Thursday, April 18, 2024

RIP Legendary Writer Joan Didion, 87, Author of Screenplays, Keenest Observer of the Scene


The great writer, journalist, novelist, observer of the scene, definer of the gestalt, Joan Didion has died at the age of 87. The cause given is Parkinson’s Disease but Joan had been frail for some time. The unimaginable losses of her husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne, and their adult daughter, Quintana Roo, resulted in her famed book, “The Year of Magical Thinking.” Even in her grief, Didion added an expression to the language.

She leaves her nephew, Griffin, and his family. Griffin is the actor and director son of Joan’s late brother in law Dominick Dunne. I had the honor of  knowing Dominick, John, and John in my lifetime, and they were three magnificently talented, ingratiating people who made life in literary New York and Los Angeles that much more rewarding. Rest in peace to all of them, and condolences to Griffin et al.

Here is a link to her Times obit.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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