The Los Angeles neighborhood of Northridge was a far cry from the celebrity lifestyles of most film stars who wanted to live where the action or prestige was. But for some members of the film industry, both yesterday and today, it provides a respite in which to unwind and a safe place to raise their children. However, when Richard Pryor arrived, he set the neighbors and the formerly peaceful community on their ear. Even with his children in the house, there was a long stream of visitors with loud parties where drugs and alcohol took the place of the sedate dinner parties and cocktail hours favored by other Northridge residents. The event that ended it all was the night in 1980 when Pryor doused himself in rum, then started freebasing cocaine catching the alcohol aflame.
Looking at the luxurious property today, it is hard to imagine its unusual history. Hacienda de los Sueños, is comprised of a lushly landscaped gated and walled very private 2.2 acres with 9,000 square feet of living space divided between six buildings. Many of the amenities enjoyed by Pryor are still there except the boxing ring, the tortoise named Myrtle and a pony named Ginger, which was a gift from producer Burt Sugarman. But the ones that remain or have been added create a magical enclave, such as the main house with four bedrooms, four baths, gourmet kitchen, library, game room and billiard room. Other features include a guest house, pool house with kitchen, 65-foot pool with spa, waterfall and slide, a professional-grade dance studio, a fitness center, children’s playhouse, five-car garage, a barbecue pavilion, north-south tennis court, putting green, citrus grove, vegetable garden and a sauna.
A huge influence to many of today’s comedians, Richard Pryor’s comedy style inspired the likes of George Lopez, George Carlin, Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock. Comedy Central voted him #1 on their list of 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time in 2004, and he was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.
Richard Pryor’s former private estate is now for sale. Priced at $2.549 million.