Stage And TV Director Was 77 – Deadline

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Robert Allan Ackerman, the director whose tv work scored 5 Emmy nominations and who directed acclaimed Broadway productions together with Bent and Extremities, died Jan. 10 of kidney failure at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. He was 77.

His dying was introduced by household via a spokesman.

“I love Bob. I loved being around him, his aurora, his steady peace,” mentioned actor Al Pacino, who starred in Ackerman’s 1992 Broadway staging of Oscar Wilde’s Salome. “To work with him was joyous. He understood the language of theater art and communicated it with such ease. His gift was intangible and there’s no way of understanding how he created. When an artist has that special gift it is unexplainable, it just happens. When he stopped directing, he started writing again and his writing also had that same magic. He will be missed.”

In 2016, Pacino would re-team with Ackerman in a Pasadena Playhouse manufacturing of God Looked Away, through which the actor portrayed Tennessee Williams, with Judith Light co-starring.

Pacino is among the many appearing skills with whom Ackerman labored via the final 5 many years. Others embody Ann Bancroft, Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Glenn Close, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, Richard Gere, Richard Chamberlain, John Malkovich, Victor Garber, Farrah Fawcett, Kirstie Alley and Judy Davis.

Ackerman
Courtesy household

Among Ackerman’s most notable TV credit: Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows, starring Davis (2001); The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, with Mirren (2003); The Reagans, with Josh Brolin and Davis (2003) and, in 1994, David’s Mother, through which Alley performed the mom of an autistic son.

The director’s Broadway credit embody Martin Sherman’s Bent, with Gere, David Dukes and David Marshall Grant (1979); John Byrne’s Slab Boys, starring Penn, Bacon and Val Kilmer (1983); the Peter Allen-Harvey Fierstein musical Legs Diamond starring Allen (1988); and, in 1992, Salome, starring Pacino, Sheryl Lee and Esai Morales.

Ackerman first established himself as an Off Broadway stage director within the late Nineteen Seventies with works for The Public Theatre, together with a number of works by playwright Thomas Babe together with A Prayer For My Daughter, starring Laurence Luckinbill; Taken in Marriage, starring Streep and Colleen Dewhurst; and Fathers and Sons, starring Chamberlain and Dixie Carter.

In 1982, he directed the unique Off Broadway manufacturing of William Mastrosimone’s controversial Extremities starring Sarandon and, later, Fawcett, in what can be that actress’ breakthrough dramatic efficiency. In London, Ackerman would directed manufacturing os Extremities, Torch Song Trilogy, Our Town and Angels in America, amongst others.

Ackerman started his tv profession in 1992 with an episode of American Playhouse (“Mrs. Cage”), and would proceed all through the ’90s and early 2000s with a concentrate on TV motion pictures. Among them: David’s Mother and Safe Passage (each 1994), Radiant City and Suddenly (each 1996), Outrage, starring Rob Lowe (1998) and, in 1999, Passion’s Way, starring Sela Ward and Timothy Dalton.

In 2001, Ackerman directed the two-part mini-series Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows, which featured an acclaimed, Emmy-winning performances by Davis and Tammy Blanchard sharing the title position.

Two years later, Ackerman directed Mirren within the TV film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone and Brolin and Davis as Ronald and Nancy Reagan in The Reagans. His last TV credit had been 2006’s Filthy Gorgeous starring Brittany Murphy and Tammy Blanchard; and, in 2008,
Ron Nyswaner’s The Ramen Girl, with Isabella Rossellini and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

A Brooklyn native, Ackerman was preceded in dying by his accomplice Franco Zavani, and his son Nicholas Zarin-Ackerman, a visible artist and bass participant for the rock band The Virgins, who died in 2017. Ackerman is survived by sister Suzanne Ackerman and niece Jennifer Lehman Cashman.

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