Amy Dawes, Writer and Former Variety Reporter, Dies at 56

amy dawes
Courtesy Billy Vasquez

Entertainment journalist Amy Dawes, who covered Hollywood for eight years at Daily Variety and later returned as a senior features editor, died Friday in Los Angeles of cancer. She was 56.

At Daily Variety, she reported on studios and independents in the 1990s, as well as writing film and music reviews. Over the course of her career she interviewed figures including Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Robert Redford, Will Smith, and Susan Sarandon.

A true lover of all that was Hollywood and of the city of Los Angeles, she wrote the book “Sunset Boulevard: Cruising The Heart of Los Angeles,” for Los Angeles Times Books.

Dawes was also a screenwriter, writing indie drama “Zoe,” directed by Deborah Attoinese, in 2001.

After graduating from Auburn University and the masters in professional writing program at USC, Dawes worked as a reporter for the Daily News and the L.A. Herald Examiner. After her second stint at Variety, she served as editor of Creative Screenwriting Magazine.

She contributed frequently to Emmy Magazine, the Directors Guild Quarterly, the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Weekly, Buzz Magazine, and Rolling Stone.

She is survived by her husband, Billy Vasquez, parents Annette and Robert Dawes, sister Pamela Dawes and brother Mike Dawes.


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  1. Walt chase says:

    HI all of you. MY name is Walt and I knew Amy when we were kids in high school. We both attended Grissom High School in Huntsville, Alabama. She was friends with the sister of my best friends. SHe was a grade ahead of me. WE hung out in 10th and 11th grade. 11th and 12th for Amy. SHe was so ahead of her time even then. SHe knew she wanted to be a journalist. SHe wrote for our literary magazine, “The Seed”. I am so saddened by this news. Years later, after google and the internet came along I was able to find some of my old friends. I found she was in LA writing. I read some of her stories and at least saw some pictures of her. It is always so great to see or read about people you knew so many years ago. She had the nicest parents. Her dad was in the Army at Redstone arsenal in Huntsville. She had a brother and I can’t remember his name. Even though it’s been decades since we saw each other, this is really saddening to me. I wish all of you the best and comfort to those who knew her. This was a great person. Feel free to contact me anytime. It would be an honor.

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