The trouble starts, when Dominique’s character Cathy becomes the first victim of a violent criminal. In this production made for television also appears Craig T. Nelson, who starred together with Dominique in “Poltergeist”, as well as Christopher Knight (well known in his role as “Peter Brady” from “The Brady Bunch”) who also co-starred in “Valentine Magic on Love Island” (see below).

Two filmclips available


-“Valentine Magic on Love Island”   aka “Magic on Love Island” (title of the video release) , (1980, TV production)  Cheryl

The title and basic story of this TV-production is strongly suggestive of the early 80s soap “Fantasy Island” : The hostess of an island resort spreads love among a group of guests, together with her niece Cheryl (Dominique Dunne) and Cheryl’s brother Jimmy (Christopher Knight) by using some mystic witchcraft. In further roles: Adrienne Barbeau (“The Fog”, “Escape from New York”) and Bill Daily (played as “Major Roger Healey” in the TV series “I Dream of Jeannie”). 

One filmclip available


-“The Haunting of Harrington House” (1981, TV production)               Polly Ames

This was Dominique Dunne’s first leading role in a film, portraying a fourteen (!) year old schoolgirl who tries to find out the truth behind the pretended hauntings in her father’s old hotel. It’s not really a horror film, rather a creepy TV production for (pre) teens.

One filmclip available


-“The Day the Loving stopped” (1981, TV production) Judy Danner

In this film, Dominique Dunne co-stars at the side of Dennis Weaver (“Duel”), Valerie Harper (the “Rhoda Morgenstern” in “Rhoda” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”) and Ally Sheedy (“War Games” and “Breakfast Club”), portraying a young woman on the eve of her own wedding, getting doubts about because of the tragical divorce of her parents years back when she was a little girl. Ally Sheedy, who acted as her younger sister in this film, was a good friend of Dominique in real life.

One filmclip available


-“Poltergeist” (1982) Dana Freeling

Poltergeist was directed by Tobe Hooper (who also directed “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”), but Steven Spielberg produced it and he was also responsible for the story. The role of Dana Freeling, the sixteen year old daughter of the haunted Freeling family, was Dominique’s first (and unfortunately her last) appearance in a movie: The Freelings are getting haunted by a poltergeist in their own house. It starts with moving chairs, but then the evil spirits abduct the youngest child Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke) into their spheres, whereupon the Freelings ask for the help of some parapsychologists. They succeed in rescueing Carol Anne, but the poltergeist doesn’t want to give up so easily...

Three filmclips available


-“The Making of ‘Poltergeist’” (1982) ...herself

This short documentation about the production of Poltergeist gives a glimpse of behind the scenes and the work of ‘Industrial Light and Magic’, which had been responsible for the impressive special effects in the movie.


-”The Shadow Riders” aka  “Louis L’Amour’s  The Shadow Riders”  (1982, TV production) Sissy Traven

The story of this late western for TV is based on a novel of Louis L’Amour: Two brothers (played by Tom Selleck - and Sam Elliott, who recently played in “We Were Soldiers”) who fought on different sides during the American civil war, find their sisters and the girlfriend of one of them (Katharine Ross) kidnapped when coming back home after the end of the war. They find out, that the kidnappers are a group of marauding rebels, who deny the surrender of the confederates and who try to sell their hostages into slavery to get money and weapons for their fight. Together, the two brothers attempt to rescue them. Dominique plays one of the abducted sisters. 

One filmclip available


”Dominique Dunne: An American Tragedy”     (1996, TV-production)         ...herself (archive footage)

This ducumentation was produced 14 years after Dominique Dunne’s death for the docu series ‘E! True Hollywood Story’. It includes interviews with her friends, family members and fellow actors as well as a report on the murder trial.


TV series, Shows & Miniseries


”Flatbush” - “The Wedding” , TV - series special (?)  (1979) ?

”Family” - Episode  # 77  “When Bough Breaks”, first aired 01/21/80 Erica                                                                                (2 filmclips)

”Unit Four” - TV - series special / pilot (?) (1980) ?

”Lou Grant” - Episode # 75 “Goop” , first aired 11/24/80                      Teri Wilk

”Breaking Away” - Episodes:   #2 “The American Dream”, first aired 12/06/80 ; #5 “Heart Like A Wheel”, first aired 12/27/80 ;  #6 “Rainy Night in Georgia”, first aired 01/03/81 ; #8 “Grand Illusion”, was not aired when the series was shown in TV for the first time.                                                                         Paulina Bornstein                                                       (2 filmclips)

”The Righteous Apples” -  Episode #14: “Apple Blossoms”, first aired 10/31/81 Brenda Howard

”Hart to Hart” - Episode #45 “Hart, Line and Sinker” , first aired 10/27/81 Christy Ferrin                                                              (2 filmclips)

”Weekend” - TV show  (1982)   Episode:  unknown, ?

”St. Elsewhere” - Pilot , first aired 10/26/82                                                    ?

”Bring'em back alive” -    (1982)  Episode: unknown, Marcella (?)

”Fame” -  Episode #1-08  “Street Kid” , first aired 02/25/82                       . Tracy                                                                              (1 filmclip)

”CHiPs” - Episode #6-01  “Meet the New Guy” , first aired 10/10/82          Amy Kent                                                                     (1 filmclip)

”The Quest” - Episode #1-03 “He stole - a My Art” , first aired 11/05/82    Italian Girl

”Hill Street Blues” -  Episode # 3-08  “Requiem for a Hairbag” , first aired 11/18/82  Cindy (an abuse victim / abandoned baby’s mother)

”V”  -  Pilot and episode #1  of the miniseries , 1982                                       Robin Maxwell.

After her death, Dominique Dunne was replaced by actress Blair Tefkin in the role of Robin Maxwell. All the scenes in which she appeared have been deleted, except one (see a picture of it) .


Film & Movie


-“Diary of a Teenage Hitchhiker” (1979, TV pro- duction)                          Cathy Burke

In her first film role, Dominique Dunne co-starred at the side of (her friend) Charlene Tilton (who played “Lucy Ewing” in the TV series “Dallas”) as one of a group of smalltown teenagers hitchhiking regularly and denieing the warnings of their parents and the police. 

Dominique in “Poltergeist”