Dominick Dunne

Writer / Host


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-hour Archive interview, Dominick Dunne (1925-2009) talks about his formative years during which he made associations with such notable figures as Gore Vidal and Anais Nin. He describes his first job in television as a stage manager at NBC. He reminisces about working with the children on Howdy Doody, calling out "One minute, Mr. Montgomery" for the opening of Robert Montgomery Presents, and working on such notable Producers' Showcase productions as "The Petrified Forest" and "Our Town." He recounts the story of how the stage managers were all sent to help pull people from lifeboats when the Italian liner Andrea Dorea sank in 1956. Dunne recalls his move to Los Angeles, where he joined the staff of the prestigious CBS anthology series Playhouse 90. He outlines his work as a producer at 20th Century Fox where he made the series Adventures in Paradise and talks about knowing Marilyn Monroe, the "queen of the lot." He defines his role as a Vice-President of Four Star Company and identifies the participants of the company. He talks about his shift to feature films in the 1970s and comments on a few of the movies he produced including "The Boys in the Band," "The Panic in Needle Park," and "Ash Wednesday." He recalls the tragic murder of his daughter and his subsequent work as a chronicler of courtroom trials, notably the O.J. Simpson case. Lastly he touches on the Court TV series Power, Privilege, & Justice, for which he serves as host and narrator. Allan Neuwirth conducted the interview on May 3, 2006 in New York City, New York.

"I worked with Bogart and Bacall and Henry Fonda every day for three weeks on NBC's 'Producers' Showcase.' Bogart invited me a party at his house and I'll never forget it. It was unbelievable, a beautiful house in Homby Hills and Judy Garland sang, Sinatra sang, Spencer Tracy was there. Lana Turner, who was the neighbor on the other side came. I mean, it was like that."

Highlights
Dominick Dunne on floor managing for 90-minute Producers' Showcase  Spectaculars on NBC
03:56
Dominick Dunne on being floor manager on Robert Montgomery Presents
07:24
Dominick Dunne on floor managing the original Producers' Showcase live production of Peter Pan with Mary Martin
01:34
Dominick Dunne on becoming Vice President of Four Star
05:37
Dominick Dunne on covering the Menendez and O.J. Simpson trials
04:39
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his early attraction to show business; on the first crime case that interested him
On his service in World War II; on meeting Anais Nin; on the first time he saw television

Chapter 2

On being floor manager for Howdy Doody; on television coverage of the sinking of the Andrea Doria; on working with "Buffalo" Bob Smith and Bob Keeshan on Howdy Doody
On floor managing Robert Montgomery Presents; on floor managing for 90-minute Producers' Showcase  Spectaculars on NBC; on floor managing Mary Martin's Peter Pan

Chapter 3

On floor managing The Producers' Showcase version of "Our Town" with Frank Sinatra; on floor managing Playhouse 90; on producing Studio One and Adventures on Paradise
On becoming Vice President of Four Star; on working with Aaron Spelling

Chapter 4

On his career as a movie producer; on becoming a writer; on the death of his daugther
On covering the Klaus Von Buelow trial; on covering the O.J. Simpson trial; on his series Power, Privilege and Justice
Shows

Adventures in Paradise

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Dominick Dunne on producing Adventures in Paradise
03:11

Howdy Doody

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Dominick Dunne on how he got his first job in television as a floor manager on Howdy Doody
05:41
Dominick Dunne on working with "Buffalo" Bob Smith on Howdy Doody
01:17
Dominick Dunne on working with Bob Keeshan as "Clarabell the Clown" on Howdy Doody
00:22
Dominick Dunne on the crew of Howdy Doody
02:46

Playhouse 90

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Dominick Dunne on floor managing Playhouse 90
07:11

Producers' Showcase

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Dominick Dunne on floor managing for 90-minute Producers' Showcase  Spectaculars on NBC
03:56
Dominick Dunne on floor managing the original Producers' Showcase live production of Peter Pan with Mary Martin
01:34
Dominick Dunne on floor managing the Producers' Showcase  musical version of "Our Town" starring Frank Sinatra
03:54

Robert Montgomery Presents

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Dominick Dunne on being floor manager on Robert Montgomery Presents
07:24
Dominick Dunne on the production schedule for Robert Montgomery Presents
01:43

Studio One

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Dominick Dunne on producing Studio One
02:19
Topics

Historic Events and Social Change

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Dominick Dunne on his service in the Army during World War II
07:03
Dominick Dunne on television coverage of the sinking of the Andrea Doria 
01:38

War

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Dominick Dunne on his service in the Army during World War II
07:03

World War II

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Dominick Dunne on his service in the Army during World War II
07:03
Genres

Children's Programming

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Dominick Dunne on his first job in television as a floor manager on Howdy Doody
12:28

Classic Anthology Series

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Dominick Dunne on being floor manager on Robert Montgomery Presents
07:24
People

Charles Boyer

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Dominick Dunne on becoming Vice President of Four Star Productions
05:48

Fred Coe

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Dominick Dunne on working with Fred Coe
01:49

Bob Keeshan

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Dominick Dunne on working with Bob Keeshan as "Clarabell the Clown" on Howdy Doody
00:21

Delbert Mann

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Dominick Dunne on floor managing the Producers' Showcase  musical version of "Our Town" starring Frank Sinatra
03:54

Mary Martin

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Dominick Dunne on floor managing the original Producers' Showcase live production of Peter Pan with Mary Martin
01:34

Marilyn Monroe

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Dominick Dunne on his friendship with Marilyn Monroe
05:07

Robert Montgomery

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Dominick Dunne on being floor manager on Robert Montgomery Presents
07:24

Elizabeth Montgomery

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Dominick Dunne on being floor manager on Robert Montgomery Presents
07:24

David Niven

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Dominick Dunne on becoming Vice President of Four Star Productions
05:48

Dick Powell

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Dominick Dunne on becoming Vice President of Four Star Productions
05:48

O. J. Simpson

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Dominick Dunne on covering the Menendez and O.J. Simpson trials
04:39

Frank Sinatra

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Dominick Dunne on floor managing the Producers' Showcase musical version of "Our Town" starring Frank Sinatra
03:54

Bob Smith

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Dominick Dunne on working with Buffalo Bob Smith on Howdy Doody
01:17

Aaron Spelling

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Dominick Dunne on becoming Vice President of Four Star Productions
05:48

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