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John Gregory Dunne

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 31, 2003 | Monte Morin, Times Staff Writer
John Gregory Dunne, the journalist, screenwriter and novelist who chronicled the Hollywood movie industry in his book "The Studio," then went on to write for film, died unexpectedly Tuesday evening as he sat down to dinner with his wife, author Joan Didion. He was 71. Dunne died of a heart attack in the couple's New York City home, where the longtime residents of California had been living, his wife said. Dunne's first books were works of hard-hitting journalism: The first, "Delano: The Story of the California Grape Strike," appeared in 1967 and followed Chicano labor leader Cesar Chavez.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 12, 2012 | By F. Kathleen Foley
Joan Didion's stage adaptation of her 2005 memoir, "The Year of Magical Thinking," is a wrenchingly meditative one-hander that delves into the mechanics of loss - namely, the sudden death of Didion's longtime husband and writing partner, John Gregory Dunne, and the agonizingly prolonged decline of her beloved daughter, Quintana. Dunne's death was nearly instantaneous. Quintana, on the other hand, succumbed only after the course of many months and several mysterious maladies. Quintana died after Didion's book had already gone to press, and Didion's controversial refusal to delay publication and update her work is addressed in her play - sometimes to a fault. Strikingly, the death of Dunne gets somewhat short shrift while Quintana's more gradual attenuation is more exhaustively described.
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NEWS
February 17, 1991 | SUSAN KING
Novelist, screenwriter and journalist John Gregory Dunne ("True Confessions") tours the City of Angels in the documentary "L.A. Is It," airing Monday on PBS' "Travels" series. Dunne's journey begins at the Plaza in El Pueblo, now Olvera Street, the city's birthplace in 1781. From there, he travels along Sunset Boulevard through Echo Park, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Malibu.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 30, 2011 | By David L. Ulin, Tribune Newspapers
"Writers," Joan Didion observed in 1968, "are always selling somebody out. " It's one of those classic Didion statements, epigrammatic yet personal, a line that unpacks itself the more we consider what it implies. Didion may have been referring to journalism when she wrote that in the preface to "Slouching Towards Bethlehem," but she was also, as directly as can be imagined, addressing herself. "My only advantage as a reporter is that I am so physically small, so temperamentally unobtrusive, and so neurotically inarticulate that people tend to forget that my presence runs counter to their best interests.
OPINION
January 30, 1994 | Steve Proffitt, Steve Proffitt is a producer for Fox News and a contributor to National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition." He spoke in a conference call with John Gregory Dunne, in New York, and Dominick Dunne, at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles.
In the 1960s and '70s, Dominick Dunne and his younger brother, John Gregory, pretty much owned this town. Sons of a well-to-do Connecticut family--"We were like minor-league Kennedys," Dominick once wrote--they came to Los Angeles and prospered. Dominick became a movie producer. John, with his wife, writer Joan Didion, crafted novels and screenplays, earning literary kudos and lots of Hollywood lucre.
BOOKS
August 14, 1994 | David Ehrenstein
About a quarter of the way through John Gregory Dunne's "Playland," we find ourselves at the Copacabana in its late 1940s heyday. Walter Winchell is sitting at his usual table, slyly eyeing the assembled semi-sophisticates and making copious notes. Helen O'Connell has just finished a sultry rendition of "I Like the Likes of You," singing directly at Jacob King, a good-looking gangster celebrating the fact that he has just beaten a murder conviction. Then Blue Tyler makes her entrance.
BOOKS
August 19, 1990 | Lawrence S. Dietz, Dietz, currently writing a history of the development of Los Angeles and the Chandler family for Bantam Books, has been a magazine editor and writer since 1965.
About 15 years ago, Tom Wolfe and I got to talking about magazines and the sorry state of people who write for them. He suggested we get ourselves over to New York's Natural History Museum, where we and our typewriters could be put behind glass to serve as living dioramas, each churning out pages for the amusement, or edification, of visitors. A plaque would read: MAGAZINE WRITERS, MID-20TH CENTURY, NEARING EXTINCTION. Things haven't gotten any better for magazine writers since then.
BOOKS
August 27, 1989 | Jack Miles, Miles is The Times' book editor. and
Harp? Try knell. Though this Irish-American memoir includes a trip to Ireland, John Gregory Dunne has less unfinished business with the Emerald Isle than he does with the Grim Reaper. But then: Don't we all? And what of it? You can't talk of the Irish anyway without talking, soon enough, of the dead. "I call myself a harp," Dunne writes, "because I like the sound of the word--it is short, sharp and abusive."
BOOKS
February 16, 1997 | MICHAEL CRICHTON, Michael Crichton's most recent novel is "Airframe" (Alfred A. Knopf)
"Monster" is John Gregory Dunne's nonfiction account of the eight years that he and his wife, Joan Didion, worked as writers on the film "Up Close and Personal," released in 1996. The book is a remarkable narrative--part memoir, part diary, part confessional--that tells more about the experience of writing for Hollywood than any other book ever written. It is also a very funny horror story.
