Can we discuss Dominick Dunne/Joan Didion/John Dunne, and gossip about him?
I just watched DD's fascinating documentary, After the Party, last night. I have some questions.
1. How was he let into so many parties, when he acted so blatantly social climb-ish? Was he accepted, or seen as an outsider?
2. What is Joan Didion's reputation in literary circles?
3. How did her daughter with John Gregory Dunne, Quintana, die? You never read much about the daughter -- only the shocking death of John. Wasn't she only in her 30s when she died? Who was her husband? You never hear much on him, either. I seem to recall reading (here, in fact) that they had a shady life ... but I forget details.
4. What's up with Dominick's other son, the teacher in San Francisco, Alexander? I know Griffin is some kind of director-producer, once married to Cary Lowell, but you don't hear much about the other kid.
5. Was DD really gay?
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 128||05/07/2014|
I liked the docu as well, OP.%0D %0D Re: 2...well, Joan is a goddess to her fans, and among the most overrated names ever to the rest of us. I never, ever understood her lofty rep, certainly for her fiction, which is silly, mannered, and horribly dated. %0D %0D %0D Re: 5... the movie never answers that question, but DD came off as an unhappily conflicted bisexual to me. He made a big point in the movie as having been celibate for several decades.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 1||06/10/2011|
Yes, DD was really gay and came out as "bisexual" in his last years.
A male friend who used to stay at the Chateau Marmont at the same time as Dom said the old man would stare at him hungrily every time they shared an elevator.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 2||06/10/2011|
r1 True, the novels are rubbish. But some of her non-fiction is great. She was an incisive thinker and great essayist.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 3||06/10/2011|
#1 Everyone notes Jewish social climbing (Sammy Glick et all) but no one seems to remember that the Irish were similarly despised and many times reacted the same way.
Like many Latinos today, the Irish were relegated to domestic and hard labor jobs, and those who rose through education discovered they were still viewed as lower species by the WASPs. Dunne's father was a surgeon, but the family still were forced to view their ethnicity as a burden, leaving a bitterness in the father with which he bitch slapped his son.
One story Dunne told was about winning the Bronze Star in WW2. When he got home, his father refused to acknowledge his feat, but one of the WASP ladies of the town came over to tell him how proud she was of him.
He was nearly crying as he told the story, and it taught me that --- to this day -- there are two groups in the US: Protestants and everyone else.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 4||06/10/2011|
R3's anlysis can also apply to the works of D. Dunne -- good non-fiction, mannered and obvious fiction.
I still miss his Vanity Fair pieces.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 5||06/10/2011|
DD was bi because when he was young he married an heire$$ who could further and $u$tain his ambitions. My guess is that he was about 99% gay. Insecure, status seeking starfucker with lots of ambition. Became a decent writer when he got sober and experienced some real heartbreak (murder of his daughter.) His gossip was pretty silly- all name dropping not much on substance or truth or even judgment. I gather he was not well liked, but included because he was kind of a player in the circles of celebrity for celebrity sake which as we know is big business. He was also a successful writer, and success is the ticket in NYC. Any success.%0D %0D Just my opinion. I would like to see the docu because I find people like him facinating. The best I can say about him is that he was a survivor and I have admiration for all people who overcome substance abuse problems. Most do not- so I think it is always life affirming to know of people who do. I guess in the end he was a brave man, in his way. So he gets my respect. (He just seems and sounds like such a prick!)
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 6||06/10/2011|
1. Dunne was accepted to a certain extent because he was a gossip, and many society ladies liked it. He also looked the part and, AFAIK, didn't embarrass anyone with cutting remarks or drunken behaviour like Capote. Those who didn't like him, and thought he was a parvenu, enjoyed looking down on him.
2. Didion was known as a frosty cunt who was good at detailed, accurate quotidian observations about people that revealed larger truths.
She was often not seen as an interloper at parties because of her plainness and size (she was tiny). Later, they were considered part of the scene.
Her reputation rested on her non-fiction. Many people thought her fiction was over-rated.
5. Dominick Dunne was gay. Horribly unhappy about it, but gay.
3. The daughter died of septic shock after being hospitalized for another illness. The Year of Magical Thinking is Didion's book on losing JGD and her daughter in one year.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 8||06/10/2011|
I actually can't stand DD. I find him a repulsive, name-dropping suck-up.
