Mary Tyler Moore’s Former Bel Air Estate Links Up With a Buyer
With its picturesque fairways and dramatic topography traversing four different canyons and incorporating tunnels, an elevator, and a swinging suspension bridge, the Bel-Air Country Club’s golf course is perennially ranked as one of the best in the country. And blessed with what have to be among the best views of the much-admired course is a residence that’s been around almost as long as the exclusive country club itself.
Built in 1929, the Spanish-style house was once home to pioneering power couple of the small screen Mary Tyler Moore and Grant Tinker. The pair met in 1961 when Tinker was an ad exec working on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” and Moore its co-star. Both were married to other people at the time, but after that minor inconvenience was cleared up, they got hitched a year later and settled down in the Bel Air home overlooking the 11th hole fairway.
In 1970, the couple founded MTM Enterprises, an independent TV company that would make a huge impact on both the entertainment industry and popular culture with a string of groundbreaking hits, including “The Mary Tyler Moore Show, ” “The Bob Newhart Show,” and “Rhoda.”
But as successful as the pair was career-wise — Tinker would go on to become chairman and CEO of NBC — on the home front, they fared less well. The couple would split up in 1980, but by that time, they’d already moved on from the Spanish-style residence to a different Bel Air perch, one they’d had built to order. Explained Moore to the writer of a 1976 Los Angeles magazine feature, “The house we’re living in now is too big. It has three vacant bedrooms and a living room we’ve only been in twice, both times on Thanksgiving when we had all my relatives over.”
Upon completion of the new home, Moore and Tinker sold the old one to another pair of showbiz vets, David Gerber and Laraine Stephens. Along with producing such tv shows as “Police Story” and “Police Woman,” Gerber served as president of the television divisions of three major studios (Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and MGM), while Stephens acted in scores of tv shows, including “Leave it To Beaver,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Mission: Impossible,” and “Fantasy Island.”
Measuring 6,790 square feet, the six-bedroom home isn’t a particularly outstanding example of Colonial Revival architecture, and appears to have sustained a fair amount of questionable tampering-with, but still retains some appealing character features, including stenciled ceilings, wrought-iron sconces and railings, peg and groove hardwood flooring, arched windows, and French doors.
The .85-acre property would remain in the Gerber-Stephens family for four decades, until 2021 when it sold to an LLC linked to developer Adrian Rudomin, who was among the various parties sued by Rihanna in 2011 over a Beverly Hills mansion with a leaky roof. According to public records, the LLC acquired the property for $12.5 million, and flipped it back to market approximately nine months later with a $16 million price tag.
Dirt has learned the well-situated piece of real estate was scooped up this week by commercial real estate financier Rob Rubano. A vice chairman with brokerage Cushman and Wakefield, Rubano evidently knows his way around a slice, forking over $14.6 million for the showbiz pedigreed property.
The listing was handled by Aaron Kirman of Compass, while Rubano was represented in the transaction by Drew Meyers of Westside Estate Agency.