Why Brad Pitt Let a 105-Year-Old Man Live In His House Free for Years
The Oscar-winning Hollywood star allowed an elderly widower to continuing living on his $40 million estate rent-free for years
Coming out of the gate as one of Hollywood’s biggest real estate deals of 2023, Brad Pitt sold his Los Angeles mansion for some $40 million last month. He purchased the 1.9-acre estate from actress Cassandra Peterson, a.k.a the beloved monster movie hostess “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark,” for $1.7 million back in 1994.
And according to Peterson, the sprawling estate in the Los Feliz neighborhood of L.A. didn’t serve as the home for only Pitt, but also another resident neighbor: an elderly man who lived in his own home on the property!
Brad Pitt Lived in His Los Angeles Estate for 30 Years
As Cassandra Peterson explains it, following his purchase of the 6,700 square foot mansion known as Briarcliff Manor, Pitt began to expand the footprint of the estate by purchasing all the homes in the surrounding area as they went went up for sale over the years.
“I think there were like 22 houses that were contiguous to the edge of the property,” Peterson told People. “And every time they came up, he bought one.”
One of those homes belonged to an elderly man, a widower in his early 90s, who was living there on his own. When Pitt finalized the purchase of the property from Peterson, he made a deal that allowed the older gentleman to continue living there without having to pay any rent.
He Purchased It from Elvira for $1.7 Million in 1994
“He was very, very kind to the husband. His wife passed away and the husband, John, lived there,” explained Peterson. “I know that Brad allowed him to live there without paying anything until he died.”
But it seems like the arrangement went on a bit longer than Pitt probably imagined it would, as his elderly tenant, in the words of Elvira, “just kept living forever.”
“I imagine Brad was thinking well, you know, he can live there till he dies, which might be any minute now,” she laughed.
In time, John the resident did pass away, of course—at the age of 105!
It’s encouraging to hear that a towering Hollywood figure like Brad Pitt can consider the situation of a complete stranger and act in such a warm, compassionate and generous fashion. Property records show that Pitt purchased four other surrounding properties over the years and that he could make such a unique and caring arrangement for an elderly widow living in one of them reveals him to be the “mensch” we’ve always imagined him to be!
Pitt Allowed an Elderly Widower to Live on the Estate
For her part, back in 1994, Peterson moved to another house in the area after she sold Briarcliff Manor to Pitt (and informed him at the time that the home was haunted—but what else would you expect from a horror movie hostess?) and thus became his neighbor.
Over the years, Peterson shared a number of amiable exchanges with the Oscar-winner, and found him to be “always kind and sweet.”
One such encounter saw Peterson walking her dogs past Pitt’s garage and noticing him working out in sweatpants and boxing gloves as he prepared for his role in the 1999 movie Fight Club.
“I remember he goes, ‘Hey, how are you?’ and I’m like, ‘Huh?’ I couldn’t talk. I was turning red. I felt like I was fainting,” she recalled. “He’s just so stunningly, stunningly handsome — and nice, to top it off.”
Pitt Also Starred in Interview with the Vampire in 1994
What we find most fascinating with the story is that the woman who is best known as the sexily vampiric Elvira, Mistress of the Dark sold what she describes as a “haunted” house (she claimed to have seen ghosts there on more than one occasion) to Brad Pitt the very same year that he starred in one of his most popular movies, the horror flick Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles. The box office smash finds Pitt portraying the titular interviewee—an immortal bloodsucker who actually starts off as a pretty nice guy.
It’s almost as if Pitt knew that when purchasing Briarcliff Manor (where he and his ex-wife Angelina Jolie raised their six children) and considering the situation of his elderly estate resident, he realized that one should never underestimate the value of treating those around oneself with kindness and respect.