James Lipton Dies: Host of ‘Actors Studio’ at 93

Before he hosted the long-running Bravo collection, Lipton performed the Lone Ranger’s nephew on the radio and wrote TV scripts and Broadway lyrics.

James Lipton, the elegant, articulate wordsmith and theater educational whose want to offer his appearing college students a larger perception into their artwork led to the favored Bravo collection Inside the Actors Studio, has died. He was 93.

Lipton died early Monday at his dwelling in Manhattan from bladder most cancers, his spouse, Kedakai Mercedes Lipton, advised The Hollywood Reporter.

“He lived each day as if it were his last,” Kedakai Lipton mentioned in an announcement to THR. “His work was his passion, loved what he did and all the people he worked with. He empowered people to do their best, and hopefully his spirit, curiosity and passion will live on.”

Conceived by Lipton in 1994, Inside the Actors Studio was created to function a thinly disguised grasp class for the scholars of the Actors Studio Drama School, a three way partnership of the Actors Studio and The New School. With Paul Newman as its preliminary visitor, every one-hour program featured a high performer in an intimate and in-depth one-on-one interview with Lipton.

Nearly 300 topics, together with many Oscar and Emmy winners, shared the secrets and techniques of their craft with Lipton and his viewers of college students earlier than the TV cameras. The present grew to become one of cable’s longest-running collection.

“James Lipton was a titan of the film and entertainment industry and had a profound influence on so many,” Frances Berwick, president of NBCU Lifestyle Networks and residential to Bravo, mentioned Monday in an announcement. “I had the pleasure of working with Jim for 20 years on Bravo’s first authentic collection, his pleasure and pleasure Inside the Actors Studio. We all loved and revered his fierce ardour, contributions to the craft, complete analysis and his capability to deliver probably the most intimate interviews ever carried out with A-list actors throughout generations. Bravo and NBCUniversal ship our deepest condolences to Jim’s spouse, Kedakai, and all of his household.”

As Lipton advised THR‘s Scott Feinberg in June 2016: “If you had put a gun to my head and mentioned, ‘I’ll pull the set off except you expect that in 23 years, Inside the Actors Studio might be seen in 94 million houses in America on Bravo and in 125 international locations around the globe, that it’ll have obtained 16 Emmy nominations, making it the fifth-most-nominated collection within the historical past of tv, that it’ll have obtained an Emmy Award for excellent informational collection and that you should have obtained the Critics’ Choice Award for finest actuality collection host — predict it or die,’ I might have mentioned, ‘Pull the set off.'”

Lipton did all of his personal analysis in preparation for every interview. A lover of phrases, he was recognized for his intricately crafted questions and exact method of supply. His fashion was so distinctive, it led to a quantity of parodies, most notably Will Ferrell’s dead-on imitation in a collection of Saturday Night Live sketches.

“I love it. It’s very flattering,” Lipton mentioned throughout a 2012 CNN interview. “I think he’s got me cold.”

His internet hosting run resulted in 2018 when this system moved from Bravo to Ovation TV.

“I made a vow early on that we would not deal in gossip — only in craft, and Ovation, as a network dedicated to the arts, will continue that tradition with the next seasons of the series,” Lipton said then. “I’m excited to see the new hosts engage with the guests and students and continue to entertain viewers in the U.S. and around the world.”

Inside the Actors Studio was the fruits of a prolonged profession for Lipton that started in radio and included stints as an actor, scriptwriter, choreographer, lyricist, writer, producer and educational.

Along the way in which, he was married twice. His marriage from 1954-59 to actress Nina Foch (a 1955 Oscar nominee for Executive Suite) resulted in divorce. In 1970, he wed Mercedes, a mannequin who holds the distinctive distinction of showing as Miss Scarlett within the Clue board recreation.

Louis James Lipton was born on Sept. 19, 1926, in Detroit. His mom, Betty, was a trainer and a librarian, and his father, Lawrence, was a columnist and graphic designer for The Jewish Daily Forward. (The senior Lipton is finest recognized for his 1959 e-book The Holy Barbarians, a chronicle of the Beat Generation.) His mother and father divorced when Lipton was 6, and his dad deserted the household.

To assist make ends meet, Lipton started working whereas in his teenagers as a duplicate boy for The Detroit Times and as an actor for the Catholic Theater of Detroit. In 1944, after graduating highschool, he landed the function of Dan Reid, the nephew of the Lone Ranger, on WXYZ’s radio program in regards to the masked Western hero.

After enlisting within the Air Force throughout World War II, Lipton headed to New York with goals of changing into a lawyer. In his thoughts, it was one of the simplest ways to keep away from the instability his father had introduced on his household.

“But I thought, ‘I’d better take some acting classes if I’m going to earn a living so I can be a lawyer,'” Lipton said in a 2013 interview. “Stella Adler accepted me for her [drama] class. About five years later, I said to myself, ‘Stop kidding. You don’t want to be a lawyer. This is what you want to do.'”

To good his craft, Lipton took further courses with Harold Clurman and Robert Lewis and studied film/TV manufacturing and directing at New York University and The New School.

