Filmmaking auteur who gave the world the first teen-surf-monster-movie-musical “The Horror of Party Beach” DEL TENNEY has passed at age 82.
Delbert ‘Del” Tenney died quietly at his home in Jupiter, Florida, Feb. 21.
Del was born in Mason City, Iowa, and moved to California with his parents at age 12.
Attending L.A. City and State College, he developed an interest in theater, and worked as an actor in
Broadway productions and appeared in films “Stalag 17” and “The Wild One” before moving to the New York City metro area.
After a few turns in summer stock, Del moved behind the camera as assistant director on independent films.
He then co-wrote and co-directed his production of “Violent Midnight”
But it was his production of “The Horror of Party Beach” that assured Del’s enshrinement in pop culture. For, “Party Beach” was not only a movie but a best-selling one-shot magazine recreating the film still-by-still like a comic strip in the tradition of Italian fumetti.
Blessed with lurid colors, a hideous monster and blonde bikini-babes the Beach Party mag was released by “Famous Monsters of Filmland” publisher James Warren which rocketed hormonal teen desires. The mag sold out and the film played the drive-in and late night TV circuit for years.
Notable among Del’s other achievements were the scare-pic “Cure of the Living Corpse” which loosed upon the world the then-unknown actor Roy Scheider who would later star in “Jaws” and “The French Connection”.
Del also created the acclaimed Hartman Theater in Stamford, Ct., producing and acting in shows from the Sharon Playhouse to the Helen Hayes Theater in NY.
More recently, Tenney formed Del Mar Productions producing the movies “The Clean and Narrow”, “Do You Wanna Know a Secret?” and “Descendant”.
Del is survived by his wife, award-winning actress Margot Hartman Tenney, and their 3 children.
Adios, amigo – catch you on the Late, Late Show.