Harry Warner, a founder and the first president of Warner Bros., was a bigger-than-life figure in the Golden Years of Hollywood. One can only surmise that his bigger-than-lifestyle mansion in the heart of Beverly Hills was a prime fit with the film mogul’s persona.
Built in 1923, the glamorous Warner Estate features three gated entries and cobblestone drive surrounded by old growth trees, manicured gardens, a guesthouse, and tennis court as well as a pool and spa grotto. The sprawling 12,220-square-feet Tudor, which blends timeless architecture with modern opulence, contains six-bedroom suites, formal living and dining areas, a screening room, gym, and billiard room as well as a chef’s country kitchen, butler’s pantry, and porte-cochere.
In addition to vaulted and cathedral ceilings, marble and hardwood flooring, and four fireplaces, other main house features are an artist studio, library, and wet bar along with a three-car garage and golf cart garage.
The 1.14-acre estate likewise includes a fully equipped guesthouse with a kitchen, living room, bedroom, two bathrooms, a detached office, and garage.
Since the late 1920s – movie stars, U.S. Presidents, and Heads of State from around the world visited the historic Warner estate.
About Harry Warner
Harry Warner’s life was a classic ‘immigrant boy makes good’ story. Born in a Polish village in 1881 to a shoemaker and housewife, the Wonsal family immigrated to America when Warner was eight years old. After arriving in the U.S., the family adopted the Warner name, and Hirsz Wonsal became Harry Warner.
By his 19th birthday, he owned a bicycle shop and co-owned a bowling alley with one of his brothers, but subsequent ownership in several theaters and film exchange companies put motion pictures in the Warner brothers’ blood.
In 1923, Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. officially launched with the release of its first silent film, The Gold Diggers, and Warner became the corporation’s president. Shortly after, Warner Bros. discovered Rin Tin Tin, a trained German Shepherd that debuted in Where the North Begins.
Warner Bros.’ success in early talking pictures – The Jazz Singer, The Lights of New York, and The Singing Fool – established the siblings’ venture as a major motion picture company. At the 1st Academy Awards, Warner was recognized as the second most powerful figure in the movie industry, and journalists hailed him as the ‘godfather of the talking screen’.
By the time Warner retired in 1956, he had worked with three decades of movie greats – from James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart to Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland, and the seemingly endless stream of hit movies included the classic, Casablanca. In the new television medium, Warner Bros. added Western dramas – Maverick, Cheyenne, and Colt 45 – to its successes. Despite the Tinseltown image, Warner and his wife Rea were married 51 years when he died in 1958.
This historical shelter at 1006 Rexford Drive in Beverly Hills, California, is represented by Cathleen Shera with Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty. The listing price is $32.5 million. Click here to see more photos.