Acting Coach Ivan Markota Dies at 86

He taught the craft in L.A. to the likes of Emmy winners Bryan Cranston, Mariska Hargitay and John Larroquette.

Ivan Markota, a longtime acting coach whose students included Emmy winners Bryan Cranston, Mariska Hargitay and John Larroquette, died Aug. 6 of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 86.

Markota opened the Van Mar Academy of Motion Picture & Television Acting in L.A. in 1967. A former president of the Acting Coaches & Teachers Association, he studied at 22 different schools and workshops, honing his style as a no-nonsense coach who got the best out of his students.

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Markota, who served as a paratrooper in World War II, was an actor himself, appearing in bit parts in the films In Like Flint (1967) and Waxwork II: Lost in Time (1992) and in the 1960s ABC series Land of the Giants.

His other students included Sherri Shepherd, T.K. Carter, Rick Dees, Miguel Nunez, Traci Lords, Denice Duff, Glenn Withrow, Walter Olkewicz, Casper Van Dien, Stephen Nichols and Mary Hart.

Services will take place at noon Friday at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village.