Dominique Ellen Dunne has been an American actress. She appeared in a variety of movies and television shows from 1979 to 1982, but was best known for playing Dana Freeling in Poltergeist ‘s 1982 horror film.
On October 30, 1982, her ex-boyfriend, John Thomas Sweeney, strangled Dunne in the driveway of her West Hollywood home and fell into a coma. She never regained consciousness, and she died five days later.
In a contentious court case, Sweeney was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in Dunne ‘s death and spent three and a half years in jail.
Dominique Dunne’s Bio, Wiki, Age
Dominique Dunne was an American actress who appeared in a variety of TV shows and movies from 1979 to 1982. Nevertheless, she was best known for portraying Dana Freeling in the ‘Poltergeist’ horror flick of 1982.
As the youngest child of screenwriter, producer and author Dominick Dunne, it was only common for Dominique to pursue acting and become another Hollywood professional in her family. Her elder brother is also a successful director, writer, and actor.
Upon graduating from high school, she attended Milton Katselas’ School, eventually performing in several stage plays, such as ‘My Three Angels,’ ‘The Mousetrap,’ and ‘West Side Story.’ Eventually, Dominique landed roles in several television shows and films.
In 1982, she was at the height of her career and had several projects in queue. Yet history took a cruel turn, and the young actress was murdered in November of that year. In a notorious court case, her former husband, John Sweeney, was accused of voluntary manslaughter and spent just three and a half years in prison.
Name: Dominique Dunne
Date Of Birth: November 23, 1959
Place Of Birth: Santa Monica, California, USA
Age: 22 years old (Death)
Father: Dominick Dunne
Mother: Ellen Griffin Dunne
School: Harvard-Westlake School, Taft School, Fountain Valley School
Net Worth: N/A
Ex-Lover: John Thomas Sweeney
Height: 5 Feet 1 Inch
Eye Color: Dark Brown
Hair Color: Black
Cause Of Death: Assassination
Dominique Dunne’s Early Life, Education
Dunne was born in Santa Monica, California, the youngest child of Ellen Beatriz “Lenny,” a ranching heir, and Dominick Dunne, a journalist, artist, and actor. She had two older brothers, Alexander “Alex” and actor Griffin Dunne.
She was also the sister of John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion ‘s married novelists. Her godparents were Maria Cooper-Janis, daughter of the actors Gary Cooper and Veronica ‘Rocky’ Cooper, and producer Martin Manulis.
Her parents were divorced in 1967. Dunne attended Harvard Westlake School in Los Angeles, Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut, and Fountain Valley School in Fountain, Colorado. Since graduating, she spent a year in Florence , Italy, where she studied Italian.
She studied acting at the Milton Katselas Institute and performed in numerous stage plays, including the West Side Story, The Mousetrap, and My Three Angels.
Dominique Dunne’s Career, Actress
Dunne’s first appearance was in the 1979 TV movie Diary of a Teenage Hitchhiker. She was then given supporting roles in episodes of the popular TV series of the 1980s, such as Lou Grant, Hart to Hart and Fame.
Dunne has played a regular role in the comedy-drama television show Breaking Away and starred in many other television films. In 1981, she was part of her first feature film, Poltergeist.
Dunne played Dana Freeling, the teenage daughter of a couple whose family is terrorized by evil ghosts. Produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Tobe Hooper, the film opened on June 4, 1982 and went up to a gross total of more than $70 million.
It was her only theater film performance before her death. After Poltergeist, she starred in the final season premiere episode of CHiPs and the 1982 TV movie The Shadow Riders, starring Tom Selleck and Sam Elliott.
Soon before her death, Dunne was filmed as Robin Maxwell in the miniseries V. She died while shooting, and her part was recast with the actress Blair Tefkin.
According to a commentary by the DVD director of the series creator Kenneth Johnson, Dunne appears in the scene in which the Maxwells and the others watch the L.A. Mother ship glides in on the first day the visitors arrive. Her back is all that’s seen.
The mini-series is dedicated to her. Dunne featured posthumously in the Hill Street Blues episode of “Requiem For a Hairbag” broadcast on November 18, 1982, two weeks after her death.
He played a young mother who was a survivor of parental abuse and gave her child up for adoption for fear of doing what her parents had done to her. The episode was dedicated to her in memory of the opening credits.
Dominique Dunne’s Net Worth, Salary
Dominique Dunne net worth and salary is not available at the moment as she died in an early age her most of the information is not properly available including the net worth and salary. Her net worth and salary it could be known by searching from sources but for currently there are no infirmation regarding it.
Dominique Dunne’s Relationship With John Sweeney
Dunne met John Thomas Sweeney, a sub-chef at Ma Maison Restaurant, at a party in 1981. After a few weeks of dating, they moved together to a one-bedroom house on Rangely Avenue in West Hollywood.
The relationship rapidly deteriorated due to Sweeney’s possessiveness and jealousy. The pair argued constantly, and Sweeney began to physically threaten Dunne. According to one account, in the midst of a dispute on August 27, 1982, he yanked a handful of his hair out of his roots.
