Ponds of the Rich & Famous

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It's surprising that Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” has not titled one of his episodes “Ponds of the Rich & Famous”, especially since Robin Leach enjoys his own koi pond in the gardens of his mansion on a remote island in the Caribbean.

Many celebrities have koi ponds or water gardens but finding out about them is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I was, however, able to come across a few interesting and somewhat surprising tidbits — enough information to leave us all wanting more.

Ellen DeGeneres speaks fondly about her koi pond while Pamela Anderson Lee has a serious publicity problem since she confided that she has been keeping her son’s placenta in the refrigerator until her koi pond gets finished so she can place it there!!! (I don’t understand it, either).

Perhaps one of the most famous koi ponds is nestled among the many waterfalls of the Playboy Mansion West in LA. It is located near the notorious “grotto” where scantly-clad women and movie stars mingle in a cave filled with jacuzzis.

Many celebrity homes on the selling block feature ponds that former owners have installed. For example, the late Frank Sinatra’s home featured a Buddha statue sitting atop a wide stacked-stone waterfall. Aerosmith drummer, Joey Kramer’s home with koi pond is up for sale as is Dean Torrence’s (of Jan & Dean fame).

It’s a small phenomena that the largest percentage of celebrities I have found associated with ponds are in the music business. Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones often rents a Japanese style home complete with koi pond. The late Freddie Mercury of Queen spent thousands on koi for his Kensington pond. A special note about Freddie was that he listed as his hobbies both koi-keeping and cats - another type of pet dear to my heart. Other celebrities in the music business who have pond connections are singer Joni Mitchell, who has a beautiful raised water lily pond, and Paula Abdul. Travis Tritt is rumored to have a koi pond at his home in Marietta.

Multi-millionaire and British music legend, Pete Waterman, keeps a 12,000 gallon koi pond at his farm in Cheshire, England. Here’s where an interesting link occurs with the “pond business” — Dennis Mitchell, original owner of Northern Koi & Aquatics in the UK, once worked at Pete Waterman’s farm.

George Harrison held a special love for koi and goldfish. There is a wonderful legend floating around about a natural pond that had once been an old quarry out in the middle of nowhere, three miles from the nearest road, that to this day holds wild goldfish and expensive, well-bred koi. Legend has it that George Harrison placed the koi there so when he and his friends, one of whom was Mick Jagger, searched the stars at night for signs of extraterrestrial life they could meditate by the koi pond. The location of the pond is a well-guarded secret and it’s quite possible that George Harrison took that secret with him to the grave.

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