They say the lights are always bright on Broadway, but when stage legends need to step out of the spotlight, they often retreat to Connecticut. This Connecticut mansion was just such a hideaway for famed British playwright, actor, and singer Nol Coward.
Owned by Coward's business manager and reputed lover Jack Wilson, this seven-bedroom home in Fairfield was a favorite of Coward's, so much so that he bought a then-adjoining lot to build what would become its swimming pool and pool house.
Sasco Manor's 5,089 square feet of living space includes seven full bathrooms and three half-baths. Situated on almost 3 acres adjoining the Country Club of Fairfield, the estate offers views of Long Island Sound and Southport Harbor. It's now on the market for $7.75 million.
Built in 1927 by architect Francis Hamilton as his personal home and modeled after an English manor house, it was sold to Wilson in 1930. "Much of the original detailing is there, and it's been restored, which is just wonderful," says listing agent Victoria Fingelly. "It's very English. You definitely feel like you're in an English manor house."
Updates were made with a keen eye to the home's history. So while the kitchen is modern, for example, the use of white, glass-doored cabinetry keeps with the home's historic nature.
The master suite is truly worthy of the word "master" -- it has two dressing rooms and two bathrooms with white marble countertops. Former staff quarters have been converted into bedrooms, Fingelly notes.
The manor's well-kept grounds include a stone-walled perennial garden surrounding a reflecting pool. There's also a rose-covered fence and pergola. The heated pool is adjoined by a pool house and wet bar.
Coward would regularly stay in a third-floor bedroom, but he wasn't the only celebrity who frequented the home, Fingelly says. Hollywood legends Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier also rested their heads at Sasco Manor. The well-known Westport Country Playhouse is only about five miles away, so actors were frequent guests at the home.
Wilson produced several Coward plays at the playhouse, as well as producing and directing Coward plays on Broadway. "I'm sure it was a big party house," Fingelly says.
Now it awaits its new owners who can write their own smash hits there, or use it as Coward did as a luxurious retreat from the bright lights of Broadway.