The California property actress Joan Fontaine called home before her death last year (13) is expected to raise an estimated $2.6 million (£1.63 million) for her favourite animal welfare charity.

The Rebecca star's belongings, including the Oscar she won for her role in Alfred Hitchcock's 1941 film Suspicion, have been removed from the Carmel home and they are due to go under the hammer during a series of sales at Christie's New York between November (14) and January (15).

Now the house itself, known as Villa Fontana, has been listed on the market by estate executor Noel Beutel. The ranch-style pad features a separate guest house and a rose garden, which Fontaine used to tend to herself, and proceeds from the Sothebys sale will benefit the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for Monterey County, California.

Beutel tells The Monterey County Herald, "Joan loved her animals and that's where it's (proceeds from her estate) all going."

Beutel adds of the property: "It's very private and the house needs quite a bit of work, but the house has so much charm, it's just amazing."

Fontaine died in December (13), aged 96.