John Gregory Dunne (May 25,
1932 – December 30, 2003) was an American novelist,
screenwriter and literary critic.
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
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
(1976) and True Confessions
adaptation of his own novel. He is the author of two non-fiction
books about Hollywood, The
As a literary critic and essayist, he was a frequent contributor to
The New York Review of
. His essays were collected in two books,
He wrote several novels, among them True Confessions
loosely on the Black Dahlia
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
He died in
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
) and Dominique Dunne
(who co-starred in Poltergeist
His wife, Joan Didion
The Year of Magical
in October 2005 to great critical acclaim, a
memoir of the year following his death, during which their
daughter, Quintana Roo Dunne
seriously ill. It won the National
by Alan Taylor