LeBron James Closes $36.8 Million Deal on Katharine Hepburn’s Former Mansion

by Chris Haney
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

NBA superstar LeBron James has finally closed on his new $36.8 million Los Angeles mansion formerly occupied by Hollywood legend Katharine Hepburn.

In July, the real estate deal was reported, but today the deal was finally closed. The mansion is a multi-structure compound boasting fantastic views and a storied, only-in-Hollywood pedigree.

The colorful Mediterranean-esque villa was built in the early 1930s. The property was originally owned by Charles Boyer, an Oscar-nominated actor who starred in a number of black-and-white classics. His films included “Conquest” and “Algiers.”

In the late ’40s, RKO Pictures terminated Boyer’s contract. An unusual settlement negotiation included the studio agreeing to buy out Boyer’s interest in his 2.5-acre estate. Since RKO was owned by Howard Hughes at the time, the reclusive billionaire became the technical owner of the Boyer mansion. However, Hughes never lived there.

Instead, Hughes leased the mansion property to his ex and longtime confidante Katharine Hepburn. Hepburn lived on the property during the height of her Hollywood career.

After Hepburn moved out, non-famous owners bought the mansion where it remained until 1986. Soap opera pioneer Lee Phillip Bell and her business partner husband William J. Bell bought it for $2.9 million. The couple upgraded the property extensively to return it to its former Golden Age glory. During the couple’s many years of ownership, they expensively landscaped the grounds with mature trees and formal gardens.

In 1995, Bill Bell passed away. But, Lee Bell continued to live at her 90210 home until she passed away in March – 25 years later. A few months later in June, her estate went on the market for the first time in decades. The original asking price was $39 million. James ended up paying $36.8 million – 6 percent below the market price.

Details of the New Hollywood Home of LeBron James

The specifications of James’ new home does not disappoint. The mansion boasts one of L.A.’s most massive driveway gates, and the compound’s driveway is an impressively long brick path lined with cypress trees. Also, the driveway comes to an end at a stone fountain surrounded by a dozen mature palm trees.

The lavish interiors include a sunlight-flooded living room with a vaulted ceiling and exposed ceiling beams. Its dining room is set beneath an enormous skylight. The home includes a carpeted library with built-in bookcases. Finally, the comfy movie theater includes a fireplace for ambiance, one of seven fireplaces in the main mansion.

In addition, the property includes two detached guesthouses and multiple dining and entertaining areas. It has a lighted tennis court and an accompanying viewing pavilion. In the rear of the complex, views of the entire L.A. skyline are a highlight of the property. The views range from Benedict Canyon to the Pacific Ocean and Catalina. The mansion’s oval swimming pool is a remnant of the property’s Golden Hollywood history. A giant golden Buddha watches over the pool and its adjoining pool house.

Furthermore, LeBron James also owns two different mansions in L.A.’s upscale Brentwood neighborhood. In 2015, the NBA All-Star purchased the first estate for $21 million. That property has primarily remained vacant ever since. In 2017, James bought the second estate for $23 million. The latter of the two estates sits on a hilltop and is the James family’s main residence.

[H/T Variety]