Bahr, Iris (Iris Bar-Ziv)

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Bahr, Iris (Iris Bar-Ziv)


First name is pronounced "e-reese"; born in New York, NY; daughter of Haim (a retired banker) and Ruth Bar-Ziv. Education: Brown University, B.A.; studied at the Actors Center, New York, NY.


Office—Bahr None Films, 7510 Sunset Blvd., Ste. 177, Los Angeles, CA 90046. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer, director, producer, memoirist, actor, comic, and neuroscience researcher. Conducted neuroscience research and cancer research at Stanford University, Stanford, CA, and at Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. Actor in television programs, including Star Trek: Voyager, 2001; The King of Queens, 2002; The Rerun Show, 2002; Strong Medicine, 2002; Dragnet, 2003; The Drew Carey Show, 2003; Friends, 2003; Coupling, 2003; Significant Others, 2004; Curb Your Enthusiasm, 2005; E-Ring, 2006; Commander in Chief, 2006; State of Mind, 2007; and The Big Bang Theory, 2007. Actor in films, including Reality School, 2002; Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix, 2002; Columbo: Columbo Likes the Nightlife, 2003; Exit 8A, 2004; The Unchosen Ones (also writer, director, and producer), 2005; Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, 2006; Mimesis, 2006; Speed Dating, 2007; and The Poughkeepsie Tapes, 2007. Writer, producer, and performer in one-woman shows, including Planet America and Dai. Military service: Served two years in the Israeli military; became sergeant.


Dork Whore: A Totally True Account of My Travels through Asia as a Twenty-Year-Old Pseudo Virgin (memoir), Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2006.


Iris Bahr is a multifaceted actor, comic, writer, producer, and director. She has been a stand-up comic and performer, but also once conducted complex neuroscience and cancer research at Stanford University and Tel Aviv University. She frequently appears in films and in television series, and is a familiar face to viewers of popular television programs such as Curb Your Enthusiasm, King of Queens, Friends, and The Drew Carey Show. Holding dual citizenship in the United States and Israel, Bahr spent two years in the Israeli military, where she served in military intelligence and earned the rank of sergeant. As a student at the Actors Center in New York, Bahr "found an especially strong calling to physical theatre and clown work," reported a biographer on the KCRW Web site. After an accident in which she was hit by a truck and injured while riding her bicycle home from class, Bahr decided to move to Los Angeles, where she started her career as a film and television actor.

Bahr is the acclaimed writer and star of the one-person show Dai. The play, the title of which means "Enough" in Hebrew, finds Bahr playing a diverse cast of quirky, deeply individualistic characters who have all gathered in a small Tel Aviv cafe. Among them are Svetlana, an oversexed Russian prostitute in town to drum up some business; a rich New York woman with a distaste for what she sees as the primitive quality of life in Israel; a Latina-American actor who has come to Tel Aviv seeking to expand her career and secure a role in an upcoming movie about a suicide bombing; a fanatical American Christian who hopes to help the Israelis bring about Biblical prophecy; a disgruntled CNN news correspondent in search of headlines; and a hardened West Bank settler whose hatred for her Arabic neighbors is deep and virulent. All of these characters, and others, have come into the cafe in search of the next chapter of their lives, not knowing that they will soon die in suicide bombing. In total, the characters represent Bahr's impressions of the multiple points of view held by residents and visitors to Tel Aviv, demonstrating that there is not just one Israeli way of thinking, but several. Throughout, Bahr "masterfully becomes" her distinctive characters, noted Jerry Portwood in Back Stage East, in a dramatic production where she "successfully paints a vivid portrait of a diverse Israel."

Dai was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance. Among her other honors for the play, Bahr was asked to perform the solo show at the United Nations for a distinguished audience of more than one hundred ambassadors and delegates. Marilyn Stasio, reviewing the play in Variety, remarked that Bahr's physical performance is restricted by the tables and chairs that represent the interior of the cafe, but that "there is a fine fire in her delivery, and she has more voices at her command than a symphony orchestra has strings."

