Who Is L. Roy Dunham in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? Are They Based on a Real Person?

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ is a period comedy-drama series set in the New York City of the 1950s and 1960s. It tells the story of Miriam “Midge” Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan). At the start of the series, she is a relatively happy housewife whose world falls apart after her husband and the father of her two children leaves her for his secretary. After her parents blame her for the dissolution of her marriage, Midge discovers her latent gift for stand-up comedy,

The show has always introduced new and fascinating characters who have quickly become fan favorites. In early episodes of season 4, a character named L. Roy Dunham is mentioned. Here is everything you need to know about them. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Who Is L. Roy Dunham?

Roy Dunham is a cultural reporter for the Daily News and seems to be a harsh critic of Midge’s stand-up routines. In the season 4 premiere, Midge and Susie are at their favorite restaurant when Eugene comes over to make Midge even more miserable. He shows the two women the hit piece Dunham wrote on Midge, using particularly selected adjectives about the comic and her act. Dunham has somehow found out that Midge was dumped on the tarmac by Shy and his team. Dunham then mentions what happened between Midge and Sophie in passing. In episode 2, we learn that Dunham has criticized Midge in an article that isn’t even about her, referring to her acts as “deeply unfunny meanderings.”


Both Midge and Susie think that Dunham is a man. Actor Hari Nef, known for portraying Gittel in Amazon Prime Video’s ‘Transparent,’ has been cast as Dunham in the show’s fourth season. Hari is an openly transgender woman who started her career as a fashion model before trying out acting. Historically, many women have used initials, gender-neutral names, and even traditionally male names as pseudonyms for their writings. Dunham’s brutal criticism seems to be bothering Midge. She will definitely be surprised when she learns more about Dunham.

Is L. Roy Dunham Based on a Real Person?

No, L. Roy Dunham is probably not a real cultural critic who worked for the Daily News in the early 1960s. However, given that ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ is a period comedy-drama series, it’s a perfectly valid question to ask. In the past, several characters based on real entertainment personalities have appeared in the show. Lenny Bruce, who is based on the legendary comic of the same name, is a recurring character on the show and a close friend of Midge.

It’s ultimately a good thing that Dunham is a fictional character. It has probably allowed the writers to experiment with Dunham and explore new and unorthodox avenues of the overall narrative.

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