California Native Joan Didion Understood Hollywood Better than Anyone

Many Netflix watchers are catching up with actor-director Griffin Dunne’s documentary about his aunt, “Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold,” following the news that the prolific writer died December 23 at age 87 from Parkinson’s.

When President Barack Obama gave Didion the National Humanities Medal in 2012, he called her “one of our sharpest and most respected observers of American politics and culture.”Didion not only chronicled the literati scene of New York in the 1950s and early ’60s but astutely dissected her home state of California.

After graduating from Uc Berkeley, she landed a job at Vogue in New York, where she penned movie reviews — until her pan of “The Sound of Music.” After marrying Time staffer John Gregory Dunne in 1964, the couple moved to Los Angeles and wound up becoming the ultimate Hollywood insiders.

When Didion and Dunne later moved to New York City in 1988, they had lived in Los Angeles for 24 years.

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