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5 abandoned mansions that were once owned by Hollywood stars


By Myelle Lansat, INSIDER

  • Once a celebrity owned home hits the market, it's usually sold quickly at a high value.
  • However, some lavish homes with famous owners are later abandoned.
  • Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch is still on the market for $67 million.
  • Some homes become something entirely different: Bruce Lee's Hong Kong home is going to become a school and a mansion owned by Mike Tyson is now owned by The Living World Sanctuary Church.

Celebrity homes rile up the housing market with big names and even bigger price tags.

Once a celebrity-owned home hits the market, it is usually sold quickly at a high value. However, there are exceptions to lavish homes with famous owners that were never sold or are abandoned after tragedy and death.

And if a celebrity home is sold, there's no guarantee the next owner will maintain it in all its former glory.


Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch is still on the market for $67 million.


Zoo animals, bumper cars, two separate railroad tracks, and more fill the amusement park that is Neverland Ranch. Michael Jackson reportedly purchased the 2,700-acre California property in 1987 for $19.5 million dollars. Jackson constantly entertained and threw lavish parties when he lived on the Disney-like ranch - he even threw Kim Kardashian a party for her 14th birthday.

That all came to an end when Jackson faced allegations of child sexual abuse and police raided the property in 2003. The late performer was reportedly shaken by the raid and later cleared of child molestation charges in 2005. Some speculated his court battles took a financial toll on the singer, which led to a threatened foreclosure sale on Neverland ranch in 2008. Jackson eventually sold it to Colony Capital for $22.5 million in 2009.

The house saw millions of dollars worth of renovations and rebranding. The property, dubbed Sycamore Valley Ranch, was put on the market in 2015 for $100 million after Jackson's death in 2009. Since then, the property has been marked down significantly and is now listed at $67 million, remaining unoccupied.


Bruce Lee's Hong Kong home is going to become a school.


When Bruce Lee died in 1973 at the age of 32, his Hong Kong home was quickly purchased. Chinese philanthropist Yu Pang-lin bought the property in 1974 and converted it to be a "love hotel" where rooms could be rented by the hour.

Pang-lin then said he planned to sell the property to raise funds for victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, according to The South China Morning Post. Lee's fans instead urged him to preserve it in Lee's honor and the plan to sell it was put on hold.

He later wanted to turn it into a museum, but the government rejected his plans.

When Pang-lin died in 2015, he left the mansion and his entire estate to charity, according to the South China Morning Post. The paper went on to report that the mansion would be converted into a Chinese studies center with classes to begin in September 2019, welcoming 400 children.


The Minnelli Mansion was at the center of a legal battle.


According to Curbed Los Angeles, the mansion was built in 1925 and remodeled by architect John Elgin Woolf before being purchased by director Vincente Minnelli.

The director died in 1986 and left two clauses about the house in his will - his wife Lee Minnelli was allowed to have unlimited, lifetime access to the house, but his daughter, actress Liza Minnelli, was in charge of the estate.

Liza decided to sell the Beverly Hills mansion in 2000 and reportedly offered to buy her 94-year-old step-mother a condo, according to Curbed.

When it sold in 2002, Lee refused to move out. In turn, Liza stopped paying for the electric bills and the staff - who continued to work for free, according to the Los Angeles Times. Lee filed a lawsuit against Liza, accusing her of breach of contract, elder abuse, and infliction of emotional distress. She also wanted a $1 million trust in her name from the sale of the home in order to secure herself new housing.

The lawsuit was dropped in 2002 and Liza made an arrangement with the new buyers, and paid them rent so that Lee could live in the house until her death.

The house closed escrow in 2006 - the new owners reportedly paid $2.3 million.

Lee died in 2009, and the new owners reportedly debated renovating the home or demolishing it, but a decision seems to never have been made because the home still stands abandoned.


A mansion owned by Mike Tyson is now owned by The Living World Sanctuary Church.


A little less than 50 miles southeast of Cleveland, Ohio, sits a 25,000-square-foot abandoned mansion. Before going to prison on a rape conviction in 1992, Mike Tyson lived in the lavish home just 20 miles away from where he used to train.

The home had a 10,000-square-foot room with an indoor pool, wrought iron spiral staircase, money covered ceilings and walls, and cages for his four tigers, according to Daily Mail.

Tyson returned to the home following a three-year stay in prison before selling the house in 1999 for $1.3 million to Paul Monea, a businessman best known for Tae-Bo exercise videos.

Monea was sentenced to prison in 2008 on conspiracy and money laundering charges and the home sat unoccupied until 2010. The home was sold for $600,000 and donated to The Living World Sanctuary Church. It is currently being converted into a church after several years of vacancy.


Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour's abandoned mansion is vacant after a tragedy.


The Hook End Manor sits on 25 acres of land in South Oxfordshire, UK. The 11-bedroom home was purchased by Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour in 1980.

The property has everything from the expected to the bizarre, including a recording studio used by Rod Stewart and Tom Jones to a supposed tombstone in the basement, according to Consequence of Sound.

Gilmour sold the manor to West Side Productions and it was taken over by record producer Trevor Horn in the '90s. Horn put the home on the market after his wife was accidentally shot by their son with an air rifle at the home. She survived but spent more than three years in a coma and retained brain damage, rendering her unable to move or speak. She died in 2014 of cancer.

It's now owned by a mystery buyer and used for commercial studio space, according to Consequence of Sound.



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Home Magazine: 5 abandoned mansions that were once owned by Hollywood stars
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