Dominique in 1981

Full Name

Dominique Ellen Dunne


November 23, 1959
Santa Monica, California


November 4, 1982
Los Angeles, California


22 (by the time of her death)

Cause of death


Resting place

Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA




Ellen Griffin (mother)†
Dominick Dunne (father)†
Griffin Dunne (brother)
Alex Dunne (brother)
John Gregory Dunne (uncle)†
Quintana Roo Dunne (cousin)†
Hannah Dunne (niece)

Years Active

1979 ~ 1982

Dominique Ellen Dunne (11/23/1959 ~ 11/4/1982) was an american actress. She appeared in several television films and series from 1979 to 1982, but was best known for portraying Dana Freeling, the oldest daughter in the 1982 horror film, Poltergeist.

On October 30, 1982, Dunne was strangled by her ex-boyfriend in the driveway of her West Hollywood home and went into a coma. She never regained consciousness and died five days later at the age of 22.

Early Life Edit

Dominique Ellen Dunne was born on November 23, 1959 in Santa Monica, California, the youngest child of Ellen Beatriz "Lenny" (née Griffin), a ranching heiress, and Dominick Dunne, a writer, producer, and actor. She had two older brothers, Alex and Griffin Dunne, an actor. She was also the niece of married novelists John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion. Her godparents were Maria Cooper-Janis, daughter of actors Gary Cooper and Veronica "Rocky" Cooper, and producer Martin Manulis. Her parents divorced in 1967.

Dominique attended Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut, and Fountain Valley School. After graduation, she spent a year in Florence, Italy, where she learned Italian. She studied acting at Milton Katselas' Workshop and appeared in various stage productions including West Side Story, The Mousetrap, and My Three Angels.