Posts Tagged ‘pickfair’

Pia Zadora destroyed Pickfair because it was haunted

Sunday, November 18th, 2012


Pia Zadora confesses and admits a ghost made her destroy Pickfair


By Allan R. Ellenberger

Remember Pickfair?


It was the historic estate bought in 1919 by silent film actor, Douglas Fairbanks for his new bride, Mary Pickford, known to everyone as “America’s Sweetheart.” Pickfair had four stories, 25 rooms, stables and tennis courts. Doug and Mary lived there as husband and wife for the next seventeen years until their divorce in 1936. During that time they entertained heads of state, royalty and Hollywood royalty. Some of the world celebrities that visited Pickfair included George Bernard Shaw, Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, H.G. Wells, Lord Mountbatten, Amelia Earhart, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Noel Coward, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor, Charles Lindbergh, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Thomas Edison, and The King and Queen of Siam.


Pickford kept the house after the divorce and lived there with her third husband, actor Charles “Buddy” Rogers until her death in 1979. Afterward, the house stood vacant for a few years until it was sold to Los Angeles Lakers owner, Jerry Buss, who continued to update and care for the historic estate.


In 1988, Pia Zadora, the even-then-so-called actress and singer, and her husband at the time, Meshulam Riklis, bought the home from Buss for $7 million. Two years later, Miss Zadora revealed that instead of renovating Pickfair, she had it razed and constructed a huge purported “Venetian style palazzo” in its place. Zadora was immediately criticized for destroying an irreplaceable part of Hollywood history, and rightly so. Defending herself, she claimed the house was allegedly in a run-down condition and was riddled with termites. When asked, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., said in a public statement: “I regret it very much. I wonder, if they were going to demolish it, why they bought it in the first place.”


On a recent episode of the Biography Channel’s, Celebrity Ghost Stories, Zadora changed her story and claimed the real reason that Pickfair was destroyed was because the house was haunted.


Zadora said in the interview that as soon as she and her family moved into the house, a female ghost appeared to her children at night and would frighten them. Within time, she too, saw the ghost—a woman dressed in 1920s attire who was always laughing (the ghost evidently watched her performance in The Lonely Lady). Zadora says that she did her own research (really?) and determined that the ghost was the mistress of Douglas Fairbanks, and the woman actually died on the estate. She doesn’t name the woman, say how the woman died or how she came to this conclusion.


Zadora brought in an exorcist but that didn’t help and ghost continued to visit her. She decided the only thing to do was to level the house.


“It was a difficult decision, but we had to live in it and we couldn’t live in it with what was going on,” Zadora says in the episode. “This is the first time I’m coming out publicly saying that termites weren’t the real reason we had to raze Pickfair. If I had a choice, I never would have torn down this old home. I loved this home. It had a history; it had a very important sense about it. You can deal with termites. You can deal with plumbing issues. But you can’t deal with the supernatural.”

It’s not like people were dropping like flies at Pickfair so shouldn’t it be fairly easy to identify this laughing ghost? I’m not an expert on Pickfair but I don’t recall anyone dying there (if someone knows the answer, please post it here), not even Pickford, who suffered a cerebral hemorrhage there but died later at Santa Monica Hospital. Wouldn’t a death at Pickfair have made the newspapers unless it was covered-up by Fairbanks and Pickford? If so, how did Pia Zadora find out the “truth” in her so-called “research?” Once again, she doesn’t say how she came by that information in the interview, but producers of the show recreate a scene of her reading through books and paper.


Pia Zadora will be criticized from all sides for this new revelation—first by those who don’t believe in the paranormal, and by those who do, who may question how razing a house will remove a spirit. While the paranormal interests me, again, I’m no expert, but wouldn’t the ghost just move in to the new house? All I know is that supposedly Pickfair is gone because of a ghost. I hope people don’t start using that excuse to destroy other Hollywood landmarks, if so preservation in this town will not have “a ghost of a chance.”



Pickfair for Sale…

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008


Historic Pickfair Estate in Beverly Hills Hits Market


September 9, 2008,
by Marissa Gluck


A veritable bargain compared to the Spelling residence, historic property Pickfair has hit the market. The estate once owned by actors Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, and designed by architect Wallace Neff, is for sale in Beverly Hills. Of course, this isn’t the original Pickfair, since Pia Zadora and her husband tore down the original Neff mansion in the 1980s and put up a larger mansion in its place. The estate is now owned by Unicom Systems (sale price: $15 million in 2005 according to property records, $17.65 million according to Real Estalker,) and apparently is once again in need of restoration according to the listing. In addition to the 17-bedroom, 30-bath estate, the sellers will also negotiate to sell the art and sculptures and “would consider exchange for commercial property, business or other.” Listing price: $60 million.  — 1143 Summit Dr Beverly Hills, CA 90210