She fled to her mother’s home, where Sweeney turned up, and started to knock on the doors and windows, demanding that she be let in. Dunne ‘s mother ordered him to leave, threatening to call the police.
A few days later, Dunne returned to her home and resumed her relationship. During another fight at home on September 26, 1982, Sweeney grabbed Dunne by the throat, threw her on the floor, and tried to strangle her.
A friend of mine who remained with the couple heard “loud gagging noises” and rushed into the room where Dunne was being assaulted. Dunne told her friend that Sweeney had tried to kill her, but Sweeney refuted her assertion and told Dunne to go back to bed.
She tried to do so, but then she snuck out of the bathroom window. Once Sweeney learned that Dunne was starting the engine of her car, he rushed out and climbed on the hood of the car.
Dunne stopped the car long enough for Sweeney to climb off the hood, and then went ahead. She remained with her mother and in the homes of her relatives for the next few days. Later, she called Sweeney and ended the relationship. After he moved out, she changed the locks and went back to her home on Rangely Road.
Dominique Dunne’s Arrest And Trial
Sweeney was subsequently arrested after the assault and charged with attempted murder. Nevertheless, the charges were dismissed after Dunne died on 4 November. Later on, he was charged with first-degree murder.
Upon pleading not guilty, he was charged with an assault intended to inflict serious bodily harm. His trial began in August 1983, when he said that he had reconciled his girlfriend and the two had frequent talks about their future.
According to Sweeney, on October 30, Dunne abruptly changed her mind about their reconciliation. At this point, he argued with her with no intention of killing her.
He said he had no memory of assaulting the young actress until he found himself on top of her with both his hands around her throat. During the courtroom, Sweeney said that he had attempted to give Dunne CPR and made every attempt to get her to life.
Upon learning that she had already died, Sweeney even tried to kill himself. On 7 November 1983, Sweeney was eventually sentenced to six years in prison for manslaughter and six months in prison for assault charges.
Dominique Dunne’s Aftermath
Dominique Dunne ‘s friend, Dominick Dunne, kept a diary during Sweeney ‘s trial. His journal articles were later included in an article entitled ‘Justice: A Father’s Account of the Trial of his Daughter’s Killer,’ which was included in March 1984 in Vanity Fair.
The actress’ mother, Ellen, formed a victims’ advocacy organization named ‘Justice for Murder Victims’ a year after her daughter died. Sweeney was released on parole in 1986 after completing a three-year, seven-month and 27-day prison term of 6 1⁄2 years.
Soon after his release, he was hired as head chef at a California-based restaurant called ‘The Chronicle.’
Dominique Dunne’s Height, Weight
She has a perfect body figure that compliments her perfectly round beautiful face. She is decently tall around 5 feet1 inches in height and She maintains a sexy, curvy, and beautiful figure with a body weight of 60 kilograms. She has attracted dark brown eyes that are captivating and black hair makes her even more beautiful and enchanting.
Dominique Dunne’s Death
On October 30, 1982, a few weeks after the divorce, Dunne was in her home rehearsal for the miniseries V with actor David Packer. When she was talking to a friend on the phone, John Sweeney had a chat with the operator.
Dunne said to her mother, “My God, it’s Sweeney. Let me get him off the phone.” Sweeney turned up ten minutes later. Since talking to him through the closed windows, Dunne decided to talk to him on the porch while Packer stayed inside.
Outside, the two of them started to quarrel. Packer later said he heard the crash, two screams and a thud. He called the police, but he was informed that Dunne ‘s house was outside their jurisdiction.
Packer phoned a relative and told him that if he was found dead, John Sweeney was the killer. Packer entered the house through the back door, approached the driveway, and saw Sweeney standing over Dunne in some of the surrounding bushes.
Sweeney ordered Packer to call the police. Once the police arrived, Sweeney approached them in the driveway with his hands in the air and said, “I killed my girlfriend and I tried to kill myself.”
Sweeney later testified that Dunne and he had fought, but he couldn’t recall what had happened during their argument, and he could only recall sitting on top of her with his hands around her neck. Dunne was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where she was placed on life support because her heart had stopped.
She’s never regained consciousness. During the next few days, doctors conducted brain scans that revealed little brain activity due to oxygen deprivation. On November 4, 19 days before her 23rd birthday, her parents removed her from life support, and she died later that day.
Her kidneys and her heart were donated to transplant recipients at the request of her mother. Dunne ‘s funeral took place on November 6 at the Good Shepherd Church in Beverly Hills.
Her father-in – law, Martin Manulis, has delivered the praise. She was buried in the cemetery of Westwood Village Memorial Park. Her Poltergeist co-star Heather O’Rourke was buried there in 1988.
Her last TV role was that of a young mother who was a victim of child violence in the Hill Street Blues episode entitled “Hairbag Requiem.” The episode was filmed on September 27, 1982, the day after Sweeney violently attacked Dunne, leaving visible bruises on her body and neck.
As she played an abused teen on the show, she didn’t need any makeup to render the bruises she saw. The episode aired a few days after Dunne ‘s funeral and was dedicated to her memory.