Dominique Dunne biography

Dominique Dunne was an American actress known for her brief but impactful career in film and television. Tragically, her life was cut short at a young age. Here are some key points about Dominique Dunne:

  1. Early Life: Dominique Dunne was born on November 23, 1959, in Santa Monica, California, USA.
  2. Family Background: She was the daughter of Dominick Dunne, a well-known writer, and Ellen Beatriz Griffin. Her siblings include actor Griffin Dunne and actress-director-producer Alex Dunne.
  3. Breakthrough Role: Dunne gained recognition for her role as Dana Freeling in the horror film “Poltergeist” (1982), directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by Steven Spielberg.
  4. Other Works: Prior to “Poltergeist,” Dunne appeared in several television shows, including “Hill Street Blues” and “Breaking Away.”
  5. Personal Tragedy: Tragically, Dominique Dunne’s life was cut short on October 30, 1982, when she was strangled by her former boyfriend, John Sweeney, during an altercation. She was just 22 years old at the time of her death.
  6. Advocacy: Following her death, her family and friends became advocates against domestic violence. Her father Dominick Dunne used his writing to raise awareness about the issue.
  7. Impactful Case: The trial of John Sweeney for Dominique Dunne’s murder received significant media attention and led to discussions about the handling of domestic violence cases.
  8. Memorial Scholarship: In her memory, Dominique Dunne’s family established the Dominique Dunne Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to students pursuing careers in theater.
  9. Cultural References: Dominique Dunne’s career and tragic story have left an impact on popular culture and discussions about domestic violence.

Dominique Dunne’s life was tragically cut short, but her legacy continues through her work, her family’s advocacy efforts, and the scholarship established in her name.

Trivia of Dominique Dunne

Certainly! Here are some trivia tidbits about Dominique Dunne:

  1. Famous Siblings: Dominique Dunne came from a talented family. Her older brother, Griffin Dunne, is an actor and filmmaker known for his roles in films like “After Hours” and “An American Werewolf in London.”
  2. Early Acting Interest: She developed an interest in acting from a young age and pursued it despite her family’s initial concerns about the industry.
  3. “Poltergeist” Role: Dunne’s role as Dana Freeling in “Poltergeist” (1982) was her breakthrough role and the one she is most widely remembered for.
  4. High School Experience: During her time at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, Dominique Dunne was involved in various school theater productions.
  5. “Breaking Away” Guest Appearance: Before “Poltergeist,” she made a guest appearance on the TV series “Breaking Away,” showcasing her early television work.
  6. The “V” Mini-Series: After “Poltergeist,” she had a role in the science fiction mini-series “V” (1983) as Robin Maxwell.
  7. Last Film Project: Her final film role was in the TV movie “The Shadow Riders” (1982), which also featured her brother Griffin Dunne.
  8. Domestic Violence Awareness: Following her tragic death, her family became vocal advocates against domestic violence, raising awareness about the issue and the importance of addressing it.
  9. Character Impact: Her character Dana Freeling’s memorable line “They’re here” from “Poltergeist” has become an iconic and often-quoted line in popular culture.
  10. Life Cut Short: Dominique Dunne’s life was tragically cut short at the age of 22, leaving behind a promising career and a legacy that continues through her family’s advocacy efforts.
  11. Media Attention: Her murder case received widespread media coverage and brought attention to issues surrounding domestic violence and its legal treatment.
  12. Documentaries and Tributes: Dominique Dunne’s life and career have been the subject of documentaries and tributes, highlighting the impact she made on the entertainment industry and society.

Dominique Dunne’s story is a tragic reminder of the importance of addressing domestic violence and the potential consequences of such acts. Her work and the advocacy efforts of her family have left a lasting impact on both the entertainment world and the fight against domestic violence.

Movies and webseries of Dominique Dunne

Dominique Dunne’s acting career was relatively short, but she made notable appearances in film and television. As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, she primarily worked in movies and TV shows, and web series were not prevalent during her time. Here are some of her notable movie and TV credits:


  1. Poltergeist (1982) – Dominique Dunne gained recognition for her role as Dana Freeling in this iconic horror film directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by Steven Spielberg.
  2. The Shadow Riders (1982) – Her final film role was in this TV movie, where she appeared alongside her brother, Griffin Dunne.


  1. Hill Street Blues (1981) – Dunne had a guest appearance on this acclaimed police procedural TV series.
  2. Breaking Away (1980) – She guest-starred in an episode of this TV series based on the 1979 film of the same name.
  3. V (1983) – After “Poltergeist,” she had a role in this science fiction TV mini-series as Robin Maxwell.

Please note that this information is based on my knowledge up to September 2021, and there might have been developments or new information since that time. Additionally, web series were not a prominent medium during Dominique Dunne’s career, so she might not have been involved in any web series projects. For the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on her work, I recommend checking official sources or entertainment databases.


Comments are closed.