Elaine Dundy, a novelist, biographer, journalist and memoirist who wrote about her turbulent marriage to legendary critic Kenneth Tynan and their life among the rich and famous, died May 1 at her Los Angeles home. She was 86.
The cause was a heart attack, according to her daughter, Tracy Tynan.
Dundy was the author of several books, the best known of which are "The Dud Avocado" (1958), a novel about a young woman much like herself, who comes of age in the 1950s through a series of misadventures in decadent Paris; and "Elvis and Gladys" (1985), a well-received biography of Elvis Presley that homes in on his relationship with his mother.
She also wrote "Life Itself!" (2001), a memoir that focuses on her 13-year marriage to Tynan, the brilliant theater critic and New Yorker writer who finally drove her away with his demands for sadomasochistic sex. In between the beatings and arguments was a charmed life amid the literati and Hollywood and theatrical elite, including Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Laurence Olivier, Gore Vidal and Orson Welles.