Through the years, and even the centuries, historic New Orleans has been home to some pretty famous people. From musicians like Louis Armstrong to chefs like Paul Prudhomme, from writers like William Faulkner to pirates like Jean Lafitte, and from mob bosses like Sylvestro Carolla to superstar athletes like the Mannings, New Orleans has its share of tour-bus attractions.
One of the many reasons why so many famous individuals are drawn to the Big Easy is that they can roam the city without being pestered by fans. Brad Pitt has been spotted riding a bike to the Lower Nine, and Angelina Jolie has taken their kids for scones on Harrison Avenue without being pestered by paparazzi. Back in 1988, John Goodman met a local girl, Annabeth Hartzog, when he was in town to make a movie. A year later, they got married and put down roots where Goodman could stand in line at Voodoo Barbecue for a pickup and watch his daughter’s Carrollton Booster soccer games without being bothered.
The wealth that often accompanies fame allows many of these celebrities to invest in New Orleans’ unique style of home design and aid in the historic preservation of local buildings.
Among Brad and Angelina’s many homes around the globe is their three-story 7,400-square-foot home on Governor Nicholls Street in the French Quarter. This house is the epitome of historic remodeling, as it has been updated to modern luxury without sacrificing its traditional French Quarter appearance. Brad and Angelina enjoy staying in this residence with their children while filming in New Orleans.
In 2009, Sandra Bullock and her then-husband Jesse James paid $2.25 million for the sprawling 6,615-square-foot Victorian Gothic mansion on Coliseum Street in the Garden District. Historic remodeling enhances its ornately carved marble mantels and columns, large plaster medallions, antique shadow molding, grand entry foyer, and 14-foot ceilings.
From 2006 to 2009, Nicolas Cage owned the notoriously historic $3.5 million LaLaurie Mansion in the French Quarter where socialite Madame Delphine LaLaurie tortured slaves in the 1830s. It’s not clear whether Cage ever lived there, as it’s famous for being one of the Crescent City’s most haunted houses. What’s known for sure, however, is that the bank foreclosed on both it and Cage’s other $3.5 million Garden District mansion in 2009.
As one of the region’s most famous celebrity chefs, Emeril Lagasse spent many years living in the city that made him famous. Originally from Fall River, MA, Lagasse moved to NOLA when he was named executive chef at the famed Commander’s Palace in the 1980s. Although he left the area in 2013, his stunning home near the lakefront still boasts a beautiful kitchen that would be any chef’s dream.