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Denis George Mahan (born June 15, 1950), better known as Deney Terrio, is an American choreographer, former film actor and one-time host of the television musical variety series Dance Fever from 1979 to 1985. In 1991, he sued Merv Griffin, the show's producer, for sexual harassment; the US$11.3 million case was later dismissed.
Terrio achieved fame as the dance coach and choreographer for John Travolta in the movie Saturday Night Fever. During his heyday with Dance Fever, he appeared in a number of films, including The Idolmaker, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, A Night in Heaven and Knights of the City and guest starred on popular television series of the time including The Love Boat. Throughout the 1990s, he toured nightclubs, performing with Motion and judging dance contests. Terrio was referred to in the popular Steve Martin movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels where Martin posed as a crippled veteran. Martin claimed that he lost use of his legs after he found his girlfriend having sex with Terrio.
In recent years, he has appeared on several VH1 specials and co-hosted the 2004 PBS special Get Down Tonight: The Disco Explosion which featured many popular disco artists from the 1970s and actress Karen Lynn Gorney. During the show, Terrio and Gorney danced to Tavares’ live performance of “More Than a Woman”, as Gorney had with John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.
Currently Deney is hosting his own disco radio show on the Sirius satellite radio network and is a choreographer and competitor at regional Dancing with the Stars competitions.
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