The former Olympic runner and prisoner of war lived in the Hollywood Hills house for nearly 60 years
Louis Zamperini competed as a distance runner in the 1936 Olympics. Photo: Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images
Built in the 1920s, the home measures about 3,400 square feet, with four bedrooms and a view of the downtown skyline, said agent Boni Bryant of Sotheby’s International Realty, who shares the listing with Joe Reichling also of Sotheby’s. Mr. Zamperini did a good job maintaining the home, Ms. Bryant said, but a buyer may want to redo the kitchen and bathrooms and turn the attic into a master-bedroom suite.
After battling post-traumatic stress disorder, he became an inspirational speaker, his children said.
According to his son, Mr. Zamperini bought the Hollywood Hills house in 1957 with the money he made by selling his story for a movie about his life. The house was a step up for the family, who had been living in a two-bedroom house,
according to his children.
Mr. Zamperini, who survived on the raft by catching fish, sharks and albatrosses with his bare hands, “was the most resourceful person ever,” his son said, recalling how his father did all the repairs on the home, and built what he called “a jungle hut” as a playhouse for his children. Ms. Garris said she hopes whoever buys the house will keep the jungle hut. Mr. Zamperini also enclosed a porch to create a sunroom overlooking the city.
Coincidentally, the house is located just up the hill from a home of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who produced and directed “Unbroken.” Ms. Jolie and Mr. Zamperini became friends while the movie was being made, and Ms. Jolie was surprised to learn that they lived in such proximity, his children said. After that, she became a frequent visitor, they said.
The Zamperinis had known for years where the Jolie-Pitts lived. “It felt like it was fate,” Ms. Garris said. Ms. Jolie couldn’t be reached for comment.