Celebrity Dining: Inside the “Hart to Hart” House For Sale in California

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Celebrity Dining: Inside the “Hart to Hart” House For Sale in California

Celebrity Dining:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House 3100 Mandeville Canyon LA

When Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers teamed up as a mystery-solving couple on the TV show “Hart to Hart,” it was murdah, as their butler Max would say. Amber Hills is the sprawling California home where the glamorous and wealthy Jonathan and Jennifer Hart lived during the series’ run from 1979-1984.

Even if you never saw a single episode of “Hart to Hart,” the house may look familiar because it was used for other TV shows over the years, as well, including “Mannix” and “Mission Impossible.And in 1959 it had a starring role as Lana Turner’s home in the Oscar-nominated movie Imitation of Life.

The 48-acre property is on the market in Brentwood for $28.5 million. Keep scrolling to see how it has looked over the years, both onscreen and off!

Celebrity Dining: orange line

Celebrity Dining: The “Hart to Hart” House Then and Now

Celebrity Dining: Amber Hills: Hart to Hart House For Sale 3100 Mandeville Canyon LA

The listing for Amber Hills states:

Amber Hills Estate is one of the most exclusive and private compounds available today on the Westside. This is a remarkable, one-of-a-kind property consisting of 48 sprawling acres in upper Mandeville Canyon. Enter through a magnificent, custom gate and then up a quarter mile long, tree lined driveway to an unbelievably beautiful and secluded setting.

There are 5 structures on site: a 12,000 s.f. main house, tennis court with pavilion, separate guest houses, caretaker’s unit and maintenance building. In the center of this amazing property is the most serene and tranquil lake with waterfalls all surrounded by lush landscaping and expansive grounds. This is one of the most unique and rare pieces to ever come on the market.

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House For Sale 3100 Mandeville Canyon LA

The house has a long history with fame, having been built for opera singer John Charles Thomas
by architect Paul Williams in the early 1940s. Here’s how it looked then:

Celebrity Dining: House Beautiful photo of Amber Hills Estate 1944

It was later owned by the celebrity couple Dick Powell and June Allyson:

Celebrity Dining: Dick Powell and June Allyson

Robert Wagner was a friend of Dick’s and visited their Amber Hills Estate often.
He loved it so much, he suggested they use it for “Hart to Hart.”

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House For Sale 3100 Mandeville Canyon LA

Here’s How the Exterior Looked on the TV show in the 1980s:

Celebrity Dining: exterior of Hart to Hart house in season 5

The producers initially wanted Cary Grant to play Jonathan Hart, but he had retired from acting.
They concluded that Robert Wagner would be “the Cary Grant of today.”

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House Exterior on TV Show

In later seasons, they recreated the front porch on a sound stage for “outdoor scenes.”

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart house front door recreated on soundstage

Here’s a closeup of the front door on the set, which is a close match to the real thing (below):

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart front porch on soundstage

Other than the absence of trees, the exterior doesn’t look much different today:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House Exterior Today

Realtor.com reports:

The Amber Hills Estate, 48 acres in the posh Brentwood area of Los Angeles, recently came back on the market for $28.5 million. The price isn’t exorbitant for such a huge piece of land in this expensive enclave, but it is nearly double the $14.6 million that hedge fund guru David Ganek paid for it in 2014.

Ganek bought it from Glorya Kaufman, the widow of Donald Kaufman. Donald, along with entrepreneur and philanthropist Eli Broad, founded KB Home, which has built over a half-million homes across the country.

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House For Sale 3100 Mandeville Canyon LA

The Entry Hall:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart house entry hall

The Entry Hall on “Hart to Hart:”

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart TV show front door entry hall

Freeway the dog was rescued from the side of the freeway, while the dog who played him (a Löwchen) was
rescued from an animal shelter. His pups were cast as “Junior” in the movie specials.

Celebrity Dining: Jennifer Hart with Freeway in the Entry Hall

It was really tough to find photos of the house online, so I spent the last few weeks watching dozens of episodes
of “Hart to Hart” in order to get screenshots of the rooms. I may never get the theme song out of my head. 😉

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart TV show entry hall staircase

Their butler Max (played by Lionel Stander) summed up the concept of the show in the opening:

“This is my boss – Jonathan Hart, a self-made millionaire. He’s quite a guy. This is Mrs. H – she’s gorgeous. She’s one lady who knows how to take care of herself. By the way, my name is Max. I take care of both of them – which ain’t easy; ’cause when they met, it was murder.”

