Dominic Orlando, Writer on ‘Mindhunter’ and ‘The OA’, Dies at 57

Dominic Orlando
Playwrights' Center

Dominic Orlando, a playwright and TV writer, known for working on shows such as Mindhunter and The OA, died on November 17 following complications from cancer, his family and a CAA spokesperson announced. He was 57.

Born in Brooklyn on Christmas Day in 1963, Orlando began his career in New York theater, co-founding the No Pants Theater Company in 1992, a company focused on examining the spiritual side of America. He later moved to Minneapolis, where he co-founded another theater company, the Workhaus Collective, where he worked while on Jerome and McKnight fellowships at the Playwrights’ Center.

After writing numerous plays and operas, Orlando eventually moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in television. He contributed to 10 episodes of Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij’s Netflix thriller The OA, wrote an episode of David Fincher’s Mindhunter, and produced six editions of Syfy’s Nightflyers. This year, he wrote three episodes of the Amazon series Them.

Most recently, Orlando was working as a writer and executive producer on the upcoming series Outer Range at Amazon and Retreat at FX.

“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 (via The Hollywood Reporter). “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.”

The statement continued: “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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Orlando is survived by his mother, Lillian; brothers John and Steven; and sister-in-law Sara. Donations in his memory can be made to the Dominic Orlando Fund.