James Lipton, famed 50s whore house pimp and creator/host of Inside The Actors Studio, is now in the afterworld, asking actor angels what their favorite curse word is. Or maybe being a bordello pimp was his favorite job and he’s doing that in heaven. I don’t know, but sadly, James Lipton died from bladder cancer today at his home in Manhattan. He was 93.
On top of acting, James was a writer and wrote scripts for Guiding Light, Another World, and The Doctors. And he wrote the lyrics for the 1967 Broadway musical Sherry!. And he also wrote a novel, and produced several Bob Hope television specials. Yes, pimp, law student, actor, producer, director, and writer. James Lipton did it all!
And in the 90s, he decided to add “acting teacher” to his resume. James got the Actors Studio to join forces with the New School University in NYC to create the Actors Studio Drama School (which left the New School and became The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University in 2006). In 1994, James created a program at the Actors Studio called Inside The Actors Studio where successful directors and actors dropped in to take questions from students. Inside The Actors Studio was filmed and aired on Bravo in 1994 when Bravo was still trying to be a fancy, respectable bitch.
James interviewed EVERYONE on Inside The Actors Studio. It ran on Bravo for 22 seasons before leaving for Ovation. They probably moved because James Lipton refused to take Andy Cohen’s advice of throwing champagne at his guest face’s or asking them to talk shit about a co-star. And that was the opposite of James’ style. James got made fun of a lot, because his lips touched more actor ass than a lipo machine. James knew this and proved he was the best of sports by happily making fun of himself on The Simpsons.
James left Inside The Actors Studio in 2018. The show is still on and uses a rotating panel of hosts.
He was married to Dutch American actress Nina Foch from 1954 to 1959. And in 1970, he married Kedakai Turner, one of the most glamorous women in history. And I say that because she was the face of Miss Scarlett on the 1972 board game cover of Clue.
James Lipton ended each interview by asking, “If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?” I don’t know what James Lipton wanted to hear, but my guess is that God really said to him: “You seriously had Marky Mark on Inside The Actors Studio?!!!”
Rest in peace, James Lipton.