In the 1980s I was privileged to have lived on John Barrymore’s estate, Bella Vista. When Flynn came to Hollywood he searched out Barrymore. When I came to Hollywood I searched out Flynn–or his footsteps, to be precise–and, in a strange, circular coincidence ended up in Barrymore’s home. Here is a photo collection of the house from my days there (and one more recently). It was a magical time….
1) The Bella Vista sign, now long gone, having been cut down. But by whom?
2) The road up to Bella Vista
3) The former aviary, seen from the road
4) Around the bend to my house, passing Ryan O’Neal’s place, also part of the original Barrymore estate
5) My house, high up on the property
6) A closer view, with the bedroom balcony at the top and the veranda below it
7) The stairs to the house–a long climb! (recent photo with the large Eucalyptus cut down)
8) The first flight up
9) The view from the veranda over Beverly Hills. Many a wonderful afternoon and evening were spent on that veranda, which was especially lovely at night with all the twinkling lights below. I was living there on the occasion of Barrymore’s centennial and raised a drink to him that evening on that veranda–sadly, he didn’t deign to grace me with a spiritual visitation! This view is now obscured by large Eucalyptus trees
10) The view across the road from me to the comedian Shelley Berman’s home, formerly the home of Edgar Bergen (Candice grew up there)
11) The door with Barrymore’s initials and serpent coat of arms
12) The coat of arms
13) Outside my bedroom, a view also obscured today by the overgrown foliage
14) The courtyard behind my house
15) The courtyard, a beautiful place to wander and dream of days long gone
16) Part of the main house seen above the courtyard
17) A path up to the main house
18) I loved it there, long ago when those days were closer to the days of Barrymore himself.