Inside Marlene Dietrich’s Extraordinary Spanish Colonial Estate – 868 Birchwood Dr.

Legendary actress Marlene Dietrich lived to entertain. So of course she once lived at this entertainer’s dream home located in Holmby Hills. The four bedroom home features all the the romance and glamour of Old Hollywood and the timeless elegance and grace of an expertly designed layout. This is the kind of house that wasn’t just made for living but for living well.

868 Birchwood Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Price: $6,495,000
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 4
Fireplaces: 6
Property Size: 6,167 sq. ft.
Lot Size: .53 acres
Year Built: 1932

Marlene Dietrich was, of course, the German singer and actress, who became one of the most sought-after starlets of the 1930s and 1940s. Her best known films include “The Blue Angel” (1930), “Shanghai Express” (1932) and “Desire” (1936). She lived at this Spanish-colonial estate during the peak of her fame in the 1930s. Famous as well for her smoky voice and shocking tuxedo-clad style, Marlene hosted many of the era’s most dazzling luminaries including Frank Sinatra, Shirley Temple, Judy Garland, and John Wayne on this beautiful property. It’s said she always jumped at the chance to throw a party and if you’re lucky enough to own such a beautiful and expansive estate, why not?

Built in 1932 by notable Los Angeles architect L.G. Scherer, the house is organized around a central courtyard that flawlessly becomes part of the home’s living space, making for excellent Southern California indoor/outdoor living. Each room on the main floor opens up to the courtyard, and there are dramatic arches framing the lush plantings as well as the seating areas.

Inside the residence includes a circular two-story foyer with a main staircase, several living rooms with beamed cathedral-style ceilings that make the spacious rooms of the house seem even bigger. Plus terracotta floors, stained glass windows, and not one, not two, but six fireplaces throughout.

A second living room has a lovely wet bar and big picture windows overlooking the courtyard.

And what a courtyard it is. With several alcoves and dining and sitting areas it’s an amazing and private place to throw an intimate party or the ultimate Hollywood soiree.

Back inside there’s an elegant formal dining room.

The big eat-in kitchen has been remodeled and features stainless-steel appliances.

An office, sun room, and wine cellar complete the first floor.

All of the bedrooms are located on the second level and each enjoys views overlooking the courtyard. The master suite has two walk-in closets, a sitting area and an en-suite office area with a separate entrance to a deck above.

Some bedrooms boast balcony areas, and the second level includes a long loggia overlooking the central courtyard, which by this point gives off vague romantic Romeo & Juliette vibes.

Outside the grounds are truly exceptional. You could get lost exploring the alcoves and crevices they offer. Waterfalls, an outdoor fireplace, private spa, outdoor kitchen, many paths and seating areas, majestic gardens, plus this gorgeous swimmers pool are all here to be enjoyed by you and your friends and family!

Located next to the Los Angeles Country Club and enclosed and private, 868 Birchwood is a beautifully landscaped and wonderfully livable property. Hollywood homes don’t get much more Hollywood, or historic, than this.

To tour 868 Birchwood Drive, or find other magnificent homes for sale in Los Angeles, call me at (323) 697-3040 or email me at jacqueline.tager@sothebyshomes.com.

Listing provided courtesy of Jane Gavens | John Aaroe Group, Marc Noah and Jay Robertson | Sothebys International Realty.

Photos by Daniel Dahler Photography.

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3 Responses to “Inside Marlene Dietrich’s Extraordinary Spanish Colonial Estate – 868 Birchwood Dr.”

  1. mary whitlock says:

    Jackie, I love your take on LA; food AND the Dietrich home. Makes me want to move back and put a tree in the middle of our patio.

  2. William says:

    I’d love to see more photos from when Marlene Dietrich lived there.

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