BOOKS
October 4, 2005 | Anne-Marie O'Connor, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Distinguished American writer Joan Didion has always seemed delicate, but now she looks frail. Her shoulders are thin and stooped as she speaks haltingly about the loss of her daughter a few weeks ago, as she was still grappling with the sudden death of her husband on Dec. 30, 2003. Her weight has dropped below 80 pounds, and her pants and pullover hang loosely from a 5-foot-1 frame that now seems perilously thin. She seems dwarfed by a living room filled with art and mementos. As she notes at the beginning of her new memoir, "The Year of Magical Thinking," which goes on sale today, "Life changes fast.
HEALTH
December 29, 2008 | Charles Zanor
Five days after her adult daughter was placed in a drug-induced coma in order to treat a raging infection, Joan Didion lost her husband. John Gregory Dunne, the writer with whom she had spent nearly every day of 39 years, died at the dinner table in the living room of their New York City apartment. It was Dec. 30, 2003: They hadn't even made it through Christmas week. The two events, almost back to back, were overwhelming. In the weeks and months after John's death, Didion knew she was sinking.
MAGAZINE
December 24, 2006
This week in 1940, California Gov. Culbert Olson and the 1941 Rose Queen presided over the official dedication of the Arroyo Seco Parkway, which in 1954 became the Pasadena Freeway. When the late John Gregory Dunne moved from New York City to Southern California, a local radio station had adopted a slogan: "The freeway is forever." Dunne wrote in an essay in 1978 that the slogan was "the perfect metaphor for that state of mind called Los Angeles."
ENTERTAINMENT
July 11, 2006 | PATRICK GOLDSTEIN
WILLIAM Goldman famously said that in Hollywood nobody knows anything. But I would suggest a second maxim equally applies: In Hollywood, nothing ever changes. At lunch several weeks ago, I found myself across the table from a quick-witted young agent, so abuzz with moxie and feral energy that I had the unnerving sensation of imagining what it must've been like for Budd Schulberg -- nearly 70 years ago -- to have stumbled onto his prototype for Sammy Glick.
BOOKS
January 8, 2006 | David Freeman, David Freeman is a screenwriter and novelist. His most recent book is "It's All True."
JOHN GREGORY DUNNE, a modern man of letters, managed careers as a novelist, reporter, essayist and screenwriter. If there's poetry in his trunk or the odd translation from Middle German, it's not mentioned. Dunne, who died in December of 2003, was born in Hartford, Conn., in 1932 into the Irish American upper-middle class, the son of a surgeon. He was raised in the Catholic Church (though later lapsed) and educated at Portsmouth Priory and Princeton (class of 1954).
BOOKS
October 4, 2005 | Anne-Marie O'Connor, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Distinguished American writer Joan Didion has always seemed delicate, but now she looks frail. Her shoulders are thin and stooped as she speaks haltingly about the loss of her daughter a few weeks ago, as she was still grappling with the sudden death of her husband on Dec. 30, 2003. Her weight has dropped below 80 pounds, and her pants and pullover hang loosely from a 5-foot-1 frame that now seems perilously thin. She seems dwarfed by a living room filled with art and mementos. As she notes at the beginning of her new memoir, "The Year of Magical Thinking," which goes on sale today, "Life changes fast.
BOOKS
October 2, 2005 | Gideon Lewis-Kraus
The back cover of "Slouching Towards Bethlehem," Joan Didion's first collection of essays and the book that established her as one of a handful of major contemporary writers, advises that her pieces "all reflect, in one way or another, the notion that things are falling apart, that 'the center cannot hold.' " That phrase is from Yeats' "The Second Coming," the poem that provided Didion with the 1968 book's evocative title; such slouching perhaps now...
NEWS
May 22, 1988
It was indeed disquieting to learn that those quintessential Californians, Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne, have forsaken Los Angeles for New York. ("Why They Left" by Elizabeth Mehren, May 9). That news alone was enough to send me slouching toward my bed for the rest of the day. What I found really alarming, though, was to discover that Didion moved to New York to become a character in "The Bonfire of the Vanities." "You have no idea how much smaller a 10-room apartment in New York is than a 10-room house in Los Angeles," she says.
BOOKS
May 9, 2004 | David Freeman, David Freeman is the author of several books, including "A Hollywood Education," "One of Us" and, most recently, "It's All True."
JOHN GREGORY DUNNE, who died in December, was the most modern of American novelists -- that is, he was as much a reporter as a fabulist. This gave his fiction the weight and gravity of truth. His great subjects were American institutions and enterprises: the courts, prisons, the media, the Catholic Church and Hollywood. "Nothing Lost," his final novel, is a sprawling story of murder, corruption and mistakes.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 7, 2004 | TIM RUTTEN
Like any writer, John Gregory Dunne -- who died last week at the age of 71 -- relished the literary acclaim accorded his novels and critical essays. On a lesser plane, he relished the reputation -- and handsome fees -- he earned working on screenplays in collaboration with his wife, Joan Didion. ("A film script," he once said, "is built, not written."
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