In 1951, Lipton started touchdown components on such tv exhibits as Pulitzer Prize PlayhouseArmstrong Circle Theatre and CBS Television Workshop. In the identical 12 months, he appeared within the authentic manufacturing of Lillian Hellman’s The Autumn Garden. It could be his solely look on a Broadway stage.

Other tv roles all through the 1950s included The Guiding LightYou Are ThereInner Sanctum and The Goldbergs. In 1953, Lipton made his function debut, starring as a clever man within the ultra-low price range The Big Break. It additionally was round this time Lipton stumbled onto one of his extra uncommon jobs.

After ending a movie in Greece, he traveled to France and determined it wasn’t fairly time to return dwelling. Lipton related with a lady who made her dwelling performing intercourse whereas others watched.

“One night time, I advised her I had to return to the United States. She mentioned, ‘Why?’ She mentioned, ‘You’re broke, aren’t you?’ And I mentioned, ‘Well, sure.’ She mentioned, ‘No downside, you will be my mec,'” Lipton advised Feinberg.

And for the subsequent few months, Lipton labored in Paris as her mec, aka pimp. He went on to clarify that after World War II, throughout robust financial instances, the occupation was respectable. “We did a roaring business,” Lipton mentioned. “It was a great time of my life.”

Lipton returned dwelling to renew his appearing profession however discovered extra success as a author. While showing on The Guiding Light, he labored his method as much as head author. Throughout the subsequent 20 years, he served as head author for Another WorldThe Best of Everything and Return to Peyton Place. He additionally wrote for The Edge of Night and The United States Steel Hour.

In 1962, Lipton wrote the e-book and lyrics for the Broadway musical Nowhere to Go But Up. Five years later, he did the identical for Sherry!, a musical adaptation of The Man Who Came to Dinner. This manufacturing closed after a brief run, and an authentic forged recording was by no means made. The rating and orchestrations had been considered misplaced for greater than 30 years till their discovery within the Library of Congress.

Lipton’s reputation, because of Inside the Actors Studio, helped facilitate curiosity within the musical, and in 2004, a studio recording that includes Nathan Lane, Bernadette Peters, Carol Burnett, Tommy Tune and Mike Myers was produced.

Lipton revealed his first e-book, An Exaltation of Larks, in 1968. An homage to his love of wordplay, the e-book incorporates a assortment of nouns of multitude akin to “a gaggle of geese” and a “pride of lions,” which Lipton prefers to name “terms of venery.” (Some had been actual and a few had been created by Lipton.) The e-book has been revised a number of instances, and the newest addition options greater than 1,100 phrases.

Starting with Jimmy Carter’s Inauguration Gala in 1977, Lipton started producing tv specials. Five of them concerned Bob Hope. He additionally produced American Dance Machine Presents a Celebration of Broadway Dance (1981) and the TV film Mirrors (1985). The latter was primarily based on Lipton’s 1983 novel in regards to the life of dancers.

In addition to scripting 4 of the Bob Hope specials, Lipton’s writing efforts included the screenplay for Mirrors and the story and teleplay for Copacabana (1985). He signed on as head author for eight episodes of the 1980s tv collection Capitol.

Through James Lipton Productions, he dabbled in Broadway, producing The Mighty Gents in 1978 and Monteith & Rand in 1979.

As the 1990s unfolded, Lipton pursued the concept of distilling his 12 years of efficiency research right into a three-year instructional curriculum for actors. He took the idea to New York’s famed Actors Studio, a major breeding floor for performers throughout the 1940s and ’50s. He was stunned to search out that it was in peril of vanishing as a result of a lot TV work had moved to the West Coast. But that additionally impressed Lipton.

“What if we opened the doors, not to let the public in, but to let the so-called ‘Method’ — the system — out?” Lipton advised Feinberg. Through his efforts, the Actors Studio and The New School quickly partnered on the Actors Studio Drama School, a program designed to supply levels in appearing. With Lipton as its dean, it grew to become in three years the most important college of its form in America. He referred to as it “one of the prides of my life.”

Lipton believed a key component of this system needs to be a collection of grasp courses that includes one-on-one talks with one of the best within the occupation. Though he had no expertise as an interviewer, he determined he would function its emcee. “I sent word back into the community from which I had come, and where I was known and knew people,” he recalled, “and said, ‘These people are liable to say something worth preserving. That requires television. Anybody interested?’ Bravo was.”

Lipton served because the present’s government producer. In 2004, he retired as dean of the Actors Studio Drama School, taking up the place of dean emeritus. He took readers behind the scenes of the present in 2007 along with his memoir Inside Inside.

Lipton was Inside the Actors Studio‘s 200th topic. For that 2008 interview, he picked Dave Chappelle to pose the questions.

The present’s reputation led to a resurgence in Lipton’s appearing profession. He performed himself within the 2005 function Bewitched and appeared on the TV collection Arrested DevelopmentGleeSuburgatoryJoey and According to Jim. Animated variations of Lipton popped up on The Simpsons and Family Guy. His voice additionally will also be heard within the 2008 animated function Bolt.

The recipient of three honorary Ph.D.s, Lipton was honored with the French Republic’s Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2016, he obtained a lifetime achievement award from the Daytime Emmys and a Critics’ Choice Award for finest actuality present host.