In case you just tuned in, I’m doing a little fact-checking as I go through Scotty Bowers’ “Full Service.” This will be fairly tedious except to a research drudge.
I’m examining the history of 1110 Benedict Canyon Drive, where, as far as I can tell, Scotty Bowers allegedly had his first tryst in Los Angeles in 1946 with Walter Pidgeon at the home of Jacob/Jack/Jacques Potts. There are numerous problems with Bowers’ account, including the statement that the house was across the street from Harold Lloyd’s estate, which is actually 0.2 of a mile away.
And there are conflicting descriptions of the driveway: was it paved or gravel? Details, details….
Fact-Checking “Full Service”: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21
Aug. 10, 1986: The house at 1110 Benedict Canyon is a “John Wolfe Regency.”
Here’s what he says about his purported encounter at the house (and remember, these are conveniently dead people who cannot sue):
I swung my legs out of the car, shut the door, and joined Pidgeon on the porch as he rung the bell. When Jacques Potts opened the front door he was surprised to see me standing there…..
Potts led us through his palatial home to the pool in the backyard before he turned around and disappeared inside the house.
…. So I got undressed, threw my clothes over a deck chair, and dove stark naked into the sparkling water….. I swam a lap or two before Potts reappeared, followed by Pidgeon, who was naked except for a towel tucked around his waist.
After an hour of some really hot sex … we all unwound, and relaxed around the pool.
I suppose “palatial” is a term that could describe many of the homes in Beverly Hills – or at least in that neighborhood of Benedict Canyon. The 1986 property listing sounds opulent. But that is 40 years after the tryst supposedly occurred. Who is John Wolfe? And what about the “dark-bottom pool” that was advertised? Was it there in 1946?
The Times clips are most unhelpful when it comes to John Wolfe – who is even more obscure than Jacob/Jack/Jacques Potts. There are a number of references to him in real estate ads starting in the 1950s, but nothing seems to have been written about him or his firm – and recall that the house at 1110 Benedict Canyon was built in 1929 and updated in 1939, according to the Los Angeles County assessor’s office. He seems to have been a fairly prolific architect, designing movie stars’ homes in the Beverly Hills area, but beyond that, it’s hard to find out much.
Google books shows a reference to him in a 1991 story in Architectural Digest. There’s only a preview, but it appears he did some design work in 1950, after George Cukor’s estate was subdivided. “Jack’s Life,” a 1996 biography of Jack Nicholson, says Robert Evans owned a “John Wolfe Regency.”
I’m out of time. That’s it for today.