When legendary acting-writing duo Renée Taylor and Joseph Bologna moved to LA on the heels of their ’70s hits 'Lovers and Other Strangers' and 'Made for Each Other,' they really went Hollywood — turning Shirley Temple’s former home into a virtual map of the stars.
But with eight tiny bedrooms, “it really was like Shirley Temple’s dollhouse,” Joe, 80, joked with 'Closer.' “If you go into the attic on a full moon, you can hear ‘On the Good Ship Lollipop.’"
The comedy duo in January 2010. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
So after buying the 4,500-square-foot Tudor-style home in 1974, they tore down the walls in three bedrooms and Renée, 82, and her designer pal Terry Landeck redecorated in “glamorous Old Hollywood” style — literally.
“If a movie star’s home was for sale, I’d go to the open house to copy things,” said Renée, who has far better taste than the brash mom with plastic-covered furniture she played on 'The Nanny.'
She was inspired by the bathroom of 1940s-era Oscar winner Greer Garson. “It was the most beautiful I’d ever seen,” recalled Renée, who copied it. “Her press agent said, ‘I have a funny feeling I’ve been in your bathroom before.’ I told him, ‘You’re in Greer’s, just in a different house!’"
The happy couple in December 1986. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
And after seeing Sting’s cathedral ceilings in a magazine, she added one in the living room. But Renée’s most important project was pleasing her hubby and fellow NYC native, Joe, who needed to be convinced to move. “Joe hated California. I asked, ‘What could we do to make you happy?’"
That meant converting a garage into the library and decorating the driveway with a fountain “so it looked like a Mediterranean restaurant” — special for Joe, an Italian-American who loves cooking. “I went from despising California, to tolerating it, to liking it,” he admitted. “The house is a joy.”
To read the full story on Renée and Joseph, pick up the new issue of 'Closer Weekly,' on newsstands now!