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  • Writer's picturePrinceton North

Oprah Winfrey Sells Spare Montecito Ranch to Hollywood Filmmaker

For many years, Oprah Winfrey’s main residence has been the so-called “Promised Land” estate, a roughly 66-acre compound in prime Montecito. But the media titan still owns a number of other properties in and around the area. One of them was this ranch, right across the street from the Promised Land, that was recently sold to another showbiz player.

Siteline Santa Barbara first reported the off-market transfer, which was inked for about $14.3 million. Records show the buyer is Hollywood film producer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber (“Red Notice,” “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” “We’re the Millers”), who will helm the upcoming “Dungeons & Dragons” live-action series for Paramount+.

Since the transaction was inked off-market, house photos and details are nearly nonexistent. But tax records say Winfrey acquired the property in 2005 for $7 million, though it’s clear she never actually lived there. The 5.6-acre spread currently contains a relatively humble ranch house measuring just over 3,000 square feet, with four bedrooms and four baths. And though much of the lot appears to be little more than barren dirt, also on the premises are a grassy lawn, swimming pool and even a full-size tennis court.

The property is located in the charming and coveted Hedgerow district of Montecito, where other residents have included Ellen DeGeneres, Ariana Grande and Larry David. As such, the entire 5.6-acre lot is surrounded by a mature wall of hedges, effectively blocking public view of any part of the estate. But from within, the compound likely boasts majestic vistas of the Santa Ynez Mountains.

Real estate aficionados may recall that Thurber likes pricey houses. Less than a year ago, he paid “Law & Order” star Chris Meloni nearly $6 million for a Hollywood Hills mansion best known as the real-life, once-upon-a-time residence of TV stars Ozzie and Harriet Nelson. That 1916 property has since become Thurber and wife Sarah’s main residence.

As for Winfrey, the real estate mogul recently sold another $14 million Montecito property to Jennifer Aniston. But she still owns dozens of homes, including several in the Montecito area alone. The Mississippi native also has extensive property holdings in Colorado, Tennessee and Washington state, and now controls approximately 1,000 acres of land on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

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