Enjoy the New York City townhouse where Tom Cruise was once the superstar
Celebrity real estate
Give me shelter
Show me the money! Buy the eight-digit plate that Mr. Cruz used to change light bulbs.
Studio MW by Brown Harris Stevens/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures
Imagine having Tom Cruise as your building superintendent. Long ago, that would have been possible.
Before his big hit with 1981’s “Taps,” the world’s most famous movie star worked as a stunt double at this iconic Renaissance limestone cottage on the Upper West Side.
It’s about to hit the market for $14.99 million.
At the time, Cruz was living in a 300-square-foot studio apartment at 50 W. 86th St. His mother paid half the rent — and he paid the rest by changing light bulbs and taking out the trash.
In the 1980s, Sarah Jessica Parker and her boyfriend Robert Downey Jr. also lived in the penthouse, which is partly why the townhouse became known as the Good Luck Building.
The five-story, 9,165-square-foot townhouse is 25 feet wide with a private gated entrance. It comes with original moldings, a decorative staircase, and approximately 18,000 square feet of air rights.
While the house is currently divided into nine units, including two duplex penthouses, as well as commercial space and a pool, it could be converted back to single-family use.
The seller, Therese Flaherty, is a former makeup and hair artist who lived in the building before buying it from previous owners Lee and Libby Allen for $2.7 million in 1999. Lee was an actor, dancer and comedian who played Eddie Ryan in the film. “Funny Girl” with Barbra Streisand; Libby was a singer and cabaret performer.
The Allens also hosted a birthday/staff party for Streisand in the building when there was a pool in the basement. They were so tied to the entertainment business that they often rented apartments in the building to struggling actors, including Cruise, Flaherty said.
“They were a couple from the entertainment world and some of the residents considered them like family. They really lived their lives through this building,” Flaherty said. “There’s a really beautiful Christmas card they showed me once from Tom’s mother, thanking them for taking care of her son. She often left them a little note, telling them that he had taken out the trash, vacuumed the carpets, and changed the light bulbs before flying to Los Angeles.
Flaherty continued the tradition, hiring actors such as Hank Azaria. At one point, Flaherty covered the indoor swimming pool in the basement and opened an art gallery — hoping the building would also help launch the careers of young artists. “I’ve lived and worked here for 25 years. It’s time for a new chapter outside of Manhattan,” Flaherty said.
Designed by architects Neville & Bagg and built in 1907, the building was also home to King Curtis, Aretha Franklin’s musical manager and bandleader, who was stabbed to death in front of the house in 1971. The Rev. Jesse Jackson officiated at the funeral, which was attended by music icons Like Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder, who performed. Curtis’ band has also worked with Andy Williams, Bobby Darin, Nat King Cole and John Lennon. Curtis even worked with Lennon on the “Imagine” album on the ground floor of the house, the acoustics of which King became famous for because of the pool. Before that, talking was easy.
The listing broker is Rex Gonsalves of Brown Harris Stevens.