Noted Cult-Classic Filmmaker, Delbert Tenney, 82, has died.
Stamford, CT (February 25, 2013) - Del Tenney passed away quietly at his home in Jupiter, FL, Thursday morning, February 21st.
Del Tenney was born in Mason City, Iowa, and moved to California with his parents when he was 12. Attending Los Angeles City and State College, he developed an interest in the theater, became an actor and made a living at it for most of his young adult life. He acted on Broadway and did extra work in films Stalag 17 (1953), The Wild One (1953) before moving to New York. Following successful stints doing summer stock, he moved behind the camera as assistant director on some low-budget pictures. He then co-wrote and co-directed (without credit) his production of Violent Midnight (1963), a Stamford, CT made suspense thriller.
Mr. Tenney next made B-movie horror history bringing to the screen cult classics like The Horror of Party Beach (1964) and The Curse of the Living Corpse (1964). Along with his wife, Margot Hartman Tenney, Del created the acclaimed Hartman Theater in Stamford, CT. Del and Margot produced and acted in shows everywhere from the Sharon Playhouse, Sharon, CT to the Newport Theater, RI, and Westport Country Playhouse, Westport, CT, as well as, the Helen Hayes Theater in Nyack, NY. Their philanthropic and artistic support of a multitude of theaters was widely known, including The Musical Theater Works in New York City and The Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival in Jupiter, FL.
Del was an instrument rated pilot for many years. He was also involved in real estate. He built spec homes in Lakeville, CT; Marathon, FL; and condominiums in Middletown, RI. He ran Hanover Realty with his son, Matthew and was the president and co-executive director of The First Stamford Corporation.
More recently, Mr. Tenney formed Del Mar Productions with his wife, Margot, and Kermit Christman. They produced The Clean and Narrow (1999), a Palm Springs International Film Festival selection, and premiered on HBO; Do You Wanna Know a Secret? (2001) (filmed in Jupiter, FL), a Palm Beach International Film Festival Selection, which was purchased by Blockbuster Entertainment; and Descendant (2003) for Showtime, starring Katherine Heigl.
Del Tenney resided in Jupiter, FL and Greenwich, CT. He is survived by his lovely wife, award-winning actress and patron, Margot Hartman Tenney, as well as children Matthew Tenney, Karen Tenney, and Jesse Tenney; along with seven grandchildren: Asara, Gwen, Claire, Curtis, Kaya, Ariana and Valerie.
There will be a viewing at 5 pm – 8 pm on Thursday, February 28, 2013 at Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home, Greenwich, CT.