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Oscar-Winning Vanderbilt Alumnus Dies

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Delbert Mann, BA’41, died in Los Angeles November 13, 2007, at the age of 87. One of the top directors during Hollywood’s golden age of television, Mann received an Academy Award as best director for the movie Marty in 1955. He had previously directed the acclaimed live television production of the same name. 

A political science major, Mann was elected president of the student council and served as co-managing editor of The Vanderbilt Hustler with his future wife, Ann Caroline Gillespie, BA’41. 

In later years, Mann served on the Vanderbilt Board of Trust. He also established and raised money for the Fred Coe Artist-in-Residence-in-Theatre program at Vanderbilt. He donated his papers to the Jean and Alexander Heard Library, and received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1999.

Mann worked with a who’s who of stars during his long career, including Humphrey Bogart, Grace Kelly, Angela Lansbury, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and George C. Scott. The 1955 production of Marty earned four Academy Awards, including best actor (Ernest Borgnine), writing (Paddy Chayefsky)
and best picture. 

In tribute to Mann, his family asked that memorial donations be sent to the Fred Coe Visiting Professorship at Vanderbilt. 

Photo courtesy of Vanderbilt Special Collections.

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