The cause was bladder cancer, a family spokesman said. The spokesman had initially declined to confirm the death, saying the family had hoped to wait a day before making an announcement so that Mr. Dunne's obituary would not be obscured by the coverage of Senator Edward M. Kennedy's death.
Still, no one wants to die right after a Kennedy. We suspect there may be as many as four celebrities who are dead right now but refuse to admit it. (Has anyone heard from Gore Vidal lately? There's someone whose pride would cause him to die on a slow news week.)
Update: New York Social Diary reported Dunne's passing a little after 3 p.m. yesterday, followed by the Observer and Huffington Post. We're told nearly everyone who knew the news early yesterday was "sworn to 'secrecy.'" VF may have meant to comply with the family's wishes and hold the announcement for a while, but once the news was out on the internet that probably wasn't a option.