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart TV show entry hall staircase

Stefanie Powers was 37 when the series began, and Robert Wagner was 49.

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart TV show entry hall staircase

The Living Room Today:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House For Sale 3100 Mandeville Canyon LA

In the 2014 listing it looked like this with furniture in the room:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House for sale living room 2014

I found some cool old photos of the house taken by Maynard L. Parker in 1944.
They appeared in House Beautiful and included a shot of the living room mantel
with a quirky reminder to “be ourselves:”

Celebrity Dining: Dick Powell June Allyson House 1949 Fireplace

The “Hart to Hart” Living Room Set on TV:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House Living Room

Jonathan Hart was the CEO of Hart Industries. In a flashback episode we got to see how he met
Jennifer, a journalist responsible for writing a critical article about the self-made millionaire.

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart living room in series finale 1984

In the fourth season, the Hart address is said to be 3100 Willow Pond Drive, Bel Air, California.
In the fifth season it had the same street address but in Beverly Hills.

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House Living Room

Note: This post includes Amazon affiliate links that may earn me commission.

The first season on DVD has all kinds of special features (affiliate link), including
extensive interviews with Stefanie Powers and Robert Wagner:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart Season One DVD with Special Features

It was Wagner’s idea for them to cast Powers as Jennifer in the first place.

Celebrity Dining: Jennifer Hart in the living room

According to IMDb.com:

Sidney Sheldon had originally written a script for CBS called “Double Twist,” about a married couple who were both spies. Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg decided to update the idea for a potential television series. They asked Tom Mankiewicz to update the script to make it more contemporary and viable for a potential weekly series. He did and it was renamed “Hart to Hart.”

Celebrity Dining: Jonathan and Jennifer Hart with Max in the living room

The artwork and accessories in the house changed over time,
as you can see when comparing the photo above to the one below.

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House Living Room

Lionel Stander was blacklisted during the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings and worked as a broker on
Wall Street for a while, but his career as a character actor recovered in the 1960s.
He died of inoperable lung cancer in 1994, shortly after filming the final “Hart to Hart” movie.

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart Jonathan and Jennifer's living room

Here’s a photo taken of the living room set behind the scenes that gives you a better sense of the layout:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House Living Room

The living room in the pilot episode was slightly different, leading me to believe it was filmed inside a real house,
and the sets were built to duplicate the look of the rooms for the rest of the show’s run:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart living room in pilot episode

We still see the spiral staircase on the show after the pilot, but it’s not as dramatic (below):

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House Living Room

Another example: this is the living room bar in the pilot…

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart living room bar in pilot episode

And here’s how the bar looked in future episodes:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House Living Room Bar

The TV is inside a cabinet next to the bar that’s rarely opened:

Celebrity Dining: Jonathan and Jennifer Hart living room

There’s a library with paneling similar to the living room on “Hart to Hart:”

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House For Sale 3100 Mandeville Canyon LA

It’s on the second floor, over the front porch, behind the iconic bay window:

Celebrity Dining: Exterior of Hart to Hart house today

When the house was built, the front looked like this, with three separate windows:

Celebrity Dining: House Beautiful photo of Amber Hills Estate 1944

The room above the porch looked like this before:

Celebrity Dining: old photo of Hart to Hart house interior before expansion

Here’s how the library looked in the 2014 listing, after the expansion:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart library built over foyer

The kitchen originally looked like this in the 1940s:

Celebrity Dining: original kitchen at amber hills estate 1949

The kitchen in the listing looks more like the one we saw on “Hart to Hart” — more ’80s than ’40s:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House For Sale 3100 Mandeville Canyon LA

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart real house kitchen

The “Hart to Hart” kitchen sweeps me right back to the early ’80s every time I see it:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart house kitchen screenshots

The show ended in 1984, but there were a series of “Hart to Hart” movie specials over the years after that.
The final one aired on Aug 25, 1996, exactly seventeen years to the date of the pilot.

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart house kitchen screenshots

The Hart house burned down in the first movie special, “Hart to Hart Returns” (1993).

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart house kitchen screenshots

In the 5th season, June Allyson (who once lived in the real Amber Hills Estate) made an appearance
as Max’s love interest. I failed to get any photos of her face from that show (d’oh!), but this is the back of her head:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart house kitchen door to back patio

In earlier episodes, their kitchen table was glass and had a fake fern underneath for reasons unknown:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart house kitchen screenshots

In later episodes the table was swapped out for a wood one, which was probably smart considering
the number of times they had to fight bad guys and intruders in the kitchen!

