John Gregory Dunne

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John Gregory Dunne

Birthdate: (71)
Birthplace: Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut, United States
Death: December 30, 2003 (71)
New York, New York County, New York, United States (myocardial infarction)
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Edwin Dunne and Dorothy Frances Dunne
Husband of Joan Dunne
Father of Quintana Roo Michael
Brother of Richard E. Dunne, Jr.; Dominick John Dunne; Harriet A. Hutchinson; Virginia M. Finley and Stephen Dunne

Occupation: Writer, Novelist, Screenwriter, Author, Journalist
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Gregory Dunne

John Gregory Dunne was an American novelist, screenwriter and literary critic.

He was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and was a younger brother of author Dominick Dunne. He suffered from a severe stutter and took up writing to express himself. Eventually he learned to speak normally by observing others. He graduated from Princeton University in 1954 and worked as a journalist for Time magazine. He credited the political essayist Noel Parmentel with being his mentor in many ways. He married novelist Joan Didion on January 30, 1964, and they became collaborators on a series of screenplays, including The Panic in Needle Park (1971), A Star Is Born (1976) and True Confessions (1981), an adaptation of his own novel. He is the author of two non-fiction books about Hollywood, The Studio and Monster.

As a literary critic and essayist, he was a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books. His essays were collected in two books, Quintana & Friends and Crooning.

He wrote several novels, among them True Confessions, based loosely on the Black Dahlia murder, and Dutch Shea, Jr..

He was the writer and narrator of the 1990 PBS documentary L.A. is It with John Gregory Dunne, in which he guided viewers through the cultural landscape of Los Angeles.

He died in Manhattan, New York of a heart attack, in December 2003. His final novel, Nothing Lost, which was in galleys at the time of his death, was published in 2004.

He was father to Quintana Roo Dunne, who died in 2005 after a series of illnesses, and uncle to actors Griffin Dunne (who co-starred in An American Werewolf in London) and Dominique Dunne (who co-starred in Poltergeist).

His wife, Joan Didion, published The Year of Magical Thinking in October 2005 to great critical acclaim, a memoir of the year following his death, during which their daughter, Quintana Roo Dunne, was seriously ill. It won the National Book Award.

Books and Screenplays

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John Gregory Dunne's Timeline

May 25, 1932
Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut, United States
March 3, 1966
Age 33
December 30, 2003
Age 71
New York, New York County, New York, United States

John Gregory Dunne, Novelist, Screenwriter and Observer of Hollywood, Is Dead at 71
Published: January 1, 2004
John Gregory Dunne, the brashly insightful novelist, journalist, and screenwriter who wrote novels and successful works of nonfiction crammed with pungent dialogue, lavish brutality and vivid glimpses of the Hollywood demimonde, died on Tuesday evening in his Manhattan apartment. He was 71. Joan Didion, his wife and frequent collaborator, said he had a heart attack as he sat down to dinner and was taken to New York Hospital, where he could not be revived. The couple had just returned from visiting their daughter, Quintana Roo Dunne Michael, who is seriously ill in the hospital, Ms. Didion said.