WARNING! This article contains spoilers for Winning Time season 2, episode 2!
- A frequent location in Winning Time season 2 is Jerry Buss’ Pickfair mansion, a historically significant estate in Hollywood known for extravagant parties in the 1920s.
- The mansion was originally owned by actors Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, who entertained famous guests like Charlie Chaplin and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
- After Jerry Buss purchased the estate in 1980, he continued the tradition of hosting parties with NBA stars and Hollywood celebrities until selling it in 1988 to singer Pia Zadora.
Winning Time season 2 sees Jerry Buss host an event at his Pickfair mansion, a lavish estate with a wild history from its notoriety in 1920s Hollywood. The HBO series follows the true story of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers in the late 1970s and early 1980s, kicking off after Jerry Buss buys the team. With Winning Time season 1’s ending seeing the Lakers enjoy the glory of winning the 1980 NBA Championship, the show’s season 2 return incorporates some notable Hollywood locations, such as the Pickfair mansion, into its story to enrich its depiction of the ostentatious lifestyles of real-life figures like Jerry Buss during this era.
In Winning Time season 2, episode 2, Jerry Buss (John C. Reilly) has many guests at his home to commemorate the life of his mother one year after her passing. The event takes place at Pickfair mansion, the estate that Jerry had purchased in 1980, which he reveals is where his mom had always dreamed their family would end up. While Pickfair has had a notable inclusion in Winning Time, the estate has an even more famous legacy of being a hotspot for Hollywood social events several decades before being purchased by Jerry Buss. After the real Buss sold the mansion, Pickfair would again find itself in the headlines for controversial changes to the historical Hollywood home.
Pickfair Mansion Was Notorious For 1920s Hollywood Parties Hosted By Movie Stars Mary Pickford & Douglas Fairbanks
While the house was originally built for a lawyer as a country home, the property was sold to actor Douglas Fairbanks in 1919, which he would memorably share with his movie star wife Mary Pickford. The couple transformed the area into a lavish estate that included two stories, 22 rooms, stables, servant quarters, an extensive guest wing, a private in-ground swimming pool, and tennis courts. The renovations led to Fairbanks and Pickford notoriously entertaining Hollywood stars and A-list guests throughout the 1920s, which were often highlighted in the press. Among the famous guests were actors, royals, pilots, authors, and politicians such as Charlie Chaplin, the Duke of Windsor, Amelia Earhart, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Pickford and Fairbanks’ home was central to Hollywood’s social scene during this era, so it’s no wonder that Winning Time‘s Jerry Buss would purchase the home when it eventually went on the market. While Fairbanks and Pickford divorced in 1936, the latter remained in the home with her second husband, actor Buddy Rogers, until her death in 1979. In 1947, Life Magazine called Pickfair “a gathering place only slightly less important than the White House,” indicating a historical legitimacy and legacy that would survive past Pickford and Fairbanks’ ownership of the mansion.
Jerry Buss Purchased Pickfair Mansion After Mary Pickford’s Death In 1979
Pickfair sat empty for a short period of time after Mary Pickford’s death in 1979, with Lakers owner Jerry Buss purchasing the estate in 1980 for approximately $5.4 million (via Chicago Tribune). As depicted in HBO’s Winning Time, Jerry Buss lived at Pickfair for several years with his children, including future Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and his sons John and Jimmy. Similar to the house’s previous owners, Jerry would host parties at the Pickfair estate with guest lists that included NBA stars, like the Lakers’ Magic Johnson, and Hollywood celebrities.
It’s unclear if Winning Time season 1’s claim that Jerry Buss’ mother Jessie snuck onto the Pickfair estate back when Mary Pickford still lived there is true, but it would make sense for the location to have a strong personal connection to the entrepreneur. When Jerry Buss bought the home, he notably maintained much of Pickfair’s original charm and style, further cementing it as a timeless landmark for the rich and famous in Hollywood. However, Buss’s ownership of Pickfair wouldn’t last long, as he would sell the mansion while the Lakers were still in their prosperous “Showtime” era.
Jerry Buss Sold Pickfair Mansion To Singer Pia Zadora In 1988
While still the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, the real Jerry Buss put Pickfair on the market in 1986. The wealthy real-life Winning Time character reportedly put the house up for sale because it was too big for just himself, as his only child still living at Pickfair at that time was his son Jimmy (via Los Angeles Times). In 1988, singer Pia Zadora purchased the property and would soon be criticized for “razing” the majority of the property. Zadora defended her actions by alleging that it was infested by termites, only to later reveal that the real reason was that the property was haunted.
According to Zadora in a 2012 episode of Celebrity Ghost Stories, a woman allegedly died at the home while having an affair with previous owner Douglas Fairbanks, with her laughing ghost haunting the mansion. Pickfair was sold by Zadora to the company UNICOM Global in 2005, with the estate being used as an executive conference center and event location. With its many changes in ownership over the years, Pickfair is no longer the lavish host of parties with Hollywood and NBA stars as seen in Winning Time season 2.