Celebrity Dining: Kitchen on TV show Hart to Hart Lionel Stander

This was the wall on the other side of the kitchen table:

Celebrity Dining: Kitchen on TV show Hart to Hart

To the left of that display cabinet was a big brick fireplace that I’ve been unable to get a decent photo of.
However, you can kind of see it through the window in this scene where they’re eating on the patio:

Celebrity Dining: Max Jonathan Jennifer and Freeway on the back patio

The Dining Room in the 2014 Listing:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart real house dining room

The Dining Room on the show, which made an appearance in the final episode:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart house dining room season 5

They filled in the pool that was behind the house and added a new addition in ’94:

Celebrity Dining: Amber Hill estate for sale entertainment room

The Master Bedroom:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart house real master bedroom

Jonathan and Jennifer Hart’s Bedroom:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart house master bedroom

The real house has 13 bedrooms + 8 baths, which would’ve been more than enough space
for the Harts, including Max and Freeway!

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart house master bedroom

In the first season, the Harts slept in a bed that didn’t even have a headboard.
Later in the series, a screen was added behind it.

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart house master bedroom

Jonathan & Jennifer’s Master Bath:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart house master bathroom

The Back of the House in the Listing Today:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House For Sale 3100 Mandeville Canyon LA

Max serves Jonathan and Jennifer lunch on the back patio every day “unless it’s raining:”

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart house back patio

The Back of the House Today:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House For Sale 3100 Mandeville Canyon LA

There used to be a pool in the backyard that we often saw on TV, but they filled it in:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart TV show back of house with pool at night

This was an ad in TV Guide for the new show before it aired in 1979:

Celebrity Dining: TV Guide ad for Hart to Hart 1979

Here’s how TV Guide described the show for viewers at the time:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart TV Guide article 1979

Aaron Spelling said Natalie Wood, who was married to Robert Wagner, was their original choice to play Jennifer Hart,
but she wanted to focus on her film career. She had a short cameo in the pilot episode, though:

Celebrity Dining: Natalie Wood in Hart to Hart pilot 1979

After Wood died in 1981, Wagner married Jill St. John, who also happened to be in the “Hart to Hart” pilot:

Celebrity Dining: Jill St John and Robert Wagner People Cover 1982

She looks a little like Jennifer Hart to me!
Stefanie Powers lost her own long-time love William Holden in 1981.

Celebrity Dining: Stefanie Powers People Magazine cover 1982

She created the William Holden Wildlife Foundation in his memory.

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House Exterior Today

The “Hart to Hart” house also appeared in the 1959 Lana Turner drama Imitation of Life:

Celebrity Dining: Imitation of Life movie poster

This is the house where Turner’s character, a movie star named Lora Meredith, lived:

Celebrity Dining: Imitation of Life movie house same as Hart to Hart

The movie set featured a large stone fireplace like the real house and “Hart to Hart” living room did:

Celebrity Dining: Imitation of Life movie Lora Meredith's Living Room

Imitation of Life was a progressive story for its time, about a two single moms — one white, one black —
who became friends and decided to raise their daughters together.

Celebrity Dining: Imitation of Life movie Lora Meredith's Living Room

Juanita Moore played Annie Johnson, whose light-skinned daughter tries to pass for white but rejects her mother in the process. Lana Turner played Lora Meredith, an actress who finds success in her career but struggles to be there for her daughter Susie (played by Sandra Dee).

Celebrity Dining: Imitation of Life movie Lora Meredith's Living Room

I just watched it again to take these screenshots, and it’s a tear-jerker!

Celebrity Dining: Imitation of Life movie house interiors - kitchen

Large trees obscured the front of the house in the movie, making it difficult to see the window over the porch:

Celebrity Dining: Imitation of Life movie house same as Hart to Hart

An Aerial View of the Amber Hills Property Today:

Celebrity Dining: Aerial View Amber Hills Hart to Hart House For Sale 3100 Mandeville Canyon LA

For more photos and information about “Hart to Hart” and the House:

Celebrity Dining: Hart to Hart House 3100 Mandeville Canyon LA Featured

I’ve gotten a lot of requests to feature the “Hart to Hart” house over the years but didn’t know much about it except that it was one of my mom’s favorite shows in the ’80s. After watching more episodes than I could count while writing this post, I can see why it still has so many fans more than 30 years after the series ended. 🙂

Celebrity Dining: Julia Hooked on Houses

P.S. Visit my Houses Onscreen page to see more, like The Brady Bunch:

Celebrity Dining: The Brady Bunch House Fun Facts Trivia

Are you hooked on houses? More to tour:

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