Erudite US presenter James Lipton, who created, hosted and executive produced Inside the Actors Studio, has died aged 93.
He died on Monday at his home in Manhattan, NYC, from bladder cancer.
Lipton served as dean (and then dean emeritus) of the Actors Studio Drama School at New York City’s Pace University following a career in US theatre.
Inside the Actors Studio ran for more than two decades and more than 240 episodes attracting A-List stars, directors and writers discussing their craft to Drama students. His interview style was unique, quizzing guests on everything from their upbringing and career starts to fears and even their favourite “curse word.” Lipton retired the show in 2018.
Ovation issued a statement saying, “We celebrate and honor the great legacy of James Lipton. James is beloved around the world for his passion, insight, and dedication to the craft of acting. With Inside the Actors Studio, James has created a long-lasting impact on the acting world. Ovation mourns his loss and offers deepest condolences to his family, friends and fans.”
Frances Berwick, President NBCU Lifestyle Networks president Frances Berwick said in a statement, “James Lipton was a titan of the film and entertainment industry and had a profound influence on so many. I had the pleasure of working with Jim for 20 years on Bravo’s first original series, his pride and joy Inside the Actors Studio. We all enjoyed and respected his fierce passion, contributions to the craft, comprehensive research and his ability to bring the most intimate interviews ever conducted with A-list actors across generations. Bravo and NBCUniversal send our deepest condolences to Jim’s wife Kedakai and all of his family. “
Lipton appeared as himself in the 2005 feature adaptation of the TV series Bewitched and provided voice work in Bolt, Igor, Family Guy and The Simpsons and appeared as himself in Joey, Saturday Night Live, Celebrity Apprentice, Glee, Arrested Development. He was also a writer on The Guiding Light, Another World, Return to Peyton Place and Capitol.
Lipton was once asked if he had anticipated the success of Inside the Actors Studio. He responded: “Not in my wildest imaginations. It was a joint, arduous effort involving many people. At a point and time not too distant in the past, I had three lives. I was the dean of the Actors Studio, the writer of the series, its host and executive producer. I maintained a preposterous 16-hour schedule.”
He received a lifetime achievement award from the Daytime Emmys in 2007.