Bahr is also a memoirist, and in Dork Whore: A Totally True Account of My Travels through Asia as a Twenty-Year-Old Pseudo Virgin, she recounts the soul-searching trip she took through Asia at the completion of her military service in Israel. Deeply dissatisfied by her earlier sexual experiences, which still left her a virgin, Bahr felt that a trip through Asia with other travelers and backpackers would be liberating, and might allow her to further explore her sexual side in an atmosphere where no one knew her. Bahr admits that she undertook her journey not particularly in search of personal insight; instead, she was simply looking for sex. If insight came along with it, so much the better. And, eventually, it did. "More than just sexual though, this book is a brilliant journey of self-discovery, shared through a wide variety of emotional moments," commented reviewer Charlene Martel on the Literary Word Web Log. Bahr recounts how she was abandoned in Bangkok by her first traveling partner, a fellow Israeli named Boaz. She describes her attempts to involve herself with other backpacking groups, so as not to find herself completely alone in unfamiliar surroundings. Another Israeli travel companion drags her into a brothel in Bangkok, where she is horrified by the acts the dancers perform on stage. She meets a pair of Britons in the Thai jungle, but finds them unacceptable partners for travel or anything else. Finally, a trip to the Himalayas finds her in a difficult pursuit of two men who are also best friends.

Throughout the book, "Bahr has a flair for the self-deprecating wisecrack, a trick that keeps this quick memoir moving," remarked a Kirkus Reviews critic. Assessing her journey in an interview with Justin Glow on the Gadling Web site, Bahr mused: "There is something liberating about starting a clean slate with people that don't know you but when something haunts you it quickly surfaces, but interacting with so many different people in such an intense condensed fashion really expedited my journey of self discovery. So many human mirrors to illuminate what's going on inside you."



Bahr, Iris, Dork Whore: A Totally True Account of My Travels through Asia as a Twenty-Year-Old Pseudo Virgin (memoir), Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2006.


Back Stage East, November 30, 2006, Jerry Portwood, "Dai at the Culture Project," p. 42.

Daily Variety, March 9, 2006, Stacy Dodd, "Iris Bahr," p. 31; March 27, 2006, Joe Leydon, review of Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, p. 4; January 16, 2007, Marilyn Stasio, review of Dai, p. 2.

Entertainment Weekly, April 7, 2006, Scott Brown, review of Larry the Cable Guy, p. 44.

Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2006, review of Dork Whore, p. 1203.

New York Times, January 5, 2007, Campbell Robertson, "So Many Different People to Be, Onstage and Off, If She Can Dodge the Trucks," profile of Iris Bahr, p. 3.

Publishers Weekly, December 18, 2006, review of Dork Whore, p. 54; March 12, 2007, Rachel Deahl, "London Book Fair: What's in Your Briefcase? The Skinny on the Manuscripts Agents Are Pushing at the Fair," p. 10.

Variety, January 22, 2007, Marilyn Stasio, review of Dai," p. 31.


Broadway, (November 27, 2007), "Dai, Iris Bahr's Acclaimed One-Woman Show, Returns, Nov. 12."

Dating Ms. Jones Web log, (June 7, 2007), review of Dork Whore.

Downtown Express, (January 19, 2007), Jerry Tallmer, "One Woman's Mid-East Crisis," review of Dai.

Gadling, (May 16, 2007), Justin Glow, "Talking Travel with Iris Bahr."

Internet Movie Database, (November 27, 2007), filmography of Iris Bahr.

Iris Bahr Home Page, (November 27, 2007).

Iris Bahr MySpace Page, (November 27, 2007).

KCRW, (November 27, 2007), biography of Iris Bahr.

Literary Word, (April 16, 2007), Charlene Martel, review of Dork Whore., (October 9, 2007), Ernio Hernandez, "Iris Barh's Solo Show, Dai (Enough), Will Return to the New York State."