French filmmaker Luc Besson, best known for movies like "The Fifth Element" and "Leon: The Professional," has recently parted ways with a slice of Los Angeles real estate that was once owned by an even greater movie business figure: Charlton Heston. The former Heston estate, known as "The House That 'Ben-Hur' Built" after Heston had it built the same year as that phenomenal box office success, was sold at a slight loss by the French auteur.
Dirt.com reports that Besson sold the Heston mansion for $11.2 million, which was quite a price chop compared to the property's original asking price of nearly $15 million, and more than a million dollars less than the $12.2 million Besson paid for it back in 2016.
Regardless of the loss Besson took in selling the place, it's a pretty impressive property, and Heston stayed put in the home for the remaining half century of his life. Then, some seven years after Heston's death in 2008, the film star's heirs put it up for sale in 2015, eventually selling it to Besson. When it came time for Besson to sell the property, he didn't shy away from the Heston connection in its official listing:
"The former Charlton Heston Estate by renowned architect William S. Beckett. A rare, incredible restoration opportunity located on an extraordinary private 2.9 acre view promontory. Gated extra long driveway to a multi structure compound including a spectacular main house with massive extended rooflines reminiscent of Neutra and Lautner. The primary suite wing features incredible views and a 2 story private library/lounge. A separate study opens to the cantilevered black terrazzo deck. A 3 story creative studio/guest house with professional screening room, additional bedroom/office, elevator, Tennis court + clubhouse, spa area w/ massive viewing decks/terraces, private gate access to Franklin Canyon trails."
One reason for the home's disappointing purchase price is that it's reportedly in need of a bit of retouching and restoration, particularly in the exterior. It was sold with plans for an expansion also by architect William Beckett, but it's not known whether the buyer intends to follow these plans or not – time will tell.
For now, you can take a video tour of the former Heston estate below, from Home Drone Films: