Now, this Mediterranean-style Beverly Hills abode can be yours, thanks to those tireless cable hawkers QVC. If you phone, fax or email QVC in time, you can snap up the Sunset Boulevard spread for $3.95 million. (That's apparently the going price for notorious California villas these days. O.J.'s Brentwood digs are on the market for the exact same amount.)
The high-priced piece of real estate is one of the over-the-top items being peddled in First Friday: Extreme Shopping, the shopping channel's new late-night series, premiering Friday, September 5. Las Vegas crooner Engelbert Humperdinck, the current owner, will give viewers and potential buyers a guided tour of the plush puce-tone pad, which was originally built in 1935 for late singer Rudy Vallee.
If you don't have the cash, credit is fine. First USA Plantinum Visa is the sole sponsor of the one-hour show, offering subscribers a credit line up to $100,000 for items like celebrity mansions, Chinese dinosaur eggs (not to be used in soup), a vintage Love Bug painted by pop artist Peter Max, or bits and pieces from something not nearly so reliable, the Russian Mir space station. (We thought you could get those just by standing outside with a baseball glove, looking up and waiting.)
The new QVC venture is billed as a variety show with music, comedy and celebrity appearances with Born to Shop author Suzy Gershman, trolling the four corners of the world for must-have merchandise. Fred Siegel, QVC's senior vice president of marketing, says the hard-sell program "doesn't just take electronic retailing to another level, it pushes it over the edge. I think it will attract eyeballs, and raise eyebrows." Much like the busting-out-all-over Mansfield used to do.