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Harold Lloyd: Mystery Solved

One of the few homes rescued from the freeway’s path is a sprawling mansion with a mysterious connection to Harold Lloyd.

Harold Lloyd
2053 Lloyd Lane (left) / UCSC Branson DeCou Archive

The silent film star didn’t exactly live in Whitley Heights, although rumor has long had it otherwise. During the neighborhood’s land boom, he snapped up several lots in an area dubbed Lloyd Lane in 1924.

That same year, a Spanish two-story went up at 2053 Lloyd Lane, on his property—but built by his real estate partners: actress Marion Mack and her husband, producer Louis Lewyn, who invested $100,000 with Lloyd.

In their heyday, according to the former Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty, when Howard Hughes arrived in Hollywood and partnered with her neighbor, actor-turned-filmmaker Ralph Graves. The two would often walk over from Graves’ home on nearby Iris Circle “and sit on our porch and talk to Lou.”

The Lloyd Lane mansion was Marion’s sanctuary, and where she convalesced in 1927 when her plane crashed in Death Valley. For five days, The General actress and her pilot were stranded with only a sandwich until a carrier pigeon brought her “Help!” note to a nearby home.

Once the Depression hit, “we lost a lot,” including 2053 Lloyd Lane. In 1930, the Lewyns were forced to sell off everything inside the home, right down to a “rosewood commode.”

After the Hollywood couple, Las Vegas tycoon L.B. Scherer moved in and spruced it up with a number of renovations, including a sparkling swimming pool.

Two decades later, when the home went up for auction in 1948 amid the freeway project, it was billed as “the former Harold Lloyd’s,” perhaps to add to its appeal.

The home, abandoned on Lloyd Lane in 1948

A couple living on Whitley Terrace jumped at the chance to upgrade from their simple three-bedroom.

In 1950, they bought the 10-room mansion and moved it down the lane to Iris Circle, where it was placed atop a modern foundation with an impressive 10,000-brick driveway leading up from the street to the garage.

Unfortunately, the pool couldn’t come along.

The Lloyd Lane home, now on Iris Circle (Julius Shulman / J. Paul Getty Trust)


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