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Cool Pads: Julianna Margulies Sells to actor Ed O'Neill; Sidney Sheldon's Estate Closes

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There is a certain symmetry when one celebrity buys another celebrity's home. It just feels that the delicate balance of so-many-celebrities-per-Los-Angeles-city-block is being maintained. It also means that somebody got lucky and moved some real estate is this gawd-awful market.

So we'd like to thank Modern Family star Ed O'Neill for buying the perpetually listed home of Good Wife star Julianna Margulies, a property that has been on the market for what feels like a century or so.

As reported in the Los Angeles Times, the two-story Spanish style Santa Monica home sold for $3,350,001, which is either a typo or a reflection of O'Neill's sense of humor or desire to drive the lovely Ms. Margulies and her agent nuts during negotiations. I initially reported the listing in the fall of 2008 for $4.5 million. Hey, it's been a hard year.

The home, built in 1927, has an updated kitchen, a den with a fireplace and a detached one-bedroom, one-bathroom guesthouse. There is a pool.

Margulies, probably best known as Nurse Hathaway on the long-running TV series E.R., is believed to be living in New York. The house had been leased for a while to another actress.

O'Neill, who first captured the hearts and minds of America as Al Bundy on Married With Children, plays the patriarchal family head, Jay Pritchett, on the ABC hit series, Modern Family. I have to admit, Modern Family is the first "appointment" TV show I've watched since The Sopranos went off the air. And I'm betting he threw in that extra dollar in the sales price, just because.

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Author Sidney Sheldon was the King of Beach Reading, the Master of the Page-Turner, the Lord of the Best-Sellers List for decades. And while his works are now primarily found at garage sales and the library $1 used book shelves, his legacy and inspiration to generations of writers can't be denied. Can you imagine selling 300 million books?

Sheldon died in 2007 and the final chapter of his real estate holdings just closed, with the sale of his Palm Springs' compound - the place where he did much of his writing. Exactly why the Smithsonian didn't stick up a plaque or move his desk for preservation in Washington escapes me. Bureaucrats, all of them.

Sheldon loved having his friends and family close by, while still having the privacy to write, says Brooke Ashley, the Montecito Prudential agent who listed the three homes in the compound. Ashley is Sheldon's god-daughter.

The main house property, which includes the casita where Sheldon wrote, just closed escrow for $1.1 million. It had been listed at $1,495,000. The property called the Playhouse because of its indoor pool and screening room, was listed at $1,450,000 and sold in 2008 for $1,425,000. And the guest house, previously owned by Moss Hart and Kitty Carlisle, was listed at $1.9 million and sold in January for $1,150,000.

Sheldon was also the creator of The Patty Duke Show and wrote an unprecedented 78 scripts for it in three years. He also won an Academy Award for best screenplay for The Boxer and the Bobbysoxer. At one point, he had three Broadway musicals running simultaneously. His first novel, The Naked Face, won the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America.