People: Nov. 17, 1961

Where once pastel mansions had gilded green canyons, a snaggle-toothed rubble of chimneys now disfigured the Mecca of conspicuous consumption. Raging through the Los Angeles suburbs of Bel Air and Brentwood, a gale-whipped brush fire—the worst in Southern California's history —had sent up in Argenta-mink smoke 447 homes (bottom price: $50,000), left behind more than $24 million in insurance claims, and the flossiest refugees since the Russian Revolution. Among the homeless were Actor Cliff Robertson, Joan Fontaine, Comedian Arnold Stang, Bandleader Orrin Tucker. All that was left of Burt Lancaster's $500,000 estate...

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