William Randolph Hearst's Mansion
The Hearst Mansion in Beverly Hills was the setting for the infamous scene in "The Godfather" in which a disloyal Hollywood movie producer wakes to find the severed head of his prize horse in bed with him. The mansion, formerly owned by publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, is shaped like the letter H and features three pools as well as its own disco and movie theater. President John F. Kennedy stayed at the mansion during his honeymoon [source: Associated Press].
The Hearst Mansion shouldn't be confused with Hearst Castle on Sunset Boulevard, located a little farther north along the coast. The castle contains 58 bedrooms, while the mansion has a mere 29. However, the castle is an established museum, no longer a private home and not for sale.
In 1947, Hearst bought the 1920s mansion and its 6-acre (2.4-hectare) estate for $120,000 [source: Associated Press]. In 2007, the estate's current owner, attorney-investor Leonard M. Ross, put the home up for sale for $165 million. He took it off the market in 2008 when no one showed up with the trainload of cash needed to buy it [source: Forbes]. In 2010, Ross announced a drastically discounted listing price of $95 million, amid a bankruptcy filing, but as of December 2012, it was still available [source: Beale]
The next most expensive house was purchased by a billionaire who invested $200 million in Facebook.