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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Inside the Actors Studio: The Legacy of James Lipton

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In March of this year, the world said “safe journey onward” to beloved Inside the Actors Studio host, James Lipton, who died at his home in Manhattan, NY, from bladder cancer. He was 93.

Inside the Actors Studio is one of cable’s longest running series and the show that made James Lipton famous. “Bespectacled and bearded, the erudite thesbian would hold intellectual conversations about the acting craft with everyone from Mary Tyler Moore to Julianne Moore.” (MeTv) The cable talk show, which began airing on the Bravo network in 1994, is a show that allows Lipton’s acting students and home viewers to get greater insight into their art. It is a master class of sorts featuring an array of top performers “in an intimate and in-depth one-on-one interview with Lipton.” (The Hollywood Reporter)

“A lover of words, he was known for his intricately crafted questions and precise manner of delivery. His style was so distinctive, it led to a number of parodies, most notably Will Ferrell’s dead-on imitation in a series of Saturday Night Live sketches.” (THR) He had a passion and drive that could be seen and felt in each interview he gave, for which he did all of his own extensive research in preparation. His interviews were the most intimate ever conducted with A-list actors across generations and his dedication, contributions, and fierce passion made him a titan of the film and entertainment industry.

James Lipton’s lengthy career prior to Inside the Actors Studio began in radio, and included stints as an actor, producer, lyricist, scriptwriter, choreographer, author, and academic.

Most notably, he served as a voice on the radio program The Lone Ranger as Dan Reid, the Lone Ranger’s nephew as well as a head writer and actor on Guiding Light. He also wrote for other soaps like The Best of Everything, The Doctors and Return to Peyton Place and had television roles on Inner Sanctum and The Goldbergs to name a few.

James Lipton is survived by his wife Kedakai Turner.

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