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   In 1938, actress Joan Bennett commissioned architect Wallace Neff to design her 14-room house in the west Los Angeles neighborhood of Holmby Hills in her favorite French Provincial style. Then a divorced mother of two, Bennett, known for films such as Little Women, Scarlet Street, and The Woman in the Window, got a white-painted-brick mansion so elegant that actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr. said it resembled “the beautiful Joan expressed in bricks and mortar.” Though the exterior remained white-painted brick with blue shutters and dark-gray shingles throughout Bennett’s nearly 15-year residency, decor went through two color phases, said the actress, who was a talented amateur decorator. (She, did, however, have some help from a designer friend, Hazel Wray Davey.) “I’d furnished the house when I was a blonde,” Bennett explained, “and when I became a brunette [she began dyeing her fair hair around 1940], naturally the colors were no good with my dark hair. So I gave the house a brunette personality.

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