Griffin Dunne

Active - 1975 - Present  |   Born - Jun 8, 1955 in New York, New York, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Comedy Drama, Romance

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Biography by Jason Ankeny

As both an actor and producer, Griffin Dunne was among the most notable figures in contemporary independent filmmaking. Born June 8, 1955, in New York City, he is the son of novelist Dominick Dunne and the nephew of author and screenwriter John Gregory Dunne. Dominique, his younger sister, was also an actress, appearing in the hit movie Poltergeist before her violent 1982 murder. Trained by Uta Hagen at the Neighborhood Playhouse, Dunne made his film debut in 1975's The Other Side of the Mountain, which he followed with work on-stage and in television. Small roles in the 1979 feature Chilly Scenes of Winter and 1981's The Fan marked his next film appearances, but the first of his roles to garner significant notice was in 1981's cult-classic An American Werewolf in London. With John Sayles' 1982 film Baby, It's You, Dunne made his debut as a producer, a venture he furthered by establishing his own company, Double Play Productions.

After 1983's Cold Feet, Dunne co-produced and starred in Martin Scorsese's 1985 comedy After Hours, perhaps his best-known performance. His leading role in 1987's Me and Him, on the other hand, was arguably the most infamous turn of his career, as he portrayed an architect whose penis begins to speak. A role opposite Madonna in the disastrous 1987 comedy Who's That Girl? further dimmed Dunne's star, and after appearing in Luc Besson's 1988 epic Le Grand Bleu he spent the next two years away from the screen, instead producing work including the acclaimed Running on Empty. Supporting turns in 1991's My Girl and Once Around proved to foreshadow Dunne's move away from leading roles throughout the decade, and apart from starring in 1995's Search and Destroy the majority of his film appearances (including the acclaimed Quiz Show and I Like It Like That) were smaller character parts. Continuing his work behind the camera, in 1997 Dunne made his directorial debut with the hit romantic comedy Addicted to Love. He would go on to direct more romantic comedies, like Practical Magic and The Accidental Husband. Over the next several years, Dunne would also appear on many successful TV shows, like Trust Me and House of Lies,

Movie Highlights

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  • Saved from drowning at age 5 by Sean Connery.
  • Worked the popcorn concession stand at Radio City Music Hall during the late 1970s.
  • Studied acting with Uta Hagen at New York's HB Studio and at the Neighborhood Playhouse. 
  • With actor Amy Robinson, started Double Play Productions in 1983.
  • Broke through in Martin Scorsese's 1985 black comedy After Hours.
  • Appeared opposite Madonna in 1987's Who's That Girl?