Born Reginald Leigh Daymore on November 20, 1891, Denny grew up in England. Working with a stage group, he toured parts of the world in his early 20s. But he was also an avid flier and airplane designer. He was an aviator with the Royal Air Force during WWI, and though he started back into his acting career when the war ended, he also kept up with his airplane passion.
He moved to Hollywood for the film industry, and while there opened a model store, “Reginald Denny’s Hobby Shop.” In the 1930s, his model kit, the Denny Jr., fashioned by his company, Reginald Denny Industries, was a hit. His Dennymite engines were used frequently by modelers. His company also produced Jimmie Allen kits and other kits for kids.
During WWII, his company made RC target drones for the military, called Radioplanes. Norma Jeane Mortenson (Marilyn Monroe) worked on building these planes in the shop, where she was “discovered.”
After the War, Denny moved to England and passed away in 1967.
Reginald Denny, c. 1920s
For more information on Mr. Denny, see his biography online at https://www.modelaircraft.org/files/DennyReginald.pdf.
If you would like to submit your own autobiography, or a biography of someone you know, please visit our History Program webpages at https://www.modelaircraft.org/museum/whatshere/history.aspx for more information.
Read more about Reginald in the July 2021 issue of Model Aviation.