And how much would you pay for American inventor and direct-marketing guru Ron Popeil’s Beverly Hills English Country-style home? And what if it included a pool, a tennis court and a landscaped yard? What if I told you it was fully gated, had a kitchen to die for and French windows in the master? And that now, for the first time, you can have all this plus more, not for $20 million, not for $10 million, but for the low, low price of just $5.99 million?
Popeil’s appearances on infomercials for the Showtime Rotisserie (“Set it and forget it!”) have earned him and his Ronco company a place in American pop culture. “But wait, there’s more! It slices! It dices!”
Popeil brought us the Veg-O-Matic – “Slice a tomato so thin it only has one side” – and the Chop-O-Matic – “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to show you the greatest kitchen appliance ever made. ... All your onions chopped to perfection without shedding a single tear.”
His father, Samuel, is credited with the original inventions, but Ron was the creative marketing force behind the late-night commercials. The products, which sliced and diced their way into our cultural references, have been parodied on “Saturday Night Live,” and featured in an “X-Files” episode where Scully slept while Ron Popeil touts the wonders of his Spray-on Hair for only $39.95. The film “Little Miss Sunshine” features Popeil demonstrating the Showtime Rotisserie Grill on the TV in the background.
Popeil even received a 1993 Ig-Nobel Prize – a parody of the Scandinavian honors – for consumer engineering. The Ig-Nobel committee called him an “incessant inventor and perpetual pitchman of late-night television.”
He sold Ronco in 2005 for $55 million. The company declared bankruptcy two years later.
The gated, two-story home he is selling was built in 1955 and is surrounded by towering trees. It sits on more than an acre of land with a large pool and deck area. The kitchen has a center island that comfortably accommodates a half- dozen oversized bar stools. The open floor plan and high ceilings of the main house let in plenty of light. The floors are slate stone and the ceilings wooden beamed. The master is upstairs, and has a fireplace and French windows. But wait, there’s more! A two-story guesthouse, north-south tennis courts and the primo 90210 schools. Altogether, the property has six bedrooms and eight bathrooms. And if you act now, Popeil may include a Chop-O-Matic in the price.
Drew Mandile and Brooke Knapp of Sotheby’s International Realty, Beverly Hills, are the listing agents.
Ann Brenoff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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