Akst worked as a saxophonist and worked until 1930 as a vaudeville musician. Then he turned to the work as a cutter to and was in the years 1932-1958 to 58 productions involved. In several films, he worked with director Vincente Minnelli.
In 1957, he was for the film Hell is in me ( Somebody Up There Likes Me ) Best in category section nominated for an Oscar.
Akst is buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.