Domino Harvey was born on August 7, 1969 in London, to Laurence Harvey and Paulene Stone. She was the product of a three-year affair between Harvey and Stone while he was still married to his second wife, the multi-millionairess Joan Cohn. Harvey was a Lithuanian-born actor who starred in films such as The Manchurian Candidate and Butterfield 8. His death at 45 of stomach cancer left Paulene as Domino's sole legal guardian. She was four years old.

Paulene Stone was a British fashion model who went on to marry Peter Morton, one of the owners of the Hard Rock Cafe chain.

Domino attended public school in England, frequently getting in fights with the other children. "I was fighting boys by the age of 10," she has said of the experience. "I was a natural ringleader and troublemaker."

She was kicked out of four boarding schools and was on her way to being the archetypal spoiled rebellious rich teenager. She was reported to have at one time worked for the Ford Modeling Agency, but there is no solid evidence that she ever did. At any rate, her mother moved out to Beverly Hills when she was 19. She rambled from acting classes, to ranching, to firefighting, and finally worked as a bounty hunter for Celes King, a renowned bail bondsman out of Los Angeles.

In 1997 her mother checked her into a rehabilitation clinic, Domino only weighing only 98 lbs. She had been using cocaine and heroin since her teenage years, and two years later, after she checked out of rehab, she claimed she had kicked the habit.

She sold the rights to her story to Tony Scott, the director of Top Gun. He wrote the screenplay based on several interviews he conducted, but the actual plot was mostly fabrication. In 2004 Harvey was arrested on drug trafficking charges, for allegedly selling methamphetamine. Harvey was found dead of "acute fentanyl toxicity" in her bathtub on June 27, 2005. She was 35.

In September of 2005 Domino, a movie based on her life, starring Keira Knightley and Mickey Rourke was released. By her own admission, Knightley was far too busy shooting Pride and Prejudice (2005) to do extensive character work with Harvey herself, although she had met her on two seperate occasions. "I kind of thought that it'd be really interesting to just play her totally and I'd do the voice and I'd do everything... It was just fascinating to hear her talk about the decisions that she made which was definitely what helped within the character as opposed to any physical resemblance or the voice being the same or something which it isn't..."

The plot of the film centers around a fictitious armed car robbery, and is a romanticized version of Harvey's life. It makes no mention of her drug use, or the fact that she was a lesbian. In reality, she had only been a bounty hunter for three years, and used drugs while on the job. "I did heroin with her occasionally. There was so much opportunity. You break down the door, arrest someone, they've got drugs," said Ed Martinez, her former partner, portrayed by Rourke in the film. It is refreshing to note that noone associated with the film claims that it is true to life, but only that it is based on her story. They do claim that she was content with the story as it was, attributing this to reports from close friends and family.


Sources

  • "Model, bounty hunter, addict - the story of Domino Harvey" The Sunday Times
  • "The Fall of a Thrill Hunter" Los Angeles Times
  • "Domino Harvey" The Daily Telegraph
  • "Domino Harvey" Wikipedia.org
  • "Who is Domino Harvey?" About.com
  • "Lesbian bounty hunter Domino Harvey is upset moviemakers made her straight" Queerday.com

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