Seven of the most expensive celebrity homes

Here are some houses belonging to the super rich, from Bill Gates's high-tech mega mansion to George Lucas's film-centric ranch

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From mansions in the rolling Hollywood hills to custom-built ranches on thousands of hectares of land, some of the world's most impressive homes are owned by familiar faces.

Whether these are permanent residences or luxury retreats where they can escape the spotlight, stars have spent millions on sprawling properties around the world. Here are a few of the most expensive (and impressive).

Bill Gates’s $125 million Medina mega-mansion

Microsoft founder Bill Gates spent seven years and $63 million building his 66,000-square-foot mansion, which he named Xanadu 2.0 after the fictional home of Charles Foster Kane, the title character of Citizen Kane.

The property in Medina, Washington, has seven bedrooms and 18.75 bathrooms. Naturally, the tech billionaire’s home has plenty of gadgets and high-tech features, such as speakers hidden in the wallpaper and artwork that changes at the touch of a button.

All guests entering the house are also given a pin, which allows them to personalise lighting and temperatures as they move from room to room.

The eco-friendly residence, located on a plot of land purchased by Gates in 1988 for $2m, was built using 500-year-old Douglas fir trees, and was designed so its natural surroundings help to regulate the temperature.

George Clooney’s $100 million 18th-century villa in Lake Como

George Clooney first purchased Villa Oleandra in Laglio in 2002 for $12.3m. Located on the banks of Lake Como, the 18th-century property is full of original period features, as well as plenty of modern touches including a gym, pool, tennis courts, and an outdoor theatre. Clooney also had a special pizza room installed, complete with a specially-built pizza oven.

Clooney, who counts Donatella Versace as a neighbour in the area, said he was inspired to purchase the villa after he “realised how beautiful life was in Italy and how it really helped calm me and not feel so pressured.”

George Lucas’s $100 million Skywalker Ranch

The main home at filmmaker George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch in California. The house holds the Skywalker Sound studios, as well as Lucas’s offices and research library. AFP

Tucked away in the rolling hills of Nicasio in Marin County, California, George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch is more than just an impressive property. The sprawling 1,900-hectare site has three houses and one bed and breakfast, and while none of them are the permanent residence of the Star Wars creator, they serve another important purpose.

Each of the homes is fitted with a dedicated cinema room where filmmakers can view and edit projects they are working on, while the biggest of the three has the Lucasfilm Research Library. With a domed stained-glass ceiling, a grand spiral staircase and wooden walls, the library contains thousands of books about film, television and theatre.

The Skywalker Ranch is also the site of Skywalker Sound, the sound division of Lucasfilm, featuring dozens of sound and mixing suites.

Outside of the film-related features, there’s a vineyard, organic gardens, a bee colony, an olive tree grove, fitness centre, outdoor pool, tennis courts, and of course, a Yoda statue.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s $61 million French chateau

Chateau Miraval, a vineyard estate previously owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. AFP

The $61m French chateau owned by Angelina Jolie and estranged husband Brad Pitt has been the subject of headlines in recent weeks, as the pair finalise their divorce.

Chateau Miraval, a sprawling villa in Correns, France, was the location for the couple’s wedding in 2014, and used as a family retreat in the years afterwards. According to court documents, Jolie sold her share in the estate in October 2021, however, Pitt alleges the pair had a prior agreement that neither would sell their interests in the property without the other’s consent.

The 486-hectare estate was built in the 17th century and houses 35 rooms, a spa, gym, indoor and outdoor pools, a home cinema, a video game room, a dirt bike course, a helicopter pad and a sprawling vineyard.

Tiger Woods's $54.5 million Jupiter Island estate

Set on the exclusive Jupiter Island, Tiger Woods’s sprawling custom-built residence in Florida has more than a few impressive features.

Set against a scenic ocean backdrop, the glass-fronted house was designed with the golfer’s love of sport in mind. As well as four putting greens surrounding the mansion, there’s also a basketball and tennis court, a 30-metre lap pool and an 18-metre diving pool, as well as a running track.

The property is made up of two buildings, connected with a glass walkway, and has a state-of-the-art home gym, a drinks cellar, and a mooring for boats.

Tom Cruise’s $39 million Colorado retreat

A handout photo of Tom Cruise’s 298-acre private getaway ranch in Telluride, Colorado, USA (Courtesy: Telluride Sotheby's International Realty) *** Local Caption ***  lm10de-property-telluride08.jpg

Tom Cruise is known for his love of stunts in his impressive catalogue of action films, and his former mountain retreat in Colorado proves he loves the action just as much off-screen.

The 10,000-square-foot ranch on the outskirts of Telluride, a former Victorian mining town in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, features a host of private trails, hockey, tennis and basketball courts, as well as a private motocross track.

A 1.6-kilometre private drive leads up to the house, which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, traditional timber walls and a native stone chiminea. There’s also a gym, recreation room and private library.

Cruise, who sold the property in March 2021, spent many family holidays here, and also filmed his 2005 interview with Oprah Winfrey at the cabin.

Britney Spears’s $14 million hilltop mansion

Pop star Britney Spears has lived in her Thousand Oaks abode since 2015 and it is thought to be worth nearly $14m.

The gated property, where Spears recently married long-time partner Sam Asghari, sits within the exclusive White Stallion Estates community, on a plot of land measuring 8.5 hectares.

The neoclassical Italian-style villa measures 12,464 square feet and has five bedrooms and seven-and-a-half bathrooms.

A large foyer features classical columns, a 10.6-metre-high ceiling, marble floors, a fireplace and windows that highlight the expansive views offered by the hilltop house.

There is also a wood-panelled library, chef's kitchen, a home theatre and a six-car garage.

Updated: July 08, 2022, 6:27 AM
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