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Dominick Dunne, Author of Crime Stories Dies


Dominick Dunne, Author of Crime Stories Dies

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Best-selling author and journalist Dominick Dunne has died at his Manhattan home at age 83. (Aug. 26).

Dominick Dunne

Dominick John Dunne (October 29, 1925 – August 26, 2009) was an American writer and investigative journalist whose subjects frequently hinged on the ways high society interacts with the judicial system. He was a producer in Hollywood and was also known from his frequent appearances on television.

He was the brother of author John Gregory Dunne and the writer Joan Didion was his sister-in-law. He was the father of Alexander Dunne and actors Griffin Dunne and his murdered daughter Dominique Dunne.

In September 2008, Dunne disclosed that he was undergoing treatment for bladder cancer. He was working on Too Much Money, his final book, at the time of his death.


  • The Winners (1982)
  • The Two Mrs. Grenvilles (1985)
  • People Like Us (1988)
  • An Inconvenient Woman (1990)
  • A Season in Purgatory (1993)
  • Another City, Not My Own (1997)

Nonfiction books

  • The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-known Name Dropper (1999)
  • Justice: Crimes, Trials, And Punishments (2001)


  • Fatal Charms: And Other Tales of Today (1987)
  • The Mansions of Limbo

Films (as producer)

  • The Boys in the Band
  • The Panic in Needle Park
  • Play It as It Lays
  • Ash Wednesday

TV series

  • Dominick Dunne’s Power, Privilege, and Justice

Biographical film

Dunne’s adventures in Hollywood as an outcast, top-selling author and reporter, were catalogued in the release of Dominick Dunne: After the Party.

This film documents his successes and tribulations as a big name in the entertainment industry. In the film, Dunne reflects on his past as a World War II veteran, falling in love and raising a family, his climb and fall as a Hollywood producer, and his epic comeback as a writer.

Celebrity journalism and photographs

Dunne has frequently socialized with, written about, and been photographed with celebrities. A Salon.com review of his memoir, The Way We Lived Then, recounted how Dunne appeared at a wedding reception for Dennis Hopper.

Sean Elder, the author of the review, wrote: “But in the midst of it all there was one man who was getting what ceramic artist Ron Nagle would call ‘the full cheese,’ one guy everyone gravitated toward and paid obeisance to.” That individual was Dunne, who mixed easily with artists, actors and writers present at the function. The final line of the review about Dunne quoted Dennis Hopper wishing he “had a picture of myself with Allen Ginsberg and Norman Mailer.”

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