Vanity Fair gave Dominic Dunne a new lease on life when he felt that Hollywood was no longer for him
If you’re like me, then you’re a big, big fan of Vanity Fair and read the magazine end-to-end every month. Vanity Fair’s stable of contributors is second to none in world of American publications. From writers like film buff Peter Biskind to political commentator and literary reviewerChristopher Hitchens (whose politics I abhor), Vanity Fair is a consistent source of interesting writing and fascinating articles. I consider Dominic Dunne to be the rock of Vanity Fair. His articles on the social set and crime are consistently of a high standard both for their insight and for their name-dropping fun.
For those who don’t know who Dominic Dunne is, he made his name being a stage producer in both New York and later in Hollywood where he became a figure of trust to the stars of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. His list of friends reads like a who’s who of megastars from that era. Tiring of the Hollywood life, Dunne reinvented himself as a writer and seized the opportunity of writing for Vanity Fair after his article on the trial of the murder of his daughter was published by the magazine. He made his journalistic name covering the trials of Claus von Bulow and O.J. Simpson.
Dunne’s strength comes from his unique perspective in which he knows the accused because of his wide celebrity social network. He segues easily between the two worlds, giving him an insight and clarity few have. Dominic Dunne reflects on 25 years of writing for Vanity Fair in What a Swell Party He Wrote. Here’s a brief excerpt:
As the nation watched, I was only a few feet away from O. J. Simpson when he was acquitted of stabbing to death his wife, Nicole, and her friend Ron Goldman. I hate watching defense attorneys hug and shake hands with one another after they win an acquittal for a man they know is guilty. The man who strangled my daughter got a traffic-court sentence that let him out after two and a half years. “I am ecstatic,” the defense lawyer shouted in the courtroom. I wanted to spit in his toupee. I was only a few feet away from Claus von Bülow when he was acquitted at his attempted-murder trial in Providence, Rhode Island, after having been found guilty and sentenced to 30 years at his first trial, in Newport.