Dominick Dunne loses long Cancer fight

August 27, 2009

DominickDunne[Chattahbox] Dominick Dunne, the voguish writer, producer and TV raconteur whose incisive writing regarding O.J. Simpson’s first trial brought him national attention, and significant scorn, has died at his home in New York. He was 83.

Born into a wealthy Irish-Catholic family in Hartford, Connecticut on October 29, 1925, Dunne made his debut in Hollywood just after distinguished World War II service that won him a Bronze Star for heroism. But twenty years as a TV producer, adrift in an ocean of astringent hypocrisy and asinine ‘artistes’ soon took their toll, and he moved to the wilds of Oregon to conduct his own rehab.

Returning from this self-imposed exile, reborn, recovered and now a published auteur, Dominick’s life fell apart when his beloved daughter, Dominique, was found dead in her home in 1982.

Police determined the 22-year old had been strangled by her husband after a domestic dispute. Watching his daughter’s cold-hearted killer receive just six-and-a-half years for his repugnant revenge incensed Mr. Dunne, but a chance meeting with Vanity Fair’s Tina Brown gave him the platform he needed to make his views known.

The husband, John Thomas Sweeney, was released after just 18-months, but Dunne’s withering article relaunched his career.

From this righteous inception, his tenure at ‘Fair’ grew into, “Dominick Dunne’s Diary” – one of the most widely-read columns the magazine ever had. And in 1994, Dunne found the case that became his life’s cause; NFL star, O.J. Simpson was arrested for murder, and Dunne made it clear to his readers that his verdict was in – O.J. was guilty, and Dunne did not grant appeals.

Close friends tell the LA Times Dunne relished his work: A ‘Court TV’ regular, he reported details by day, then attended luxuriant dinners with the stars every night, holding Elizabeth Taylor, the Reagan’s and Princess Diana all entranced by his words.”O.J. Simpson definitely improved my social position,” he quipped to ‘USA Today’ at the time.

But opinions are risky, and an outlandish narrative in which he seemed to implicate former California Representative Gary Condit in the Chandra Levy case gained Mr. Dunne an $11-million lawsuit from his unproven prey. The two later settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

Last year, Dunne returned to the case that would become his last song. O.J. Simpson was once more on trial, and though feeling unwell Dunne ignored Doctors orders and attended the court. After ten years of waiting, Dunne, at last got his wish. And only then did he share his prognosis with fans.

Having faced-down prostate cancer in 2001, Dunne revealed the disease had returned – this time in his bladder. Treatment started at once, but his Doctors soon told him the prospects were bleak. With stalwart bravado, Dominick departed their care and returned to his home in Manhattan, where he slipped from this world late on Wednesday surrounded by friends.

“I’ve lived this very dramatic life,” he told the London Times late last year. “Nothing has been ordinary, and I want to have the experience of the last breath. I want a little drama. I want something in the papers.”

It would seem this fine man got his wish.


3 Responses to “Dominick Dunne loses long Cancer fight”

  1. Correctly Impolitic » Teddy on August 27th, 2009 5:45 pm

    […] Dominick Dunne, what a stupid day to die.  boo hoo My heart goes out to him wherever he might be.  It’s it reminds me of  when I used to shuttle […]

  2. london on August 28th, 2009 1:09 am

    He was a great script writer…. good bye…

  3. bigbiggityben on August 31st, 2009 11:10 pm

    I’m certain that OJ Simpson as Dominick Dunne said, “improved his social position” as it undoubtedly did for many other tabloid news networks and commentators, i.e., Geraldo, Charles Groden, Gloria Allred, etc. It’s too bad that Dominick Dunne never did any real independent due diligence into the background and evidence in the Simpson trial. Instead, just as other weaklings will often do, he took the easy way out. He piled onto the back of OJ Simpson, like the rest of the tabloid news world, to indict Simpson without determining whether that handfull of fluff that he was given and told was reliable evidence by LA police officials could really stand up. Even though I’m sure, as an LA resident, that he was aware of the driving impedimentss along the southbound I-405 freeway, he was satisfied to accept the Brown family traveling from their last supper with Nicole in Brentwood at 8:45 PM in time to reach Dana Point, Orange County by 9:37 PM to make that last fateful call back to the Mezzaluna Restaurant and Nicole Brown Simpson in Brentwood. That reality alone she have brought him back to examining the initial time that Lou Brown gave the coroner the day after Nicole was killed of 11 PM that she was last known to be alive talking to her mother on the telephone. But that would have obviated the need to have a trial because 11 PM would have put OJ in the backseat of a chaffeur driven limousine traveling to LAX to catch an 11:45 PM flight to Chicago. Old Dominick was willing to assauge his own personal tragedy by trading the crucifixion of OJ Simpson. He wrote his erudite articles for Vanity Fair while comparing Simpson to the fictional Shakespearean tragic black moorish general, Othello. Dunne wrote just what he knew the public would swallow, an explanation of murder that was simply based upon the fanatical lust of a powerful black figure irretrievably blinded by jealous obsession for a young tender white woman. How simplistically juvenile! But old Dominick wrote it that way and then stuck out his hand to retrieve his entitlement of sheckles in exchange for his willingness to sacrifice his professional ethics of quality journalism and thus the truth; but he wasn’t alone. Hopefully, he will be forgiven and allowed to Rest In Peace.

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