Miami Living Magazine

Elsa Pataky

Miami Living Magazine features the best Miami has to offer. Click on any magazine below and enjoy. You can download our free app on iTunes. Ideal for iPad and iPhone users.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 85 of 163

84 MIAMI LIVING Stand by…. "There's no business like show business, there's no business I know…." These famous song lyrics help define the incredible life of actor and talk show host, Iris Acker. "On Stage with Iris Acker," a local arts show in its 21st year, is as much about Iris as it is about her guests. Her interview technique has been compared to both James Lipton and Barbara Walters, but Iris doesn't use cue cards because she makes it her job to be familiar with booked talent. One recent Wednesday morning she taped three shows in a row. The third was with Ft. Lauderdale Children's Theatre's Executive Artistic Director, Janet Erlick; Managing Director, Sean Cutler; and two talented young performers, Chad Coolidge and Gunna Bergsveinsdottir. Gunna, originally from Iceland, laughed in agreement when Iris' suggested that the young woman's last name be shortened for the sake of show biz. Iris also pointed out during the taping that "Theatre is going to die unless we create an audience for it." Then, she followed up with her famous tagline: "Tell people to please go to the theatre!" Her show is a wonderful way to feel connected to the arts community and it's exciting to see her spotlight not only local talent but also famous people such as Chita Rivera, Valerie Harper, Theodore Bikel, Phyllis Diller, Julie Harris, and Charles Durning. Locally, various guests have been casting director Lori Wyman; Artistic Director of the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Andrew Kato; Artistic Director of GableStage, Joseph Adler; and Artistic Director of the Promethean Theatre, Deborah Sherman. Three exhausting and exhilarating hours later, and Iris is done. For now….. How it began…. Originally, Acker was invited by WLRN, Channel 17, to do the show. "[At the time] I was President of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists for the state of Florida. I thought, 'Well, they probably want to talk to me because I'm the President.'" But they wanted her not only to produce but also host the program. "I had never produced for television or hosted a television program, I'm an actress," she explained. WLRN said 'Consider it on the job training,' so, she seized the opportunity and turned it into one of the loves of her life. And as if the show weren't enough, this busy woman appears in the soon-to-be- released movie G.E.D., where she runs up and down Sistrunk Ave. in Ft. Lauderdale shooting a blank-filled gun. Acker is also a long-time Carbonell Awards voter (she directed five of these shows), and recently appeared in a staged reading at the Sol Theatre in Tony Finstrom's newest play. She began performing as a nine-year-old dancer in the Bronx, toured in numerous productions, acted on stage with Julie Newmar in "The Marriage Go-Round," and received a Carbonell nomination for her performance as Sylvia in "Social Security" at the Burt Reynolds Theater. She has also written two books, What Got You Where You are Today?, and Secrets to Auditioning for Commercials. It's safe to say that Acker will continue to do what she has done her entire life— remain busy, whether as an actor who just also happens to host a TV show, as an author, or anything else she cares to come up with. Bravo Iris Acker! "On Stage with Iris Acker" is taped at the BECON-TV studio and airs Fridays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m. In Miami the show is on channel 24, South Miami on channel 16, Broward and Palm Beach on channel 19, and is on Direct TV, Dish TV, Satellite, AT&T and channel 63. Log onto for more information. ML Doyenne of Miami TV Iris Acker: In the know and on the go…. Words by Marla E. Schwartz PEOPLE

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Miami Living Magazine - Elsa Pataky