Bryan Cranston and Mariska Hargitay's acting coach, Ivan Markota, has passed away at the age of 86.

The veteran Hollywood mentor, who was an actor himself, passed away from natural causes on 6 August (13) at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Markota started the Van Mar Academy of Motion Picture & Television Acting in L.A. in 1967 and served as the president of the Acting Coaches & Teachers Association.

Markota's 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.

As an actor he starred in bit parts, appearing in In Like Flint, Waxwork Ii: Lost in Time and the 1960s series Land of the Giants.

Shepherd recently paid tribute to Markota in a post on her page, writing, "Farewell my dear acting teacher Ivan Markota, founder of Van Mar Academy. 1994 in class Ivan pointed at me & told me I would be a star Rip. 1994 - I was a legal sec't (secretary), riding the bus, struggling comic. Ivan Markota had faith in me. Sometimes it only takes one to believe Rip."

Funeral services are scheduled to take place on Friday (16Aug13) at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village, California.