Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dominick Dunne 1929-2009

Like Farrah Fawcett's death the same day of Michael Jackson's, Teddy Kennedy's death today has eclipsed that of Dominick Dunne's.
Dunne was my journalistic idol.
My journalism professors pointed to him as an example of a near-perfect feature writer, and once I became a professional journalist I continued to read his work for inspiration.
His coverage of both of O.J. Simpson's trials set the bar astronomically high for anyone covering courtroom drama. His semi-fictional book about the Simpson matter, called, "Another City Not My Own," was the kind of book one starts, then has to call in sick and cancel all social appointments until it was finished.
Dunne may have been a stiff, rather patrician old Yankee, but he had a wicked sense of humor and a delight in telling and hearing stories about famous people.
I always dreamed of one day meeting him and becoming his confidante and best friend.
There's a well known game where we are asked which six people, living or dead, we'd want at a dinner party. Dunne always made my list.
Journalism has lost a major talent today, and I've lost my idol.


Utah Savage said...

I too loved Dominick Dunne. How odd to say that in the past tense. I though I'd love his company, conversation, habits, mannerisms. He was the real and present in his books.

Karen Zipdrive said...

I guess the media's premiere funeral director Larry King will be having a field day tonight. Another twofer may be too much for the media's grim reaper to take. He might end up being death's hat trick.

Fran said...

Oh I so loved DD too- we have never discussed this. I thought he was amazing.

One day I was eating lunch at Oscar's, which at the time (2001?02?) was the so-called "cheaper" restaurant at the Waldorf and saw him. ( I worked next door and we would go treat ourselves to the amazing salads there and it was not too frou frou!)

He was sitting by himself, dapper as could be, looking not unlike that photo, complete with his trademark eyewear.

I so regret not saying something to him that day.

Proving once again that we regret what we do not do more often than what we actually do!

Also, my second cousin was related to him, by marriage. Yeah I know it is a stretch, but let me tell you that I have given the reduced degrees of separation a thought or two.

Resquiat en pacem Dominic.

nonnie9999 said...

i read that earlier. not a word about his death on tv so far. i liked his show, power, privilege, and justice. what a shame it had to stem from his own daughter's murder.

Karen Zipdrive said...

Nonnie, I really admired how Dunne turned the tragedy of his daughter's murder into a crusade against domestic abuse, and justice for crime victims and their survivors.

Karen Zipdrive said...

Fran, damn you!
You and D-Cap are famous for bumping into famous people and never saying a word to them.
If I'd seen Dunne in a restaurant, I would have gushed so much he'd have had the manager remove me from the premises.

Anonymous said...

Twelve years ago I was visiting a friend in NYC. Her penthouse, one of those old ten story pre-war buildings was directly across the street from his. She discovered this after receiving a note from him, thanking her for restoring the gargoyles surrounding her rooftop.
Quite the gentleman he was.

okjimm said...

well..... someday I 'might' be famous and then when I die you can say I was a blog buddy.

best I can do on a friday.

Dusty said...

Dunne was a great journalist and his death was another sadness for me this week. His Vanity Fair articles were always a good read and a must for me.