Then and Now: Del Mar's Own 1

Since the earliest days of our coastal community, the town of Del Mar has attracted people who were stars in their fields. You’d be surprised to learn the number of notable artists who have made our seaside sanctuary their home!

The mark of Renaissance man Herb Turner can be seen all around Del Mar, giving the area a striking contrast to other affluent neighborhoods made up of cookie-cutter McMansions. A protégé of John Lloyd Wright, another Del Mar resident who also happened to be the son of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Turner described his architectural sensibilities as “terramonics” – he designed his buildings to be in harmony with their natural surroundings. Building his homes on lots other architects considered undesirable, the architect and visual artist typically utilized a good number of windows to give the interior of his homes an “outdoor” feel. He was also a sculptor painter and did most of his paintings in the rarely used egg tempera technique, where colored pigments are mixed with egg yolks.

The musical strings to the past are equally strong. A founding member of the band Blink-182, which had its heyday around the turn of the millennium, guitarist Tom DeLonge, a native San Diegan, now calls Del Mar home. A man of many talents, he has penned novels, comic books, a children’s book, appeared in numerous films and has even launched his own line of high-end furniture for kids. Songwriter and actress Angie Dickinson and husband Burt Bacharach were familiar faces at the Del Mar Racetrack. Bacharach was such a fan of the races that he owned thoroughbreds that raced there. At one point in his life he became a recluse in his Del Mar home due to depression. Although he sold the home in 1980, he and his family often rent a place in Del Mar during the summer months. Rock singer Steve Perry, one of the original members of the 80s era band Journey, is now in his 60s and a proud resident of Del Mar as well.

Writer Jonathan Maberry has the distinction of being successful in several genres of fiction, be it horror, thriller, mystery or young adult. Not only is this New York Times-bestselling Del Mar author one of our own, but he’s even got impressive credits in nonfiction, television writing, short stories and comics in addition to having written successful series of fiction books such as the Pine Deep Trilogy and the Joe Ledger series. And rather than resting on his laurels, he believes in giving back to the writing community: he’s a well-known speaker for the National Writer’s Union and mentors members of the Mystery Writers of America and the National Horror Association.

Other famous names include Desi Arnaz and J. Edgar Hoover during the golden age of Hollywood as well as present-day stars such as quarterbacks Drew Brees and Carson Palmer, and motivational guru Tony Robbins. With their contributions, these stars, and many, many others, have elevated Del Mar’s remarkable artistic history.