Bohemian Rhapsody

At home with actress Joely Fisher

  • Category
    Homes, People
  • Written by
    Suzanna Cullen Hamilton

Believe. Hope. Dream. 

Those are the words carved into stones at the front door of the Sherman Oaks home Joely Fisher shares with her cinematographer husband, Christopher Duddy, and their three daughters. Dream catchers spin in the sun, and angel sculptures hide amongst the foliage—welcoming visitors to the abode of this multi-generational, highly creative, talented family. 

The Spanish Colonial Revival home has the patina, good proportions and design elements of those built in the 1920s; however, the Fisher-Duddy house was built in the late 20th century. Dark woods, iron, central interior stairwells and small porches and balconies define this style, and Joely says, “I fell in love with it the moment I saw it.”

Joely, the daughter of actress Connie Stevens and singer/Rat Pack member Eddie Fisher, grew up in Beverly Hills and Malibu among Hollywood royalty. Hints of that famous lineage are scattered throughout her home. Family photographs and Hollywood memorabilia are present in every room, like the piano that Malibu neighbor Flip Wilson gave the couple as a wedding present.

The couple has incorporated both their lives into the dwelling, blending the past with the present—which revolves around the active lives of daughters, Skylar, True and Luna, and visits from Duddy’s two grown children. Like many busy, social families, the couple has designed a home that is both comfortable and welcoming. 

Huge, Balinese-style sofas loaded with brightly colored pillows offer an inviting space for the entire clan. From the front porch to the interior living areas to the large poolside cabana, oversized seating abounds in a mosaic of color and pattern. 

Many creative hands have touched the Fisher-Duddy home. A giant, bright, contemporary painting by a family member greets visitors in the foyer, while children’s art projects decorate hallways and doors. A friend of Joely’s painted the dining room frescoes and faux bois bookshelves in the library as decorative accents and as a way to cover a previous owner’s decision to paint over real wood. 

Tucked among all the Hollywood memorabilia are many personal items that reveal the couple’s sense of humor and personal style. The huge Chippendale chair in the dining room was Joely’s present to herself as a reminder of Lily Tomlin’s character Edith Ann, and Joley held court in her high chair at her 40th birthday party. The crystal ship chandelier hangs from the ceiling in the library and was a gift to Joely from Christopher, a tradition he continued on Mother’s Day with a ruby red one for her dressing room. 

In 2008, Joely was named spokesperson for Save the Children. Her trip to Africa left her forever changed, as she witnessed the hope, humility and grace with which so many impoverished children live. Photographs of her travels line the walls and represent the faces and hearts of those to whom she is committed to helping through her humanitarian work. 

The heart of the home is the kitchen, which includes a sit-down alcove painted bright yellow. The kitchen flows into a foyer-turned-seating area and then outside to the outdoor back porch, which runs the entire length of the house. Color abounds in every space. Extended family and friends gather frequently in this outdoor “great room” with multiple seating areas—deep, pillowed sofas and small mini-tables and chairs for kids. The sprawling rectangular double lot provides an ample playground for children’s games and the family’s three dogs. 

After growing up on the beaches of Malibu, Joely confides that she was initially attracted to the Valley because of the extra bang for the buck. But, it seems, she’s become a true convert. “Now I love the Valley and wouldn’t live anywhere else. It’s home,” she notes.