Ann Dvorak’s Los Angeles Pt. 19 – Topanga Beach Road, Malibu

Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 354


I admit that I have been putting this post off for awhile because the locations of these Mailbu addresses have always puzzled me. I’ve poured through old maps at the library, and I am guessing what is now called Topanga Beach Drive was Topanga Beach Road in Ann’s day. Furthermore, I do not think the structures at 18722, 18708, and 18704 Topanga Beach Road exist anymore. Most of the locations of Ann Dvorak’s Los Angeles are still around and can be visited, which makes me less enthusiastic about Malibu. Plus, as a resident of the  San Fernando Valley, Malibu may as well be in China so I have never taken the time to drive out there and explore.

Ann initially lived at 18722 and owned the other two adjacent properties as investments, though she did put her mother up in one of them. Once Ann’s third husband, Nicholas Wade came into the picture, Ann’s fortunes declined and she eventually had to sell the property she was living in and move to one of the smaller locations. Wade had also set his sights on these properties to serve as production facilities and away went Mama Lehr, causing her to be estranged from her daughter for a number of years. Eventually, Ann would lose both those properties after some lousy business deals were made on her behalf while she was hospitalized for an extended period of time.

Geeze, perhaps the other reason I avoided this post is because Malibu represents a rather down time in Ann’s life. Although before Nicholas Wade came into the picture there were happy times on the beach, as the above photo demonstrates.

I am fairly certain that the area described on this Surfwriter website is where Ann lived.  If this is the correct location, then this part of Ann Dvorak’s Los Angeles is truly gone.


  1. Richard Harland Smith December 20, 2013

    Hey, if you ever want to go out there I’ll be your Indian guide.

  2. admin December 20, 2013

    Done! Let me know when you have a free Monday. This was on my laundry list of stuff to do before the book was done, buy driving to the west side is more than I can usually handle.

  3. Mike December 20, 2013

    The shadow of Nicholas Wade hangs heavy over the last quarter of the biography, sorta like the Floyd Thursby character in the Maltese Falcon. He remains a mysterious figure, and easy to draw the conclusion that he was not a positive force in Ann’s life. Still, there must have some connection there for her to stick it out with him as long as she did.

  4. admin December 20, 2013

    I wish I knew what that connection was, but could never adequately figure it out.

  5. Ralph Smith August 28, 2016

    My relative,Dorothy DeNario (Roberts) lived immediately next door to Ann Dvorak on West Topanga Road, now called Topanga Beach Drive. Their beach houses were virtually built over the beach and the waves crashed loudly below. I tried to find this address a couple of years ago but failed because the places no longer exist. I did not know what had happened until just recently when I looked up Ann Dvorak’s life story.
    Ralph Smith

  6. Christina Rice August 28, 2016

    Hi Ralph, Thanks for the comment. Did Dorothy ever say anything about Ann?

  7. Ralph Smith August 29, 2016

    Christina, it was always my understanding that Dorothy DeNoria
    owned the beach house on West Topanga Road but it’s possible she was leasing it from Anne Dvorak. Dorothy owned Pacific Auto, a company that provided antique and classic cars from her collection for all of the studios during that period.
    Dorothy never mentioned Anne Dvorak to me but it’s very possible they knew each other through a connection during a movie shoot.

  8. Christina Rice August 29, 2016

    Hi Ralph, thanks again for the comment. It’s always great to uncover a new Ann connection!

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