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James Lipton, beloved ‘Inside the Actors Studio’ host, dies at 93

james lipton, Inside the Actors Studio

James Lipton, the creator of the popular Bravo series Inside the Actors Studio, has passed away, aged 93

His wife, Kedakai Mercedes Lipton, revealed that the much loved academic had lost his battle with bladder cancer.

james lipton, Inside the Actors Studio

Legendary creator and host of Inside the Actors Studio, James Lipton, has passed away, aged 93. He has been remembered for his passion and his love of words.

“He lived each day as if it were his last,” Lipton said in a statement. “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.”

Inside the Actors Studio was conceived by Lipton in 1994, and served as a televised seminar for students of the Actors Studio Drama School. The one hour program would feature a high-level actor in intimate conversation with Lipton, discussing the secrets of their craft.

The New York Times once described of the show: “In Mr. Lipton’s guest chair, actors cease being stars for a while and become artists and teachers.”

Inside the Actors Studio featured almost 300 subjects, and pretty much every name in the business, including the likes of Robin Williams, Robert De Niro, Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie, Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, and many more.

The show was one of the network’s longest-running series, with Lipton hosting it from its beginning in 1994 until 2018, after which it moved networks and adopted a rotating panel of hosts.

Lipton was known for his passionate approach to the show, conducting all his own research. He was a lover of words, and always delivered intricately crafted questions.

Frances Berwick, president of NBCU Lifestyle Networks, 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,” He continued. “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.”

Speaking with THR’s Scott Feinberg in 2016, Lipton had once described:

“If you had put a gun to my head and said, ‘I will pull the trigger unless you predict that in 23 years, Inside the Actors Studio will be viewed in 94 million homes in America on Bravo and in 125 countries around the world, that it will have received 16 Emmy nominations, making it the fifth-most-nominated series in the history of television, that it will have received an Emmy Award for outstanding informational series and that you will have received the Critics’ Choice Award for best reality series host — predict it or die,’ I would have said, ‘Pull the trigger.’ ” 

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March 3, 2020