Delbert Duane Tenney

July 27, 1930February 21, 2013
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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.


  • Visitation Thursday, February 28, 2013
  • Funeral Service Friday, March 1, 2013

Delbert Duane Tenney

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May 9, 2018

Im truly sorry of his paasing.. he brought lot happines as kid when HORROR OF PARTY BEACH HIT TV IN THE EARLY SEVENTIES. I.thought monster was going to twist with girl but when she was attack. I HID BEHIND PILLOW. AND MY SISTER WAS CRYEN CHANGE IT. IT WAS DIFFERNT. then only once they showed out country uncut. It was very scary longer scenes and gore I dont know what happen to that version.some scenes are in magazine. Violent midnight is finelly in its adult version. Margot Tenney was talented actress. I love to.tell.her all scenes that I.know the HOPB. but my condolence gos to her and there daughters and son. He was talented director and actor. . Remember we dont die we go in summerland heaven. Thank you for given me opertunity. To thank the TENNEYS . May he live forever .

dave piper

March 18, 2013

so sorry to hear of Del,s passing. ive loved ,,horror of party beach,, since I was a kid. I,ll put on one of his movies tonight in memory of him.

Martha Lapierre

March 9, 2013

Margo and family

My deepest sympathy to you and your family in the passing of Del.
I am sorry to hear thie news.

Susan' s sister and Christian's Aunt down the street..

Ron Wilkerson

March 5, 2013

My father in law, Ed Poltrack, was a detective in The Horror of Party Beach, and we've watched the film many times with family. Always a great experience that has brought us together. As a sci fi writer (Star Trek: TNG, Stargate SG1), I've always been inspired by filmmakers like Del Tenney who had the courage to create their own unique vision on the screen. God bless, Del.

Jonathan Jordan

March 3, 2013

Thank You for the movies you made that started mt life long love with films. God Bless You Mr Tenny for the legacy you leave behind.

Mike Cacace

March 1, 2013

My deep condolences. We have lost not just an artist but a good man.

Brian Marshall

March 1, 2013

Thank you so much for all of your cult movie classics. May the memory of "The Horror of Party Beach" live on forever! RIP and thank you.

Joseph N Frezza

March 1, 2013

Thank you for all the awesome movies and body of work you left behind. This movie buff truly appreciates all you've done!! Go get some rest, you've more than earned it, my friend :)

Chris Huziak

February 28, 2013

His movies always made me happy.Will be missed...

February 28, 2013

Thank you for all the wonderful films, Del. You made me, my friends, and family very happy.