thegaygardener

Changing The World One Pansy At A Time!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Good Bye Mr Dunne



Dominick Dunne died today & VANITY FAIR might as well cease to publish. The magazine has become but a former shadow of itself (JESSICA SIMPSON anyone?) & Dunne was really the only reason to keep reading it; let alone subscribe.

This is from a posting I wrote a year ago when I first heard he was ill

I have long been a fan of his & have read every book he ever wrote as well as a terrific collection of photos & stories about his life in Hollywood called, THE WAY WE LIVED THEN which has an iconic photo, taken by Mr. Dunne, of the gorgeous NATALIE WOOD, reapplying her lipstick using the blade of a butter knife for a mirror! Two of his best sellers were turned into terrific mini-series, THE TWO MRS. GRENVILLES & AN INCONVENIENT WOMAN. He has not had the easiest life. He was a successful producer who fell on hard times & lost everything, his beloved wife was confined to a wheelchair, & his only daughter, DOMINIQUE, was brutally murdered by her boyfriend who strangled her in the driveway of her home & ended up serving less than 3 years in jail for manslaughter.
His coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial made Dunne a household name. His constant courtroom presence & highly tuned sense of justice has vexed many an attorney; prosecution & defense. Legendary lawyer, LESLIE ABRAMSON once mocked him as “Judith Krantz in pants!” Dunne had the last laugh as Abramson’s famous clients; The Menendez Brothers, still rot in jail for the murder of their parents.

I met Dunne once in a restaurant in Beverly Hills at the height of the O.J. hysteria. Other diners included, Sidney Poitier, Candace Bergen, Carol Burnett, famous directors, writers & agents. The room was packed. And the only person that people were desperate to talk to was Dominick Dunne.


I just found a collection of his V.F. columns published in 1987 called, FATAL CHARMS. Fabulous pieces on his daughter’s murder, Elizabeth Taylor, The Women of Palm Beach & Claus von Bulow. A 21 yr-old book that reads as if it was written today. Classic. Like Dominick.

Dunne spent the past year seeking alternative treatments to his cancer. Including even a stint in a German hospital specializing in stem cell treatment the same place FARRAH FAWCETT was! Dunne, true to form, even occupied the room next to hers, but there was no time for chatting!

In one of his last interviews, Dunne was just as quotable as ever:
I've lived this very dramatic life, with high points and terrible low points," he told a London paper as the trial drew to a close. "Nothing has been ordinary, and I want to have the experience of the last breath. I want a little drama to it. I don't want to die under anesthesia. I'd rather be shot to death in the Plaza or Monte Carlo by Lily Safra***. I want something in the papers."

“I want something in the papers!” That you got good sir, that you got!

I had hoped that there would be a Requiem mass at Good Shepherd Church in Beverly Hills (parish of thegaygardener) where Dunne had covered so many other funerals! I would have loved to have attended but it seems now he will be buried out of the East Coast

No matter, I shall now begin to re-read every one of his best sellers & live with his inimitable voice in my head for a little while longer!

*** Lily Safra is the fabulously wealthy Monte Carlo widow whom Dunne profiled & mentioned repeatedly (unflatteringly) in his last years of columns in VF

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