Hat Tip to Paulette.
There is only one prime-time network television show that is a weekly staple in our home. Over the past five years Sunday night means “Desperate Housewives”, and the antics of the most entertaining ladies of Wisteria Lane. (Are there no door locks available at the local hardware store there to keep nosy neighbors at bay?)
Just today I discovered that the women are coming back next year for the 6th season of drama and chaos mixed with some comedy. That is great news for the addicted ones such as myself who about half-way through each episode turns to the others watching and says “these shows should be two hours long!”
Well on Sunday night the season finale will be two hours long, and the tension could not be tighter as the most deranged character to set foot on Wisteria Lane, Dave Williams, either gets his way…..or gets stopped.
The actor who plays Williams, Neal McDonough, is anything but the creep he protrays on the ABC hit TV show. This past week the Wall Street Journal had a really good piece on the 43-year-old actor.
The icy blue eyes and white hair that give Mr. McDonoughthe look of a Siberian Husky are identical to that of Dave Williams, as is the almost overly avuncular demeanor. But the similarities end there. Outgoing and laid-back, with a big appetite for entertaining, Mr. McDonough and his wife, Ruve, have turned their five-bedroom home into a kid-friendly Hollywood hangout, a place where actors and executives mingle amongst neighborhood preschoolers.
From the outside, the 4,076-square foot home, purchased for $2.7 million in 1995 and recently renovated for about $300,000, could easily be set on “Housewives” Wisteria Lane. (A smaller three-bedroom, three-bathroom brick house two doors down is currently on the market for $2.679 million.) The couple didn’t hire a decorator because they wanted the house to be more natural and include many items from the East Coast, reflecting Mr. McDonough’s roots.
The result is thoroughly all-American, with no traces of irony. An American flag hangs out front. Oars Mr. McDonoughused as a child decorate the living room, and walls sport Norman Rockwell prints and plates and a painting of President John F. Kennedy. The kids’ rooms are decorated with Pottery Barn furniture; there’s a wooden rocking chair in the master bedroom.
Mr. McDonoughstill has the same piano he grew up with and his mom’s Waterford crystal. The downstairs powder room is painted sherbet orange (the only room Mrs. McDonough allowed her husband to paint that color in honor of Syracuse University, his alma mater).
The heart of the home is the kitchen and backyard, where the recently installed AstroTurf is littered with kids’ plastic toys. The dining room is empty except for a pool table. The couple stripped the house of white paint to reveal the natural wood, added white beadboard to some walls, redid the master bathroom in marble and turned a bedroom into a walk-in closet. “Our house is homey, not stylish. It’s function over form,” says Mrs. McDonough.
The actor loves inviting over studio execs and the neighborhood families, entertaining so much he installed bar-quality taps in his barbecue pit and a pool table where the dining room should be. It is a place where George Clooney drops by, Matt Damon watches Red Sox games and visitors often don’t bother calling first.