Richard Akins, Producer at Florida's Jupiter Theatre, Dies at 62

Obituaries   Richard Akins, Producer at Florida's Jupiter Theatre, Dies at 62
Richard Akins, the former producer and executive director of The Jupiter Theatre in Palm Beach County, Florida, died March 31, 2009 from a rare form of pancreatic cancer. He was 62.

During his ten-year tenure, The Jupiter Theatre won numerous Carbonnell Awards, which honor South Florida theatre. He took over the Jupiter Theatre in 1990, leasing it from Burt Reynolds until 1996. After Reynolds sold the Jupiter Theatre, it closed and Akins eventually moved to South Carolina, where he managed Myrtle Beach's Palace Theatre until resigning in August 2000. He later entered into a partnership with Ralph Miller to run the Bucks County Playhouse, where he had worked in the 1980s.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Mr. Akins produced at many different theatres across the United States, including the Westbury in New York and the Valley Forge Music Fair in Pennsylvania. He also produced musicals at Harrah's in Atlantic City for many years. In these enterprises, he worked with a wide variety of celebrities, from the worlds of film, television, theatre and music.

In recent years, he had worked to bring a new musical to Broadway based on the music of the rock band Chicago, called Color My World. He was to have produced with his wife, Janina.

Mr. Akins began his career as an actor. He took many odd jobs in show business along the way, including holding cue cards for "Captain Kangaroo" and "The Ed Sullivan Show." He bounced around the nation from small theatre to small theatre. Mr. Akins was proprietor of the Playhouse Inn in New Hope, PA. He created the murder mystery dinner theatre concept at Peddler's Village in Lahaska, PA, and operated The Genetti Dinner Playhouse in Hazleton, PA, and the Shepherd Hills Playhouse in Allentown.

For a short time, Mr. Akins also managed entertainer and mentalist, The Amazing Kreskin. He is survived by his wife Janina, daughter Alexandra, and sons Christopher and Todd. A memorial will be planned.

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