Pioneer of the women’s fitness movement, niece of famed gym owner Vic Tanny and daughter of legendary bodybuilder Armand Tanny, died Saturday morning at West Hills hospital due to complications from cancer. She was 60 years old. Mandy was born in Missouri on June 2nd, 1950, and at age two, moved to Hawaii with her parents where she spent the next eight years. At age 11, she took up ballet dancing and carried her love for it back to Hawaii where she graduated from the University of Hawaii with a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance and drama in 1976. It was also that year that her son, Mario was born.
In the late ’70’s and early ’80’s, she managed several Holiday Health Spas while promoting women’s body-building and lecturing on exercise and nutrition. She was a writer and editor for Joe Weider’s Muscle and fitness magazine for nearly 10 years before going on to author her own two health food cook books; The Muscular Gourmet in 1988 and Body-Building Nutrition in 1991. During that time, Mandy married George Naum and together, developed their own chain of gyms called Tanny’s Personal Fitness between 1990 and 2003. 2005 marked what would be a dark period for Mandy when she was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer and her toughest battle lay ahead. Just as Mandy had passionately advocated health for women, she found herself carrying on the same passion when it came to her own health, declining conventional therapy in place of alternative therapy.
In 2008, Mandy shared her private battle with the world when the Veria channel interviewed her and her family for a show about people who had chosen alternative treatments for cancer titled, The Incurables. In the episode, Mandy shared her experiences with both conventional and alternative doctors and encouraged women not to succumb to fear from insolent doctors whose severe treatments often did more harm than good. With the help of her diligent and loving husband, Mandy was able to keep her cancer in control, despite it metastasizing into her lungs, liver and bones. And despite her ailing health in recent months, Mandy refused to give up her fight for life and continued fighting hours before her death.
She will be terribly missed by her husband, George, son, Mario and beloved pooch, Nutmeg. A Mass in honor of Mandy will be given at Saint Bernardine of Siena Church, 24410 Calvert St., Woodland Hills, CA 91367, on Friday, August 20, 2010, 6:00 p.m. Arrangements handled by Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Griffin Mortuary in Westlake Village (818) 889-0902