TV Writer-Producer Neal Baer Buys Photog’s House in Hollywood Hills

By Mark David

Always impeccably informed real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak sent word that pediatrician-turned-multiple-Emmy-nominated writer-producer Neal Baer has shelled out $4.35 million for a in the Hollywood Hills sold by celebrated celebrity photographer Cliff Watts, who has snapped memorable images of a slew of A-listers including Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett, James Franco and Javier Bardem.

Concealed behind massive gates with three bedrooms and two bathrooms in not quite 2,800 square feet, the International Style residence was designed in the mid-1950s by card-carrying Communist architect Josef Van der Kar for arch-conservative nuclear arms strategists Albert and Roberta Wohlstetter. So the story goes, the Wohlstetters, who served as advisers to both Republican and Democratic administrations, including that of John F. Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis, once had a secured phone line directly from the house to the Oval Office.

The combination living-dining room has cork floors, a fireplace and broad expanses of floor-to-ceiling glass sliders that lead to a cantilevered wraparound deck. Discreet sliding panels cleverly open or close off the compact, carefully restored kitchen. There are two bedrooms and a hall bath on the upper floor, and a corkscrew staircase curls down to the lower level where a freestanding fireplace is all that divides a window-lined den from the master bedroom. The lush grounds include graveled pathways, towering stands of bamboo and a screened sleeping porch alongside a picturesque koi pond. A detached guest cottage offers a fireplace, bathroom and walk-in closet. A swimming pool is set into a sunny clearing with sculptural concrete benches and a colorful, Mondrian-inspired enclosure for pool equipment.

The longtime showrunner for “Law & Order: SVU,” whose upcoming medical drama “The Beast” was picked up by Fox earlier this year, owns at least two other homes in Los Angeles. In addition to a hillside house above Bronson Canyon he’s owned since 1998, he maintains an A. Quincy Jones designed mid-century modern residence in Brentwood that has a head-on view of the Getty Center.

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