When you’re the natural successor of Johnny Carson, you’re pretty much set for life. After retiring from over two decades of being synonymous with talk show hosting – alongside such legendary names as David Letterman and Conan O’Brien – Jay Leno decided it was high time to kick his feet up in a lush mansion somewhere which matched the calibre of his success, and eyebrow-raising net worth.
In 2017, three years after both his last episode of The Tonight Show and induction into the Television Hall of Fame, he arrived at a grandiose oceanfront property located in Newport, Rhode Island, which doesn’t just emulate the same ethos of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby… it’d likely expose Jay Gatsby himself for the peasant he really was.
Bought for US$13.5 million (AU$17.4 million) via Lila Delman Real Estate, there’s a reason Jay Leno’s Newport mansion – also referred to as Seafair Estate – looks as though it harks back to a bygone era. Built in the 1930s when it was originally referred to as Terre Mare, what you see was designed by James Mackenzie Jr. for American old money royalty, Verner Zevola Reed Jr (hence the Gatsby vibes). In addition to being the heir to the Denver Mining fortune, Reed would eventually become Vice President of Chase Manhattan Bank, before being appointed the post of US Ambassador to Morocco by the actual 40th US president himself, Ronald Reagan.
“The sale of Seafair shows a continued interest in the iconic luxury estates of Newport,” says Melanie Delman, President of Lila Delman Real Estate.
“The calibre of these Rhode Island properties are unique to the country and a specialty of our firm – It’s wonderful to see more prominent people joining our community.”
Set upon an expansive 9-acre lot and offering 15,851 square feet in the main residence, this truly singular gated compound flaunts ornate interiors across all 14 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, sitting rooms, and everything else in between. From the commanding chandeliers found hanging on the ceiling of multiple rooms, floor-to-ceiling windows which bathe a room in sunlight, to the rich wood panelling of the library and green marble fireplace – these hallways will transport you back in time.
Other standout features include the following:
- stately dining room
- ocean-facing pool
- private beach
- private cove + mooring
- tennis court
- carriage house
- walled garden
- manicured lawns
- 6-car garage + sprawling motor court (essential for an auto enthusiast like Leno)
Check out some images of the Jay Leno Newport, Rhode Island mansion below – AKA Seafair Estate – and a few less-than-idea quality flicks over at the original Lila Delman Real Estate listing here.