The skewering Gary Indiana gives him in "Resentment" is hilarious.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 9||06/10/2011|
I had tea with him with at his house in Conneticut with a jounalist friend of mine who knew him very well. Beautiful house on a little island you had to take the a small ferry (no pun intended) to it.%0D Nice man and very upfront about name dropping but kept us regaled of stories of stars, however his house was full of DD and celebs - like he would forget who he met!,Very interesting inside stories, especially about Lily Safra killing her husband in Monaco%0D I have actually just finished his last novel "Too Much Money" his last book before he died.%0D %0D Anyhow back to gossip he blanked my female friend, and spoke at me all the time in a salacious manner, I was conviced he was gay, he outed himself as bi in the last book.%0D %0D Surprised no-one mentioned the tragic death of his daughter who was strangled and nearly beheaded by an ex boyfried who got a very lenient sentence.%0D %0D Anything else - just ask%0D %0D Cheers
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 10||06/10/2011|
[quote]"Why are the Irish such social climbers? Is it because your mothers were all maids?"%0D %0D This non-bon mot comes from a man who would rather postulate for a hundred pages that all men are gay rather than admit that he is.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 11||06/10/2011|
J.D.'s - Slouching Towards Bethlehem, is one of my favorite essay collections. Subjects range from John Wayne to cheap weddings in Vegas, to Joan Baez. Could never really stand any of her novels or long form non-fiction.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 12||06/10/2011|
DD's stock rose during the OJ trial: his VF pieces were good, informed of course by personal tragedy. (Many of us recall DD's face, aghast, when the verdict was announced.)
Other than that his work could be laughably bad, clotted with 'society names' and jet-set activities. It actually had a kid-in-sweetshop charm about it, as though he'd been allowed a late-life spree.
He dressed the part too, looking like a society walker. There's an interview with Griffin Dunne somewhere where he says that DD was the better for coming out, which they'd discussed.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 13||06/10/2011|
[italic]After the Party[/italic] can be viewed at Hulu free. See link. I also enjoyed this honest, candid portrait of a flawed but decent man. Enjoy!
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 14||06/10/2011|
Except Lily Safra did not kill her husband, a wacked out (private duty male) nurse from Presbyterian hospital did- he was wrong, and he eventually found out how wrong. He got a bit arrogant after he successfully and rightfully outed the Skakel son as the real murderer of the girl in Greenwich in the 70s.%0D %0D I always loved the way he would imply that the gossip he heard from his society "girlfriends" gave him special inside knowledge of crimes of the rich... perhaps a bit, but come on DD. He was also a bit smitten with Peter B of Martha Stewart idiocy in the insider scandal- which both he and she were so obviously guilty. His (Peter B's) own firm admitted as much. But Peter "charmed" DD and Martha, well she courted him- and of course is a celebrity.%0D %0D Much of his work was really silly- if not, I admit, amusing and at times interesting (those brothers who killed their parents and of course the OJ case.)
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 15||06/10/2011|
I went to a Dominick Dunne event at the NY Public Library. And no, it wasn't the gorgeous main library. It was held in a shitty room in a nondescript building. It was only a week after 9/11 happened. He told us he nearly canceled, because he couldn't imagine who would show up. He was genuinely touched that the room was filled. Anyway, he was really sweet and he told us all sorts of great gossip in a way that made it seem as though he felt more connected with us than the rich celebrities he often dined with.
The strange part is that he didn't read from his books, nor did he try to sell any books. I'm not even really sure why he agreed to the event. I can't imagine what he got out of it. But it was fun, like we were all a bunch of servants huddled behind the stairs, bitching about the Lords and Ladies of the manor.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 16||06/10/2011|
Didion's memoir A Year of Magical Thinking talks about Quintana and her death. It was actually a really great memoir, and I recommend it.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 17||06/10/2011|
I didn't care for DD's other novels but I really loved THE TWO MRS. GRENVILLES, which was fabulous. I remember reading it as a teenager, and it felt really, really gay to me, even back then.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 18||06/10/2011|
"Magical Thinking" discusses her daughter's illness and the issues it raised between Didion and the medical community, but it never said how the daughter, somewhere in her 30s, got sick in the first place. What would cause such an infection that would turn her so septic, she was in a coma for months?
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 19||06/10/2011|
R10, what did he say about Lily Safra murdering Edmond? I just finished a biography on her and ended up really despising her.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 20||06/10/2011|
r17, she gives it very passing mention but the book is about her husband dying, not her daughter dying.
why would a 30-ish woman die so suddenly, under such odd circumstances?
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 21||06/10/2011|
I miss him in Vanity Fair.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 22||06/10/2011|
[quote]He was nearly crying as he told the story, and it taught me that --- to this day -- there are two groups in the US: Protestants and everyone else.%0D %0D oh please, the Catholics i know are the biggest snobs around.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 23||06/10/2011|
[quote]the Catholics i know are the biggest snobs around.
Because of the Protestants
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 24||06/10/2011|
r23, r24...Irish have been snobs in the US for a long long time. It's an obsession with social class that they took from the English and never shook off. It's pretty oppressive that certain people worry too much about where they stand in society.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 25||06/10/2011|
Whenever he was in Los Angeles, he frequented a retail store I worked in for several years. The store was near the Chateau Marmont and yes, I was a lowly sales bottom.) In his last years of life, he was OLD. Like something out of Charles Dickens. Short, overweight, wearing a musty tweet outfit that looked like it hadn't been washed in a few years. Grumpy scowl on his face, perhaps because his body had been betraying him for so long. It was strange because his prose was so full of life. I know he's not a great Writer, however, I appreciated that he could tell a story. Name dropping was one of his tricks, and it kept people captivated. He knew exactly how to keep the story interesting. He could give you everything you needed to know about the main players in the tale so you could feel informed enough about their background, status and motivations in life...making you feel like you were gossiping about people you knew. As opposed to someone you had just read about for the first time (which was often the case for his readers.) His prose was lively - and his physical presence was anything but. I was surprised he was ambulatory.
