If you’re a fan of television shows and movies, there are certain houses that are immediately recognizable. For example, if you were a loyal viewer of the TV show The Waltons, you’re familiar with the family home featured in every episode. Have you ever wondered about the story behind the houses pictured in your favorite TV shows and movies? I thought I’d use this week’s blog entry to check out the backstory on five houses that may bring up a few pleasant memories for you. Enjoy!
Five Famous Homes in Television and Movies
- The House in Leave It to Beaver: If you love to watch reruns of Leave It to Beaver, you recognize the Cleaver family’s home the moment it appears on screen. The television show ran from 1957 to 1963. The house was located on the Universal City lot where the show was filmed. Before it was home to the Cleaver family, this house was featured in a 1955 film called The Desperate Hours starring Humphrey Bogart. Its design was changed and the house was later used in the TV show Marcus Welby, M.D. Today, the façade of the Cleaver house is all that remains on a backlot at Universal Studios.
- Downton Abbey: If the names Lady Mary, Mr. Carson, and the Earl of Grantham ring a bell, then you’re probably a fan of the TV show Downton Abbey. Many exterior and interior scenes of this popular show are filmed in a real castle. Highclere Castle has 300-plus rooms and sits on a thousand acres in Berkshire, England. Interestingly, this castle was built by Charles Barry, who also built the Houses of Parliament. I wonder how long it takes to vacuum and dust more than 300 rooms?
- The Glass House in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: If you were around in the 1980s, you probably remember the 1986 movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Remember when the red Ferrari belonging to Cameron’s father crashed through a wall of his glass garage? The garage and the actual residence are made of steel and glass. The house was recently sold for well more than a million dollars. As a note, the glass wall that was smashed in the movie was specially made for the scene. And thankfully, the red Ferrari that crashed through the wall was a replica.
- The Brady Bunch House: Episodes of the popular show The Brady Bunch were filmed at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, California. The exterior of the house that appears on the show is in North Hollywood. The show’s creator, Sherwood Schwartz, chose the house because it looked like a house that an architect (like Mr. Brady) would want to live in. In order to give the impression that the house has two levels, a false window was added to the A-frame portion of the structure. Some changes have been made to the house over the years, but it still stands on Dilling Street in North Hollywood.
- The House on The Waltons: Viewers who watched The Waltons saw a two-story wooden house with an inviting front porch in every episode. However, it was not an actual house but a façade built on a lot belonging to Warner Brothers Studios. After the series ended in 1981, the façade of the Waltons’ home was destroyed. However, it was rebuilt for reunion shows and even appeared in a different form in the TV series The Gilmore Girls.
I hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane. Thanks for reading! – Alan