A celebrity engagement as big and bold as Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez’s requires a marital home that perfectly reflects the combined star power of its owners.
This is why it comes as no surprise that the newly engaged couple have been spotted touring The Manor, the 123-roomed Los Angeles mega-mansion built by TV mogul Aaron Spelling.
The Daily Mail reports that Lopez, 52, and Affleck, 49, toured the 56,500-square-foot property, which is said to be on the market for $165 million, after their previous choice, a $55m home in Bel Air, fell through.
Built on the site of the home previously owned by the late White Christmas actor, Bing Crosby, The Manor was the childhood home of actress Tori Spelling.
Bought and sold by the super-rich over the past few years, including Formula One heiress Petra Ecclestone, it is currently owned by Daryl Katz, the Canadian billionaire and owner of NHL team the Edmonton Oilers.
We delve into the history of the expansive property and reveal the famous people who have lived in and visited the house which was once the most expensive home in California…
The history of The Manor
The house on Mapleton Drive in the Holmby Hills area of LA was built by television producer Aaron Spelling, the man behind Charlie’s Angels, Hart to Hart, Dynasty, Beverly Hills, 90210 and more. Once referred to as Spelling Manor or Candyland, after Spelling’s wife, Candy, it is known locally as The Manor.
The 2.4-hectare plot it stands on was once the location of the home owned by US actor Bing Crosby. Spelling had the previous 1932 property knocked down after paying $10.25m for the land. He then spent an additional $12m to build The Manor, which was completed in 1988.
Holmby Hills has long attracted the super-rich and famous, with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Jeremy Renner, Barbra Streisand and Walt Disney all calling the neighbourhood home. Among The Manor’s more infamous neighbours is the Playboy Mansion.
“All the stars came through, Prince Rainier, Prince Charles, Jackie Kennedy,” Candy said of the famous visitors to The Manor. “Every star from every one of Aaron’s shows.”
The French chateau-style mansion, which is bigger than the White House, is the largest house in Los Angeles County, boasting 123 rooms, including 27 bathrooms and 14 bedrooms.
Calling it the "greatest entertainment house ever", Candy famously had an entire room dedicated to gift-wrapping.
"There were times where I would wrap, at Christmas alone, 900, 1,100 gifts," she said.
She also had a room in which she stored her extensive collection of dolls, a room for cutting flowers and a humidity-controlled room for storing silver.
The Manor boasts a 20-seat cinema and two-lane bowling alley, while the butterfly staircase in the foyer was an homage to the one in the film Gone with the Wind. The basement parking has space for more than 100 cars, and the columns at the entryway are Moorish in origin, dating back more than 400 years.
Aaron bought an entire limestone quarry to ensure the material used to build the house would all look the same. After his death in 2006 at the age of 83, his wife Candy continued living in it until 2011.
She sold the house to British F1 heiress, Petra Ecclestone, who bought it for $85m in 2011 at the age of 23.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Ecclestone bought it after one viewing, before embarking on a 12-week renovation with a team of 500 workers.
Among her many changes were the addition of a beauty salon and a nightclub in the basement.
Ecclestone put the mega-mansion up for sale in 2016 with an asking price of $200m, later dropping it to $175m, then to $160m.
When it eventually sold in 2019, it was snapped up by Canadian billionaire Daryl Katz for $119.7m, becoming the most expensive home sale on record in the state of California until Amazon’s Jeff Bezos paid $165m for the Jack Warner Estate in February 2020.