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Dominique Dunne: An American Tragedy 

A biography of the short life of actress Dominique Dunne, documenting her arrival on the Hollywood scene, her tragic relationship with John David Sweeney, her subsequent murder at his hands... See full summary »


Christina Wayne


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Episode credited cast:
Dominick Dunne ... Himself
Dominique Dunne ... Herself (archive footage)
Miguel Ferrer ... Himself
Gloria Gifford ... Herself
Charlene Tilton ... Herself


A biography of the short life of actress Dominique Dunne, documenting her arrival on the Hollywood scene, her tragic relationship with John David Sweeney, her subsequent murder at his hands, and the aftermath of the murder. Written by Jason A. Cormier <wildrose@mindspring.com>

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Release Date:

23 February 1997 (USA) See more »

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User Reviews

Truly an American Tragedy
6 February 2018 | by DreamyUnicornSee all my reviews

I came across Dominique Dunne's last photo ever taken of her online a few years back. I was intrigued to know more about her as an actress and was saddened to learn her life was tragically cut short by the hands of her former boyfriend.

I watched a few of her tv shows, made for tv movies, and Poltergeist. I could tell she was quite talented and had a promising future as an actress both in television and movies alike. The camera loved her.

When I first started watching this "E! True Hollywood Story" episode, I could tell right away the sharp contrast between Dominique and her former boyfriend, John Sweeney. Dominique had a beautiful smile, a cheerful and friendly disposition, and was full of life. She also belonged to a loving and well to do family. Sweeney on the other hand was possessive, controlling, abusive, short-tempered, and had a very jealous personality. He belonged to the wrong side of the tracks and came from a poor, broken, and abusive household.

This "E!" True Hollywood Story" shows Dominique's childhood, upbringing, and short-lived acting career. It also addresses her meeting Sweeney at a party, dating, moving in together, and their turbulent relationship. It also includes her tragic murder, trial, and aftermath of an outcry of complete injustice.

Re-actments are also included like when Dominique is stalked by Sweeney at acting rehearsals and she receives threatening phone calls from him. Another one is when she is in the middle of a phone call with a friend and the line gets intercepted by Sweeney. Shortly after, the dreadful events unfold.

We also get to hear from family members (like her late father, "Dominick Dunne," and her late mother, "Ellen Griffin Dunne"), friends (like late actor, "Miguel Ferrer"), colleagues (like "Gloria Gifford," "Charlene Tilton," and "JoBeth Williams"), and a few directors and producers.

Dominique was just starting out and could have achieved astounding possibilities. I often wonder what she would have been like if she had lived. She probably would have been one of the top actresses in Hollywood. She just seemed so genuine, caring, and sweet which are rare qualities to find in today's celebrities.

She was just 22 years old and 3 weeks shy of her 23rd birthday. She had so much to live for but all of that was stolen from her in an instant. This truly was an American Tragedy.

If you are a Dominique Dunne fan and are interested in knowing more about her then I highly recommend watching this "E! True Hollywood Story." This documentary was quite informative and well presented. However, it will definitely tug at your heartstrings and possibly leave some tears along the way.

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