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Celebrity houses: where style goes out the back door

Published Mar 19, 2010

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By Manuela Peitz

They are celebrities, they earn pots of money, they live in luxury and they're not afraid to show the world just how rich they are.

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And what better way to flaunt your wealth than buying the most spectacular houses on the market in some of the most beautiful places in the world?

Unfortunately, with vast wealth, simplicity and style often go out the back door. This would explain why Hollywood is home to some of the most ridiculous AND most magnificent houses in America.

Olympic-size pools and tennis courts are not considered a luxury but a necessity. For some, optional extras include a golf course, a gym, a movie theatre and an airstrip.

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While some people in South Africa have to make do with a 4x4 square metre shack, these celebrities think nothing of blowing millions to get their dream homes.

And many of these celebs own more than one home in more than one country - all furnished and accessorised with only the best money can buy.

Hollywood power couple Will and Jada Smith reportedly spent R145-million on building their ridiculously snooty villa in California.

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Their estate, which took over seven years to complete, is enviously described by their neighbours as a castle, and has its own lake.

Scientologist John Travolta, best known for his blue eyes and sexy dance moves back in the '70s and '80s, has a terrific villa. The Taking of Pelham 123 star - a licensed pilot - even has his own airstrip. The villa in Ocala, Florida, is located immediately off a 2km airstrip and is designed so his jets can taxi right up to two out-buildings connected to the main house.

Travolta extended the runway to connect with his house for more comfort and with more space for his two jets, a Gulfstream and a Boeing 707.

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Britney Spears bought a Malibu mansion in 2004 for a whopping R45-million as a love nest for her and then husband Kevin Federline.

The 700 square metre Renaissance-style villa boasts seven bedrooms, six bathrooms, a pool, spa, library, tennis court and gym. In 2007, the mansion went back on the market for R98.3-million, but the star was forced to settle for a mere R52 million as it was considered too over-the-top for most people.

One of the most spectacular houses in Tinseltown is owned by talk show queen Oprah - and she nicknamed the R36.4-million villa - located in Santa Barbara, California - the Promised Land due to its size and luxury.

The property covers about 17 hectares and the house itself is 2 200 square metres. It has six bedrooms, 14 bathrooms and 10 fireplaces.

Oprah's personal touches include a home theatre and a man-made lake which is home to rare fish.

Not wanting to feel left out, George Clooney bought a 25-room house - Villa Oleandra - in Italy in 2001.

It has an outdoor theatre, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and an extra-large garage for Clooney's motorcycles. Posh and Becks were keen on buying the estate, but did not want to cough up R21.8-million for the house.

Madonna bought a 20-room villa - hidden in its own 1 200-acre valley - for a jaw-dropping R990-million in 2001.

The Material Girl lived the life of an English noblewoman - horse riding, hunting and fishing - but that all changed after her divorce and she jetted back to America.

Hollywood's most talked about darling couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie regularly travel with their brood of six.

They are known for taking over entire floors in hotels and renting luxury villas.

The couple recently rented a 16th century Venetian palace while Angie is working on her latest project, The Tourist, in Italy. They also own homes in Hollywood, New Orleans, Malibu and the south of France. - Daily Voice

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