Acting Coach Ivan Markota Dies at 86

ivan markota Obit

Ivan Markota, longtime acting coach who taught several of today’s high-profile stars, died August 6 of natural causes at L.A.’s Cedar Sinai Hospital. He was 86.

Markota’s pupils including Emmy-winners Bryan Cranston, Mariska Hargitay and John Larroquette, along with performers including Sherri Shepard, Mary Hart, T.K. Carter and Rick Dees.

He was CEO of the Van Mar Academy of Motion Picture & Television Acting and the former president of the Acting Coaches & Teachers Association. After opening the Van Mar Academy in 1967, he earned a reputation as an effective no-nonsense teacher.

He was also an actor himself, appearing in 1967’s “In Like Flint,” 1992’s “Waxwork II: Lost in Time” and the 1960s ABC series “Land of Giants.” Throughout his acting career, he studied at 22 different schools and workshops.

Markota also served as a paratrooper in WWII.

Funeral services will be held Friday, August 16 at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village, Calif.

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  1. Ivan, you were the very first instructor that encouraged me never to give up on my dream of becoming a successful, WORKING actor. You also showed me that being successful means “because you are consistently working, not because you are famous.” I am so happy you showed me the difference. I’m doing what I love; I’m working, and I’m using my craft in more ways than ever imagined. I will truly miss you. Thank you for being my mentor and teacher.
    Vivian Johnson Hunter
    “Tippi Hunter”

  2. Sandra says:

    You will be missed, Ivan

  3. diego says:

    Ivan thank you for all the memories, all the laughs, all you taught us about show biz and life. Thanks for sharing your heart with us, you’ll always live in our hearts …… your Hijo

  4. I remember how nervous I was going to his studio at 7722 reseda blvd apt 102. But my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and love ones.

  5. Because of Ivan I met an amazing actor 21 years ago. RIP

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