Anyway - Joan was also a walking medical miracle. She was barely there. It was as if she was made of tissue paper. Thin. Small. Not one ounce of muscle on her. A watercracker would have won in an arm wrestling match against her. HUGE eyes. So her writing persona and her actual persona were very much one in the same. She was lovely, thoughtful, hidden, observant, cautious.
I'd like to hear more about Lily Safra. Did she contract the male nurse to kill her husband? Possibly through channels that didn't connect to her?
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 26||06/10/2011|
R20, he wrote several articles about Safra's death claiming that the gossip out of Monaco was that the male nurse was being framed!
And then he actually went to Monaco, and observed the weird behavior of the guy firsthand, and realized that he was mentally disturbed and probably guilty.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 27||06/10/2011|
1. How was he let into so many parties, when he acted so blatantly social climb-ish? Was he accepted, or seen as an outsider?%0D %0D Considered a very smart, knowledgeable guy married to a socialite at one time, and brother and brother-in-law of literary elites. Social climbers are not automatically ostracized in society, least of all when they have something erudite to contribute.%0D %0D 2. What is Joan Didion's reputation in literary circles?%0D %0D Esteemed.%0D %0D
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 28||06/10/2011|
I feel like I remember my mom referring to him as gay in a conversation with my brother when we were both in high school. Not sure whether this was just a Republican housewife's kneejerk prejudice towards Vanity Fair gossip columnists at work but either way the mere fact that this subject came up probably should have been an early indication that her household was a steaming cauldron of nascent homosexuality
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 30||06/10/2011|
"Can we discuss Dominick Dunne/Joan Didion/John Dunne, and gossip about him?"%0D %0D Let's not. I am about as tired of those people as I am reading about the Mitfords, dining at Saint Ambroius, or facing that ghastly traffic on the Montauk Highway.%0D
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 31||06/10/2011|
He did R27- but he was proved wrong in spades. The RN who was responsible for the accident was mentally ill and pretty much confessed to the whole thing without realizing it. The big mistake of the Safra's was hiring the RN in the first place who was known to be mentally unstable at his last job in NYC (Presbyterian Hospital). Dunne tried to make him out as an innocent dupe, where as if he had really done his homework he would have discovered he was deemed an unstable professional in his last practice setting. Dunne pretty much admitted as much later.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 32||06/10/2011|
R21 - you are semi right what he did say was the nurse was a simpleton so the easiest person to frame. %0D %0D He didnt think that he was involved in some plan withh Lily as he would be a loose cannon after the incident, if he was she would have him bumped off after the murder. Apparently he had a great relationship with Edmund, from nurse and other sources - so would be unlikely he would be involved%0D She obviously had some help from people she trusted
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 33||06/10/2011|
Joan Didion was the commencement speaker at my school's graduation 12 years ago. She was a good friend of the then Dean. Anyway, I had been a big fan of her work so I was excited to see and hear her speak. She was disheveled, incoherent and rambling. Her speech made absolutely no sense and had no order to it. My family came to see me graduate and they all were talking about what a mess Didion was. They couldn't decide whether she was drunk or on drugs. Only my brother differed from the main opinion--he thought she was dead.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 34||06/10/2011|
R29/R33, I think you were asking me about which book I read - it was "Gilded Lily: Lily Safra: The Making of One of the World's Wealthiest Widows," by Isabel Vincent.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 35||06/10/2011|
I thought Quintana died right after Magical Thinking was submitted, and Joan insisted on keeping the book as is, ie without mention of her daughter's death.
When I was college-age I loved Didion, esp White Album and Slouching Toward Bethlehem. Now they read as smart but detached, a little too clever, and a bit hypocritical. By that I mean the essays often fall into the same kind of narcissism and navel-gazing that they seem to be criticizing in others. But it's tarted up with 'observant writing' so we're supposed be impressed with that, instead of focusing too much on the essential vapidity. The essay on Linda Kasabian and her dress comes to mind.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 36||06/10/2011|
[quote]His gossip was pretty silly- all name dropping not much on substance or truth or even judgment.%0D %0D Reminds me of another Irish name dropper who out name drops Dunne any day of the week - Regis!
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 37||06/10/2011|
I still don't get why the Irish were treated like dirt by the WASPs back in "the days". They are all WHITE as they come... what's the story there?
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 38||06/10/2011|
r38 - you are very naive.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 39||06/10/2011|
[quote]you are very naive.%0D %0D %0D How so?
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 40||06/10/2011|
because people discrminate all the time. White people do it to one another all the time. Asians, blacks and Latinos also discriminate within their own group. It isn't always about skin color.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 41||06/10/2011|
Didn't the Safra nurse have some plan to set the fire and then "rescue" Edmond from it, to curry favor with him? IIRC, he didn't set out to murder him.
I agree that Dunne's novels were just awful, but his Vanity Fair columns were a delight.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 42||06/10/2011|
He was the bane of Ethel Kennedy's existence.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 43||06/10/2011|
DD was a self-loathing, climbing, drunk, closeted man for most of his life. He had many despicable qualities, sure. But the ambition and the quest for cheap fame was a substitute for his father's love and acceptance -which he never received because his dad sensed he was gay. %0D %0D When I think of what a whore DD was as an older adult, I can overlook that because I see the 18-year-old kid who carried a wounded buddy to safety during WW2. And he was still shunned by his father. And he continued his lie by marrying a woman and living the hetero life. He didn't have the courage or the example to live as a gay man. I think he wanted empathy and never really got it.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 44||06/10/2011|
Let's dish about his ex-wife. Did she know he was gay? Why did she put up with it?
Detached is a great way to describe Didion's prose.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 45||06/10/2011|
Another City, Not My Own is unputdownable and dishy as hell. Kind of cringeworthy at times, when he goes on and on about his fantastic placement at the funeral of Eva Gabor, but ... still an excellent, frothy read with good insight into the personalities of the OJ scene, namely the defense attorneys. You get the sense that he has some fondness for Barry Sheck and Robert Kardashian as being fundamentally decent people in the sway of OJ, and HATES F Lee Bailey and Jonnie Cochrane with a passion. He also paints a kind portrait of OJ's sisters, who are humble and appreciative and nothing like OJ.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 47||06/10/2011|
I can't imagine he made *that* much off his books and mini-series. I'm sure he was comfortable but not wealthy by any means. I'm guessing that he might have gotten some kind of settlement from his heiress ex-wife.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 48||06/10/2011|
Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne were unusual in their time in that they were successful and respected both in Hollywood and as serious literary writers. I like Joan's novel "Play It As It Lays" and their screen adaptation of that and "The Panic in Needle Park" is as good as anything that was being done in that era. If their work doesn't date well for you, that may be because it was so true to its time.
I think of Joan and John as intellectuals and artists, which is not what Dominick was. He was the flighty black sheep of the family who wrote gossipy bestsellers.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 49||06/10/2011|
Is there any comparison to be made between DD and Roy Cohn? They both seemed to be obsessed with social climbing, all the while trying desperately to hide their true sexuality.
What was the story behind Joan Didion and JGD and Barbra Streisand and Jon Peters? They were hired to write the screenplay for "A Star is Born" but either left the project or were fired. I imagine that it was an unpleasant collaboration for all involved. Did Joan and Barbra dislike each other?
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 50||06/10/2011|
DD is such a gay thing: nasty, full of gossip, and bitter about the fact that he had to deal with marginalization. Too bad he was not born 50 years later.%0D %0D He could have been the moderator here at DL. Such a useless bore. Why anyone would waste his time on DD is beyond me. Didion? When she is good she is good--and when she is better she is great.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 51||06/10/2011|
Love his books and VF articles but thought his TV show was cheesy. I will really miss his books, I reread some of them every few years. 'An Inconvenient Woman', 'The Two Mrs. Grenvilles' and 'A Season In Purgatory' are my favorites.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 52||06/10/2011|
Power, Privilege ... AND JUSTICE!
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 53||06/10/2011|
Okay, I feel I've missed something here and would very much appreciate clarification. I watched the same documentary. Where in the documentary is it said, or even hinted, that Dominick Dunne was gay? Please let me know and I'll go back and watch it again. Many thanks!!
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 54||06/10/2011|
It wasn't hinted in the documentary, not really. But it came out when his book Too Much Money came out - after he died.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 55||06/10/2011|
Many thanks R55! I'll check it out.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 56||06/10/2011|
Griffin Dunne also confirmed his father's bisexuality and 20-year celibacy, marveling that his father had kept this central part of his personality to himself almost until he died. He never spoke directly of it--it was through the behavior of his alter-ego Gus Bailey, the main character in "Too Much Money" that he finally showed this part of himself to the public.
Video at link.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 57||06/10/2011|
Everyone in Monaco knows Safra did it.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 58||06/11/2011|
I thought the shady financial dealings angle was at least plausible.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 59||06/11/2011|
If you watch the documentary he subtly hints he is gay/bi. My guess is that he's as gay as me, 99.9%. DD married and fathered children, loved his wife the best he could; social and family pressure are very difficult, even for the Irish... *smiles*
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 60||06/11/2011|
Watch Ms Didion carefully. She slips something homophobic into her screenplays and her other writing very often -- "revealing" vignettes of gays being embarrassing, bitchy, or petty.
Her husband Mr Dunne wrote a very judgmental, nasty article about murdered trans Brandon Teena for the New Yorker, basically implying that the murder was deserved.
Both made thundering pronouncements about the corruption in Washington, but sucked up to "gentlemen" like freako Don Simpson in Hollywood. Together they wrote a flop dullsville movie with MIchelle Pfeiffer and Robert Redford about "the inside story" of news anchors.
Not friends of homosexuals and sycophantic mediocre talent.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 61||06/11/2011|
Any DL discussion of DD should include the reminder that he was close friends with Mart Crowley, and produced 'The Boys In The Band.'
DD is often associated with the ambiguous out-of-town friend who appears at The Boys' party, and stays.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 62||06/11/2011|
Didion and Dunne make a cameo appearance in the Julia Phillips book about not eating lunch again. Apparently they were good friends until one fateful day when they met while on vacation and drugs somehow fell out of Julia's handbag. Didion and Dunne were more or less done with Julia after that. They didn't approve.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 63||06/11/2011|
[quote]Together they wrote a flop dullsville movie with MIchelle Pfeiffer and Robert Redford about "the inside story" of news anchors.
In one of his books on Hollywood, John Dunne wrote about the long distressing process their treatment on Jessica Savitch's life and death went through once it left their hands and eventually became Up Close & Personal, the Pheiffer/Redford film.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 65||06/11/2011|
R 38 - um. No. We were called, literally, the N*****s of Europe and were treated like it when we got here. Half my Irish got here before Black '47 - the other half came just as Black '47 was hitting it's peak. After we got out of quarantine the signs in West Farms in Westchester Co. (which is where all the migrant farm laborers went for work) and in Manhattan, all said "No N*****s. No Irish."
If you look at the historical record, we were depicted a ape-like, disheveled, dirty, drunken and insane. In fact, the two anti-Irish immigrant "talking points" were that we'd out-breed the WASPs and that we'd introduce insanity into the gene pool.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 66||06/11/2011|
r66 - and what part of that is untrue?
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 67||06/11/2011|
Any gossip from the set of "A Star is Born"?
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 68||06/11/2011|
Well, I've fininshed watching the documentary on Hulu, and I didn't see any mention of Donne's sexuality. There was discussion about him and his wife,how he continued to love her, wasn't even interested in sex. %0D %0D Said he was celebate so he didn't even care about impotence after his prostate surgery. But no be admissions.%0D %0D I've read about him saying he was Bi or gay, but it wasn't part of the documentary. I will say that it was kind of obvious to me. He did address the hostility and abuse he experienced from his father. %0D %0D I decided I liked him after watching it. He got caught up in the glamour of H'wood, and the celebrity culture. He was into drugs, shooting up cocaine(!). %0D %0D It all came crashing down with the murder of his daughter. His wife tired of the partying lifestyle, and left him accelerating his tailspin in to drugs & alcohol, according to him, but Dominique's murder was his "come to Jesus" moment. %0D %0D Once he cleaned up and started writing, he found a "cause" or a narrative structure for his life. He was no longer part of the wheeling and dealing to produce movies, etc. and the backstabbing. %0D %0D Instead, he was on a mission against people getting away with murder, especially well connected people. So his life wasn't a waste at all.He is definitely a part of popular culture. Phil Spektor is really scarey.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 69||06/11/2011|
"Didion's memoir A Year of Magical Thinking talks about Quintana and her death."
Actually, the book does not speak of Quintana's death, only of her illness while it addresses John's death.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 70||06/11/2011|
r66 -you're talking about 1847? No offense, but that's from before the Civil War. It's perfectly accepatable to remember the unjust treatment the Irish received, but to think that it still exists today and that Protestant America dominates you is almost silly. %0D %0D Further, there are lots of types of Catholics who aren't Irish. Cathoics also discrminate amongst themselves and towards "outsiders." %0D %0D Lots of the Irish I know have grandparents who went to college (even their great-grandparents). There's lots of achievement in that community.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 71||06/13/2011|
Are you people who don't understand the historical bigotry against the Irish serious? %0D %0D It's mainly been because they're Catholic. They're very prolific with their reproduction and tended/tend towards working to lower class professions. They're not seen as refined and never were. Particularly when compared with the English. And please remember the US was founded by the worst kind of English, the Puritans.%0D %0D Basically think of who would and wouldn't be allowed to join higher level country clubs and you'll understand. And read a book or two.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 72||06/13/2011|
This is 2011. I don't disagree with your history, but come on. There are plenty of Irish in country clubs. There are so many groups who face and still face discimination, it is ludicrous to talk about what happened 150 years ago or so. This "Poor Me, I'm Irish" crap wears thin, especially after dealing with some mean Irish Americans.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 73||06/13/2011|
[quote]This is 2011. I don't disagree with your history, but come on. There are plenty of Irish in country clubs.
True -- in 2011. Up until 1965, not so much. The main group the Civil Rights movement helped were the Irish, since they were no longer seemed as "so bad."
In 1962, JFK said, "Here I am, President of the United States, and I still can't get into The Somerset Club."
