|Dominique Dunne Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 1 in|
|Date of Birth||November 23, 1959|
|Date of Death||November 4, 1982|
Dominique Dunne was an American actor who was cast in shows and movies like Diary of a Teenage Hitchhiker, Poltergeist, Breaking Away, The Shadow Riders, Valentine Magic on Love Island, Hill Street Blues, Lou Grant, Family, CHiPs, Hart to Hart, Fame, and The Day the Loving Stopped. She was strangled by her ex-boyfriend on October 30, 1982, in the driveway of her West Hollywood home and fell into a coma, dying five days later on November 4, 1982.
Dominique Ellen Dunne
She was born on November 23, 1959.
On November 4, 1982, she passed away at the age of 22 in Los Angeles, California after she was strangled by her ex-boyfriend on October 30, 1982, in the driveway of her West Hollywood home.
Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, Los Angeles, California, United States
Santa Monica, California, United States
Dominique Dunne studied at the Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut, and the Fountain Valley School in Fountain, Colorado. She spent a year after graduation in Florence, Italy, and learned Italian.
She attended Milton Katselas’ Workshop and studied acting.
- Father – Dominick John Dunne (Writer, Investigative Journalist, Producer)
- Mother – Ellen Beatriz “Lenny” (née Griffin) (Actor, Activist, Ranching Heiress)
- Siblings – Alexander “Alex” Dunne (Older Brother), Griffin Dunne (Older Brother) (Actor, Film Producer, Film Director)
- Others – Richard Edwin Dunne (Paternal Grandfather) (A hospital chief of staff and prominent heart surgeon), Dorothy Frances Burns (Paternal Grandmother), Thomas Francis Griffin (Maternal Grandfather) (A wealthy Irish American industrialist who was the part-owner and executive of Griffin Wheel Company of Chicago, Illinois), Beatriz Charlotte Sandoval (Maternal Grandmother), John Gregory Dunne (Paternal Uncle) (Novelist, Screenwriter, Literary Critic, Journalist, Essayist), Joan Didion (Aunt) (Writer), Quintana Roo Dunne (Cousin), Hannah Dunne (Niece) (Actor, Model)
5 ft 1 in or 155 cm
46 kg or 101.5 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Dominique Dunne had dated –
- John Thomas Sweeney – She met John Thomas Sweeney in 1981 at a party. He worked as a sous-chef at the restaurant Ma Maison and only after going out for a few weeks, the couple moved into a one-bedroom house on Rangely Avenue in West Hollywood together. However, the relationship soon started falling apart due to Sweeney’s possessiveness and jealousy and the couple fought frequently and Sweeney began physically abusing Dunne. It was reported that during an argument between the duo on August 27, 1982, clumps of her hair were ripped from the roots by Sweeney. Following this, Dunne fled to her mother’s house but Sweeney later showed up and began to bang on the door and windows, demanding to be let in. Although Dunne’s mother told him to leave and threatened to call the police, Dunne decided to return to their home and continued their relationship after a few days.
On September 26, 1982, he grabbed her by the throat, threw her on the floor, and began to strangle her during an argument at their home. After a friend who was staying with the couple heard “loud gagging sounds” and ran into the room where Dunne was being attacked, Dunne accused Sweeney of trying to kill her but he denied the allegations and asked her to come back to bed. Several events followed and they broke up soon after and it was Sweeney who later strangled her to death.
Race / Ethnicity
Mixed (White and Hispanic)
Dominique Dunne was of Irish descent on her father’s side and had Irish, English, German, Mexican, and Swedish ancestry on her mother’s side.
Dominique Dunne Favorite Things
- Actors – Julie Andrews, Jane Fonda, Susan Hayward, Natalie Wood
Source – IMDb
Dominique Dunne Facts
- Her parents divorced in 1967.
- She was raised alongside her 2 brothers and was the youngest sibling.
- Dominique Dunne’s godparents were Maria Cooper-Janis, the daughter of actors Gary Cooper and Veronica “Rocky” Cooper, and producer Martin Manulis.
- She made her theatrical film debut as Dana Freeling in the supernatural horror film, Poltergeist, in 1982. This was her only theatrical role.
- She was very superstitious and believed in supernatural phenomena.
- Her fellow Poltergeist castmate Lou Perryman was also murdered.
- Dunne and her Poltergeist (1982) co-star Heather O’Rourke are buried in the same cemetery.