the home, I came across a tweet from @Praeriedikter which said, in response to @MovieElijahWood sending out a link to Elijah’s “L.A. Story”, “Thanks for sharing! Wonderful article. Wonder how many fangirls will be cruising Hesby Street looking for his old house? LOL” And here I thought I was the only one.
According to my buddy E.J., over at The Movieland Directory website, Rob Reiner and Penny Marshall owned the residence in 1973. While researching the place, I happened to find a 1992 Los Angeles Times article about Rob Reiner in which his Castle Rock Entertainment partner Andy Scheinman, who spent six or seven nights a week at the property, had this to say, “It was almost like a fraternity house. Albert Brooks was there every day. Jim Brooks was there a lot. And you didn’t even call or knock on the door. You just opened the door. Sometimes Rob and Penny weren’t there. I’d come in there and Albert would have his head in the refrigerator and someone else would be watching TV. But we were all in our 20s. We all went to college in the ’60s, so it was a very free and open kind of approach to things.” Amazingly enough, up until reading Garry Marshall’s new book, My Happy Days in Hollywood: A Memoir (which was fabulous, by the way), a couple of weeks ago, I had no idea whatsoever that Rob and Penny had once been married! And I call myself a stalker!
In “L.A. Story”, Elijah also mentioned living at the famous Oakwood Toluca Hills Apartments, which is a place that I have long been dying to stalk. Countless celebrities have called Oakwood home over the years, including Jennifer Love Hewitt, Michelle Williams, Kirsten Dunst, Jessica Stroup, Michael C. Hall, and Kurt Cobain. In her Revealed with Jules Asner special, Katie Holmes talked about living at the complex and running down to the WB lot every morning to try to catch a glimpse of George Clooney, who was filming ER at the time. Zac Efron once filmed a pilot at the site, while Corey Haim tragically died there in March 2010, as did Rick James in August 2004. The place is just teeming with Hollywood history and I am dying to get in! You can read a fabulous EW article about the Oakwood Toluca Hills complex here.
On an Elijah Wood side-note – while researching this post, I discovered that a seven-year-old Elijah was featured in Paula Abdul’s “Forever Your Girl” music video! How I did not previously know that information is absolutely beyond me!
You can watch the “Forever Your Girl” music video by clicking below.
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Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Elijah Wood’s former home is located at 12247 Hesby Street in Valley Village/North Hollywood.