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 74||06/13/2011|
True -- in 2011. Up until 1965, not so much. The main group the Civil Rights movement helped were the Irish, since they were no longer seemed as "so bad."%0D %0D %0D %0D That's true for most groups of people
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 75||06/13/2011|
R73, DD was in his 80s when he died recently. He was active from the 50s to 70s in Hollywood - a time when anti-Catholic sentiment was still prevalent.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 76||06/13/2011|
JGD's book about screenwriting ("Monster") is lots of fun. Likewise his "The Studio" and novel "True Confessions."%0D %0D I adored Joan Didion when I was in college, and was much attracted by the decadence and dry writing of "Play it was it lays." It's still a tour de force of sorts--the terse style really captures the heroine's mood-- although there isn't much in the way of substance in it.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 79||06/13/2011|
[quote]that we'd introduce insanity into the gene pool.
Interesting that they were aware of the Irish schizophrenia problem that long ago.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 80||06/13/2011|
Quintana was tragically murdered by an ex-boyfriend. She was a good person, r78.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 81||06/13/2011|
Quintana was not murdered. That was Dominique Dunne. Quintana died of some sort of infection or something.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 82||06/13/2011|
R81, you're confusing Quintana with Dominic Dunne's daughter, Dominique (co-star of "Poltergeist").%0D %0D Quintana died as the result of an infection; Dominique was murdered by her ex.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 84||06/13/2011|
Sorry, you're right, what happened to Quin?
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 85||06/13/2011|
In the case of Quintana Roo, Something Happened and no one wanted to Talk About It...
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 86||06/13/2011|
R61 is right and the earlier post calling didion a narcissist and hypocrite is also right. I never liked her for many, many reasons - her bragging about being a native Californian was ridiculous - so was my aunt and she was older than didion and she never mentioned it - my mother told me; Joanie the Phoney loved to put down L.A. but coming from Sacramento, she had no leg, tiny or otherwise, to stand on. as if! that her daughter died from drugs would not surprise me at all with a cold narcissist like didion for a mother. Her screenplays made stupid movies - were they all mis-directed or badly edited or whatever excuse she and her drunk husband would say? No - they were shitty screenwriters and wannabe intellectuals who couldn't make the grade.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 88||06/13/2011|
abcess on the inner arm? that would lead to blood poisoning.....
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 89||06/13/2011|
I enjoyed his "The Way We Lived Then" memoir I think from the 90s, it contains a shirtless F.I. beach pic of him and his bf, one of the stars of "Boys in the Band". Met him at a party for Patti Reagan, he was close with them. I found him unpretentious and chatty.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 90||06/13/2011|
That's 'cause she probably just shot coke, r90.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 91||06/13/2011|
Joan Didion has a new book coming out in November.. It is about her and Quintana's relationship as she was growing up. I love her and cannot wait.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 92||06/13/2011|
bump for dead mystery girl
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 93||06/14/2011|
Didion wrote The Year of Magical Thinking between October 4, 2004 and December 31 the same year, completing it a year and a day after Dunne died. Notes she made during Quintana's hospitalisations became part of the book. Quintana Roo Dunne Michael died of pancreatitis on August 26, 2005 before the publication of the book, but Didion told the press that she would not revise the manuscript.%0D
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 94||06/15/2011|
I hear he's just pretending to be dead, that he's on the trail of the killers of Safra!
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 95||06/15/2011|
Pancreatitis that severe is usually caused by alcohol/drugs.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 96||06/15/2011|
Thanks to the poster who mentioned the DD documentary "After the Party." I ordered it based on your post, watched it, and liked it a lot. I live in Ireland, and never otherwise would have heard of this documentary. DL can be great that way. Thanks.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 97||06/17/2011|
[quote] or facing that ghastly traffic on the Montauk Highway.
We don't say "the Montauk Highway." It's just "Montauk Highway."
Or "Montauk," as in, "How's the traffic on Montauk?"
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 99||11/04/2011|
[quote] Interesting that they were aware of the Irish schizophrenia problem that long ago.
When you have ten to fifteen children per household, you're bound to have more crazy people. It's a numbers game.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 100||11/04/2011|
[quote]her bragging about being a native Californian was ridiculous
I'm currently reading Where I Was From, one of her better books of essays. She explores her Californian status but it's hardly bragging. She actually has a very jaundiced eye toward those who believe the mythology. Most of California was one big federal subsidy; one that benefited a small number of lazy/uninventive people who had a knack for ferretting out being at the right place at the right time.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 101||11/04/2011|
Thanks to the poster upthread who posted the Hulu link to the Dunne documentary. It was good stuff.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 102||11/04/2011|
Quintana Roo was a serious drunkard. She had lots of blood clots, which people with alcoholic liver problems get.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 103||11/04/2011|
Didion looks like John Hurt in a fright wig.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 104||11/04/2011|
[quote]Quintana Roo was a serious drunkard. She had lots of blood clots, which people with alcoholic liver problems get.
