Showing posts with label Paul Bern. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul Bern. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The House on Easton Drive: Harlow, Bern, Sebring, Tate

In 1930, Paul Bern, a longtime employee of MGM built a house in a then rural area of Beverly Hills.  He didn't build a huge house as he told friends he was a bachelor and didn't see that status changing any time soon.  The house didn't have a kitchen as he didn't like to smell food cooking.  Food was prepared in the servants' lodging.

Little did he know that he would meet and fall in love with MGM's reigning sex symbol of the time, Jean Harlow.  The two of them seemed to be quite an odd couple due to the fact that Paul was rather bookish looking and Jean was considered to be very sexy.  Plus, she was half his age.  However, they fell in love and were married in 1932.  Paul signed the house over to her.  Jean did not like the house as it was too far from the city to suit her.  She was known to climb into the turret and pout.

The house had a very interesting mural in it, featuring many well-known stars of the era:
And here's a photo of the mural in the house:
Two months after their marriage, Paul Bern was found dead of a gunshot wound in the doorway that separated the bedroom f rom the bathroom.  I could tell the story, but look at these links for the story:

Here's a photo of Bern's bedroom, the x marks where his body was, it's the bathroom doorway.
So, was Paul Bern really murdered and the story then covered up?  I think so.

After his death, the house passed through many owners.  In the 1960's, it was purchased by an up and coming Hollywood hairdresser named Jay Sebring.  Jay knew of the history of the house and was fascinated by it.  When did he buy it?  Well, that's a bit sketchy.

Some reports have him buying it in 1960 when he was married, others say he only rented it for several years and then purchased it in the mid 60's and another report said he was only a renter.  That can't be true as his family sold the house after his death.  His girlfriend Sharon Tate liked the house and was photographed there many times.  Here's a photo of her at the house.
She had a very scary experience at the house which is mentioned in a link above.  It didn't deter her from staying at the house.

If you've seen the "Sharon Tate Home Movies," you've seen footage of Sharon and Jay having a cookout with some friends.  This was filmed after her marriage to Roman (she's clearly wearing her wedding ring) and shows Jay kissing her.  This was at his house and shows some nice views of the pool area.

By 1969, according to some of his friends, Jay was also becoming wary of the house's reputation.  A psychic had told him that death awaited him in a house with exposed beams.  As his house had exposed beams, he wasn't spending much time there.  Little did he know that the prediction was true and that it would also take the life of Sharon.

A description of the house from someone who saw it in the Paul Bern era:  Inside the entrance was a steep spiral staircase that led to the attic.  Halfway up was a small door that led to the turret.  After entering the front door, you'd go past a small hallway and down a few steps to the living room which featured 2 built-in bookcases (bar behind one, hidden panel to wine cellar too)  If you took the staircase at the entrance to the upstairs, you'd find the bedroom, bathroom and dining room.  The dining room was in the turret.

Now the house has 8 rooms including 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and it's 1725 square feet and the estimated value is $1.2 million.  At the time of Jay's death, the house was worth $80K.

To see some great pix of the house from  the Bern and Harlow era: