Celebrating the Life of Ira Hawkins


Members of our company gathered Sunday, November 21 to share stories and remember our colleague and friend Ira Hawkins. Born in Los Angeles in 1944, Ira earned his master’s degree in classical piano from the University of Iowa and worked as a junior high school teacher, before he began his career as a vocalist and actor. He sang backup on Ringo Starr’s 1974 solo album Goodnight Vienna and Keith Moon’s 1975 solo album Two Sides of the Moon. Ira then made his Broadway debut as an understudy in the 1976 revue Bubbling Brown Sugar, followed by the leading role of Hadji opposite Eartha Kitt in the 1978 musical Timbuktu! He would go on to perform in other Broadway shows: The Tap Dance Kid, Honky Tonk Nights, and Roza; the international tour of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies; as well as off-broadway, jazz clubs and music performances, and on film and TV. His latest film, Swan Song, with Udo Kier, Michael Urie, and Jennifer Coolidge was released in 2021.