I also suspect FAS behind her early (childhood) health problems
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 105||11/04/2011|
The documentary is available for streaming on Netfix.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 108||11/04/2011|
[quote] I'm currently reading Where I Was From, one of her better books of essays. She explores her Californian status but it's hardly bragging. She actually has a very jaundiced eye toward those who believe the mythology. Most of California was one big federal subsidy; one that benefited a small number of lazy/uninventive people who had a knack for ferretting out being at the right place at the right time.
I'm reading this too and it's really amazing. I agree with your assessment of Didion's feelings on CA.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 109||11/04/2011|
Her work is important to know, whether or not you like her.
Like Dominick, her essays outshine her fiction, and her husband's studies of Hollywood are indispensable to those who profess interest in the film industry.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 110||11/04/2011|
I thought it was very teling that Dominick Dunne claimed Sue Mengers' husband Jean Claude Tramont was actually page at NBC named Jack Schwartz. How would Dunne remember the name of an NBC page from 20 years previously?
Menger's wikipedia entry stands by the name Jean Claude Tramont, says he was born in Belgium. His obituary said a funeral mass was held for him in a Catholic church, which doesn't sound very Jack Schwartzish to me.
I think Dunne drunkenly confused the guy with one of his tricks.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 111||11/05/2011|
I watched the documentary yesterday.
I think the implication was that Sue Mengers' husband was gay and that Dunne had tricked with him.
I also thought about the rumors that Humphrey Bogart liked the taste of dick. It was odd that Bogart surprised this younger gay man with an invite to his home.
It was clear that Dunne's son, Griffin, couldn't stand him.
The story about Frank Sinatra having someone punch Dunne in the face at a club really underscores what a cretin Sinatra was, although I can imagine that many had the same urge.
I thought it was refreshing that he said he was a popular, not respected, author.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 112||11/05/2011|
I know Dunne was outraged by his daughter's murder, but I got the feeling his kids didn't know him very well. They were always shunted to the background, handed over to nannies while the adults partied. And then Dunne kind of sponged off his daughter when he was a drunk.
I don't think Griffin was crazy about him.
BTW, where is Griffin nowadays? Is he in LA? In the 90s, I kept bumping into him downtown and in the Hamptons, but I haven't seen him for years.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 113||11/05/2011|
I wonder if Dunne's wife ever caught him out? He sounded like a party queen, while she would rather stay home. It was so the opposite of most marriages.
I'm sure Sinatra knew Dunne was gay and hated him for it. A macho Italian guy like Sinatra didn't like queers, especially queers who were married to heiresses.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 114||11/05/2011|
[quote] I haven't seen him for years.
That's probably not going to change . . .
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 115||11/05/2011|
Dominick Dunne and his wannabe mentor, Truman Capote, both new a man named Bill Sudduth, and it was Sudduth, an employee of a cruise line, who knew all the inside details about Ann Woodward who murdered her husband in 1955 because he was "assigned" to her just as in The Two Mrs. Grenville's Dunne's big comeback novel after leaving Hollywood in disgrace. In 1997, an entire branch of the Woodward family tree snapped when William Woodward (aka "Diantha," a lesbian bookseller in The Two Mrs. Grenvilles)jumped from his window. His younger brother had done the same 20 years earlier. Mom killed Pop. And the two boys killed themselves. A truly sad story. Even sadder? Grenville "Bean" Baker, Woodward's real life best friend, was killed on his family's 17,000-acre plantation in Tallahassee as the book depicted it. The male line in his family apparently also has a pox on it. Every male heir since Bean has either killed himself or been killed in a plane accident. There is currently a lone Baker, a Rockefeller-like scion of old money, and the last suvivor. His occupation? Pilot.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 116||11/05/2011|
There's an article on Joan in NEW YORK magazine this month. It doesn't paint a very flattering portrait of either her or John.
John comes across as an asshole who thinks too much of himself. Joan comes across as aloof and totally dependent on John.
You feel for the daughter.
There's a story on how Quintana wrote a paper for school. She's in the car looking at it and telling her father about it, when John asks if she gave it to her mother or him to proofread. Quintana says no. John asks to see the paper, at which point he throws it out of the car window.
Quintana was adopted, and there was some mental issues in her birth family. The birth mother became obsessive and stalked Quintana even after she told the woman she needed space for a while.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 117||11/05/2011|
Sorry, R66, the "No Irish Need Apply" signs were mostly nonexistent in the US. That myth originated with a song from the UK, about the very real discrimination they experienced in London. The song was a hit in the US, and the myth was born.
Tip O'Neill and Ted Kennedy claimed to remember the signs from their childhoods. Considering that Kennedy wasn't even born until 1932, his claim is utterly laughable.
Irish people in general are okay, but many of them have an annoying habit of wallowing in sentimental hogwash about bein' Oirish. Few white ethnic groups work the victim mentality like they do. Tom Hayden is one who never stopped, and continues to rail against a WASP aristocracy that hasn't existed for decades.
