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Steve Cochran Is Real Cool Cat

by Rob Thomas

Oakland Tribune, 27 December 1958

HOLLYWOOD, Dec. 27, 1958 - Those who think that Hollywood is losing its characters should take a trip up to Steve Cochran's house.

Some place! It's got a swimming-pool that looks more like a mountain lake complete with island. Also 25 animals, including two goats and a deer named Taby.

The Cochran place has to be seen to be believed. You go up Coldwater Canyon from Beverly Hills, turn at the top at the mountain, drive along Mulholland and then plunge down a precipitous slope. There's his house, clinging to the hillside.

The first greeters are Shane, a German shepherd, and his pal Taby, an extremely companionable deer of four months. (A dear from Britain, girl named Sabrina, was also visiting Steve the day I was there, but she was gone for the afternoon.) There are cats all over the place.


Next, Steve appears in blue jeans, dirty shirt and bare feet — he's no beatnik, just likes comfort. He explains about Taby. It was found on a moun­tain road with rear end smashed by a car. Steve adopted it, had a vet fix its hind quarters with steel pins. Then the fish and game boys stepped in and said a deer couldn't be domesticated.
"What was I going to do — set her free in the woods with six pins in her hips?" says Steve. "After a while, they sort, of dropped the matter."

Taby, who is named for Colorado's Baby Doe Tabor, is recovered now, he adds, and is bandy around the house. Loves cigaret butts and cleans out all the ash trays. Only trouble: Taby drinks. It sneaks around at parties and takes sips from the guests' glasses.


Steve wanders through the house, which is a normal California ranch-type with a 50-year-old slot machine and an ancient piano. Outside he shows the sunken bar he is building. It will house some huge whisky barrels, in which he plans to make his own wine. (Are there revenooers in these hills?)

Then he ambles down the two-acre estate to his latest addition. It's a monstrous swimming pool with a tropical island in the middle. "The pool started out to be 48 feet long," Steve says, "but by the time I finished, it was 66 feet. I'm going to stock it with perch."

Won't his female guests object to sharing the pool with fish?
"The perch won't bother 'em," the actor says. "If the girls don't like it, they don't have to swim."


The pool, which is classified as a reservoir for tax reasons, will eventually feature a waterfall flowing into it and a mountain stream continuing down the mountain. Cost of the project: $12,000.

In another part of the grounds, Steve introduces two other pals, Gretchen and Heidi. Both goats, but one smells like a goat and the other doesn't. Then there is Girl, a Doberman Pinscher and mother of Shane's 10 puppies, as yet unnamed.

Sabrina and dog Shane

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[Sabrina and Shane]

"Cats?" says Cochran. "I've got seven of them —10 at meal­time; three more wild ones come out of the brush. One cat is named Zsa Zsa — she's mean and unfriendly and won't eat with the other cats. She's a real cool cat."

And so is a guy named Steve Cochran.

Page Created: 27 November 2011

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