In the mid 1950s, actress Ava Gardner decorated her newly built brick house at La Moraleja, a suburb of Madrid, with antiques she purchased at local shops.
Actress Billie Burke lived in an English-style house in Beverly Hills in the 1930s, with her husband, showman Florenz Ziegfeld. Here Burke is photographed in the beamed study, which she furnished with countrified furniture, masses of memorabilia, and charming art, including a portrait, at left, of her daughter, Patricia Ziegfeld.
When Elvis Presley had his Memphis, Tennessee, mansion, Graceland, decorated in 1957, the living room’s 15-foot-long sofa was upholstered in electric-blue fabric and the walls were painted Dresden-blue. By the early 1960s, however, the room had been repainted and the sofa recovered in a woven white material brightened by orange velvet cushions.
Showman nonpareil Fred Astaire built his Beverly Hills residence in 1959, five years after the death of his first wife, socialite Phyllis Potter.
Pacific Palisades was the California town where actor Gregory Peck chose to settle down in the late 1940s. He and his first wife, Eine “Greta” Kukkonen, a Finnish former makeup artist, purchased a 1930s house designed by legendary architect Cliff May, famed for his ranch-style aesthetic and sophisticated appreciation of indoor-outdoor living. The picture shows the Pecks behind the green leather–clad bar of the den, which was accented by illuminated glass pilasters.
Despite being just steps from a glamorous stretch of Central Park, James Dean’s studio apartment on West 68th Street in New York City was decidedly collegiate. The actor lived in the rented space, off and on, from 1953 until his death in a car crash two years later.
Purchased by the screen siren in 1957, Jayne Mansfield’s Pink Palace earned its name for obvious reasons: Inside and out, the Mediterranean Revival mansion in Los Angeles where she lived with her second husband, Mr. Universe 1955 Mickey Hargitay, was a paradise of rose-color excess, thanks to set designer Glenn Holse. Pink shag carpeting covered the ceiling, walls, and floor of the actress’s bath, and the heart-shaped tub glittered with gold mosaic tiles.
Actress Jean Arthur (Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, The More the Merrier) takes tea on the Colonial-style canopy bed of the Hollywood home she shared with her second husband, Frank Ross, a screenwriter and producer.
Beneath an artificial dogwood tree, Joan Crawford and her fourth and final husband, Pepsi-Cola CEO Alfred N. Steele, relax on the plastic-covered sofas of their 18-room New York City duplex penthouse in the 1950s.
Asian art picked up on worldwide travels is tacked to a wall of actor John Wayne’s living room in the San Fernando Valley.
Actor Kirk Douglas stretches out on a skylit sofa in his Beverly Hills home in the early 1960s. Above him hang two Pablo Picasso paintings that he and his wife Anne purchased in 1960.
Shortly after their 1956 wedding, Marilyn Monroe and her second husband, playwright Arthur Miller, stand in the unkempt garage of their Roxbury, Connecticut, estate. The house itself had been built in 1783, and Monroe and Miller added sliding glass doors to its rear façade and created a one-room studio where the playwright could work.
Future U. S. president Ronald Reagan settles back in a rolled-arm chair at his 1957 ranch-style home in Pacific Palisades, California.
Sophia Loren poses for photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, in 1964, in the master bedroom of Villa Sara, her 16th-century house near Rome. Purchased in 1952 by her future husband, producer Carlo Ponti, it was restored with architect and garden designer Imerio Maffeis and decorated by costume-and-set designer Ezio Altieri.
In 1960, Steve McQueen joins his first wife, Filipino actress Neile Adams, and their daughter, Leslie, at a Swedish modern–style table in their Hollywood Hills kitchen.
Oscar-winner William Holden relaxes in his home in Toluca Lake, a suburban neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley; the modest Georgian-style house was designed by African-American architect Paul R. Williams and was later owned by Denzel Washington.
Ever wonder what the houses of some of Hollywood’s most famous stars and starlets look like? We were so happy to come across an article by Architectural Digest featuring photographs of some remarkable actors and actresses of the Golden Age in their own homes. Who do you think has the most style? Our votes go to Elvis Presley (the warm, bold colours in his living room have got us all shook up), and Jayne Mansfield (pink shag carpet on the ceiling?! Now THAT is unique!).
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