Here's an interesting article about the largely non-existent signs:
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 118||11/05/2011|
Ultimately, who gives a shit about any of these people? Their writing was subpar (DD's was pathetic) and they won't be remembered in 25 years.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 119||11/05/2011|
[quote]Is there any comparison to be made between DD and Roy Cohn? They both seemed to be obsessed with social climbing, all the while trying desperately to hide their true sexuality.
Roy Cohn was far more treacherous. He hooked up with Joe McCarthy and became a morality sharpshooter, taking down commies and homos while working to keep his boyfriend out of the Korean War. He probably had to blow Hoover every week. A despicable man, so perfectly brought to life again in Angels in America.
There was only one man Cohn was afraid of. A flamboyant gay man with painted on eyebrows and a Shirley Temple wig who happened to be his ex-lover and went by the name "Richard DuPont."
People who remember the old International Stud on Greenwich Street in the West Village might remember him. He lived across the street and kept his Blood Red Bentley and Antique Black Rolls Royce parked outside, windows open and doors unlocked. She was no one to trifle with. But Cohn did.
DuPont stenciled "Roy Cohn is a Fag" down the sidewalk in front of his law offices. He learned to impersonate Cohn and would tell the garage to do expensive, unnecessary repairs on his precious limo with the car phone. Once, off Provincetown, DuPont called the Coast Guard and said there was a cache of cocaine on Cohn's yacht. Finally, DuPont showed up in a nurse's cloak with a bouquet of dead flowers while Cohn was having a facelift. That did it.
Cohn, who had a lot of strings, pulled one of them and had DuPont sent up the river for harrassment. I didn't know all this stuff until I read a biography of Roy Cohn.
He hired me to drive for him when I was in my early 20s and knocking around the Village. I worked for his neighbor too, who lived in a stark modern townhouse next door with a Cougar Convertible in the garage. These two queens hated each other. If DuPont's Bentley was hanging over his driveway one inch, he'd have it towed.
Wow, this is long, sorry. I'm just glad I never got on DuPont's bad side.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 120||11/11/2011|
2013 bump for the great queens of yore.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 122||04/26/2013|
After reading Didion's books on losing her husband, and daughter, I felt she suffers from an entitlement complex.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 123||04/26/2013|
OP A million thank yous!!! I immediately went to Hulu after reading your post, and I loved the documentary. It was right up my alley...murders AND celebrities. I felt as though I have more insight into the mind of DD now. I also feel quite sad for him...he enjoyed great success, but clearly even he felt something important was missing from his life. I loved finally getting to see Lenny as she was in her youth. I was only familiar with her in her MS days prior to the film. I'll miss his trial coverage.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 124||04/27/2013|
Anyone who thinks that the WASP stranglehold over lesser European white(and we need not even mention other minority groups)is a thing of the past has never been to Palm Beach. Oh sure, a philanthropic Jewish couple who winter there during "The Season" will be invited to the nightly balls which are held in the name of worthy causes. But they will never be allowed to step a toe into The Everglades Club or The Bath and Tennis Club, known to locals as the B&T. When the Kennedy family were in their heyday post JFK's presidency, they're home was on the wrong end of the island and they were relegated to joining The Palm Beach Country Club which is Jewish. There is no amount of money which can secure an invitation to join the 2 Waspy clubs which are the center of that small universe. When Tiger Woods was at the height of his fame pre-scandal, he had been invited by an Everglades member for a member-member golf tournament. Upon his arrival he was not permitted to enter the club. At that time Tiger was perhaps the most race neutral Black man in the country, and admired by most. IIRC, the Everglades member who had invited him resigned in protest of the snub. I agree that this sort of behavior is a dying form of snobbery, and when all members born before 1970 are dead or infirm, I would guess that a change will come, much like Augusta National inviting Condi Rice to be their first female member. But the main difference is that AN feels pressure to be somewhat egalitarian due to the hoohaw over the Masters every year. Clubs like the B&T in PB could not care less if the whole state of FL were to stand at the bridge to the mainland of West Palm Beach and protest. The police will never let them cross the bridge to get any where near the homes, Worth Avenue, the restaurants and especially the clubs. I am of Irish heritage on my mother's side, but she has steadfastly done everything possible including changing her maiden name to disguise that fact. My parents are members of The Everglades Club, but I have never enjoyed going to any parties or sporting events there.
One interesting aside is that gay men are not only welcome at all functions, they are practically recruited into coming to PB for the season. Someone has to accompany the grand dowagers and divorcees between marriages to the nightly balls!!!
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 125||04/27/2013|
Snobbery has its purpose. It keeps one on one's toes.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 126||04/27/2013|
My opinion of Joan Didion: Her early essays and nonfiction are brilliant. Her fiction is awful. And her latest nonfiction, including The Year of Magical Thinking, is horribly written and so pretentious you could puke.
"As Mother said, go back to the literature." Indeed.
|by Another Shitty. Not My Own.||reply 128||05/07/2014|