Denver Actors Fund in Action: Todd Debreceni

Examples of Todd Debreceni’s special-effects stage work.

‘I’ve seen more doctors since January 7 than I’ve seen in, well, ever!’

Denver native John Carroll Lynch is featured on the cover of Todd Debreceni’s book.

Aid recipient: Todd Debreceni of Aurora is Colorado’s most experienced and awarded prosthetic makeup effects artist, with more than 40 years in the entertainment industry. He has created prosthetics and special effects for innumerable film and local stage productions, most recently Littleton Town Hall Arts Center’s 2018 production of “A Christmas Carol.” Todd is the recipient of a 2017 Henry Award for his extensive body of work; a 2015 DCPA True West Award for “Shrek the Musical” and “Young Frankenstein”; and 2006 and 2009 Denver Post Ovation Awards for “The Wiz” and “Man of La Mancha,” respectively. Todd is also the author of the best-selling makeup effects book, “Special Makeup Effects for Stage and Screen,” now in its third edition. He is the husband of prolific local Music Director Donna Debreceni, who again volunteered her talents as Musical Director of “Miscast 2019,” the major annual fundraiser for The Denver Actors Fund. Todd performed “Agony” from “Into the Woods” with Mark Shonsey as Jacob Marley and Mark Shonsey, respectively. The event raised more than $8,600 for The DAF.

His medical story: Todd was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2019. In the course of his ongoing treatment, he has accrued substantial bills from a variety of medical providers. While they do not account for the totality of his financial burden, in August Todd submitted to us six outstanding bills for consideration of reimbursement totaling $3,585.10. As his treatment continued, Todd was looking for just enough help to keep his continuing out-of-pocket costs manageable.

Todd and Donna Debreceni at the 2017 Henry Awards. Photo by Brian Landis Folkins.

How we initially helped Todd: The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors voted in August to reimburse Todd for the full $3,585.10 in medical bills he had submitted to date, while leaving his case open for further consideration as he accrued additional medical expenses.

How we most recently helped: As Todd has continued his treatment over the past four months, he recently submitted a number of new bills he has continues to accumulate. Fifty, to be exact. That’s how many individual medical bills he’s been sent, ranging from physical therapy to urology checks to prescriptions. The total comes to $2,807.97 in additional out-of-pocket responsibility. The board has voted to compensate the Debrecenis for the full amount, $2,807.97. To date, including an additional $1,069 in targeted donations from the community, The Denver Actors Fund has now provided the Debrecenis with $7,554.97 in overall medical assistance to date.

How you can help us help Todd more: If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give Todd some additional breathing room as he continues his cancer treatment, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund (with Todd Debreceni’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is targeted for Todd Debreceni. (He will receive 100 percent of your donation.) Otherwise, your donation will be applied to the replenishment of the Denver Actors Fund’s general fund.

A message from Todd: “Donna and I appreciate The Denver Actors Fund more than words can describe. I’ve seen more doctors since January 7 than I’ve seen in, well, ever! This support is incredible!”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $425,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

From left: Todd Debreceni, Donna Debreceni and Mark Shonsey perform at ‘Miscast’ 2019 to benefit The Denver Actors Fund. Photo by John Moore.


Todd Debreceni with pop star Debby Boone, whom he turned into The Witch for Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s ‘Into the Woods.’


The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $425,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here



Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org


Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211


Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information

Friends, we at The Denver Actors Fund believe in building community while building funds. Most of our events are performative in nature so that you have a good time while helping a good cause. Here are some of the events that are currently being planned on our behalf. Visit anytime for an updated list.

Sunday, February 9: Celebrate the biggest night of the year for the movies! What better way to be a part of the action on the big screen than to join Denver7 and The Denver Actors Fund at the Alamo Drafthouse. Dress your Hollywood best (formal evening wear suggested)! Arrive around 5 p.m. in BarFly for your very own red carpet, paparazzi, and more before we open the doors for food, drinks and fun for everyone. Your ticket includes a glass of champagne (or sparkling cider) and a donation to The Denver Actors Fund!


Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.