1925-2009

Dunne began his career in New York City as the stage manager of The Howdy Doody Show … ” Things went up (and down) from there.

From one of his Vanity Fair columns, “L.A. in the Age of O.J.” :

Although I once lived here for many years, I have never before been so aware of what a small town the Hollywood community really is. Everyone knows everything about everyone else. It’s like an update of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, except in this version everyone drives a Ferrari or a Rolls-Royce, and the Stage Manager has been—but may not be much longer—Robert Shapiro, one of L.A.’s best-known defense lawyers. Shapiro, who is an acknowledged spin doctor and master of media manipulation, has been heading O.J.’s defense team. “He only had $60 on him,” Shapiro said on-camera to offset the belief that O.J., with Al Cowlings at the wheel of the white Bronco, was escaping to Mexico five days after the killings. Actually, according to all reports, O.J. had something like $8,000 with him at the time, but, as they keep saying out here, Shapiro was just doing his job. We live in an age of the defense attorney as superstar. Witness Shapiro’s daily arrival at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse, surrounded by television cameras, with microphones stuck in his face and reporters yelling questions at him. This is a man experiencing Nirvana. Shapiro has even hired the lawyer-agent Ed Hookstratten to field book offers and to discuss possibilities for his own television talk show.Everyone seems to know Shapiro. He’s a bona fide member of the film colony, as well as a personable and jovial fellow to meet. He’s here, he’s there, he’s everywhere—the most ubiquitous figure in movieland society, and everyone in town is talking about him.

 

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