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Dominic Orlando, a playwright turned TV writer-producer who worked on the shows Nightflyers, Mindhunter, The OA and Them, died Nov. 17 in Washington of complications from cancer, a CAA spokesperson announced. He was 57.
Born in Brooklyn on Christmas Day in 1963, Orlando co-founded the New York-based No Pants Theater Company, whose mission was to return theater “to its original role as a place where society confronts its spiritual self,” in 1992.
While on Jerome and McKnight fellowships at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, he helped launch another theater company, the Workhaus Collective, before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in television.
A two-time WGA nominee, Orlando contributed to 10 episodes of the Netflix thriller The OA during its two seasons in 2016 and 2019; wrote an episode of David Fincher’s Mindhunter at Netflix in 2017; produced six installments in 2018 of Syfy’s Nightflyers, based on the work of George R.R. Martin; and wrote three episodes of the Amazon series Them this year.
Most recently, he served as a writer and executive producer on the forthcoming series Outer Range at Amazon and Retreat at FX.
Survivors include his mother, Lillian; brothers John and Steven; and sister-in-law Sara.
Donations in his memory can be made to the Dominic Orlando Fund, created by friends and the Playwrights’ Center, to support writers.
“He was the person everyone wanted to sit next to at Thanksgiving, at the brunches in Minneapolis and the backyard barbecues in L.A.,” his family said in a statement. “He was the loudest voice, arguing, talking, stating his firm opinion and yet still, somehow, he always managed to be an empathetic and avid listener. A mentor, friend and a deeply generous soul, he spent his life building social circles the way he built stories, and he was the heart of every circle.”
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