Writer Elaine Dundy was born in New York City in 1921. She studied acting at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. After graduating, she moved to Europe and lived in Paris and later London. She married legendary critic Kenneth Tynan in 1951 and they divorced in 1964. She worked as an actress with only moderate success and Tynan suggested she try writing a novel. The end result was The Dud Avocado published in 1958. She wrote two more novels and a couple of plays before focusing on biography in 1980. Her other works include Finch, Bloody Finch; Elvis and Gladys; Ferriday, Louisiana; and Life Itself! She died because of a heart attack on May 1, 2008.