Inside The Actors Studio host James Lipton dies

James Lipton, the host of long-running TV show Inside The Actors Studio, has died at the age of 93.

The actor-turned-academic was famed for his in-depth interviews with hundreds of Hollywood stars including Robert De Niro, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep and Al Pacino.

Lipton’s wife Kedakai Lipton confirmed her husband had died from bladder cancer at his home in New York, telling the Hollywood Reporter: “His work was his passion, [he] loved what he did and all the people he worked with.”

Samuel L. Jackson & James Lipton during Cirque du Soleil Presents Its Latest Touring Production, Varekai - Red Carpet and Inside Party at Cirque Du Soleil in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Donato Sardella/WireImage)
Image:Lipton interviewed Samuel L Jackson on his show

Rest in Peace, James Lipton. Thank you for many years of insightful questions.

— Ovation (@ovationtv) March 2, 2020

Music and film star Barbara Streisand paid tribute to Lipton, saying “he was interested in the actor’s process, which was so refreshing”.

Lipton began filming Inside The Actors Studio in 1994, with Hollywood icon Paul Newman as his first guest.

The format of the show saw him interview stars in front of an audience of students at the Actors Studio drama school, where Lipton was dean emeritus, at New York’s Pace University.

His interviews ended with a list of rapid fire questions, including “if heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?” and “what is your favourite curse word?”

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Bradley Cooper attended the Actors Studio drama school and featured on Lipton’s TV show as a student in 1999 when he sat in the audience and asked a question to De Niro.

The Oscar-nominated actor returned to the programme as a guest in 2011 when he was interviewed by Lipton, and broke down in tears several times during the recording.

Actor Bradley Cooper and James Lipton attend the premiere of "Limitless" at the Regal Union Square on March 8, 2011 in New York City.
Image:Actor Bradley Cooper was a former student at the Actors Studio

Lipton interviewed more than 300 guests on Inside The Actors Studio including Robin Williams, Steven Spielberg, Lauren Bacall, Julia Roberts, Barbara Streisand, Samuel L Jackson, Harrison Ford and Jodie Foster.

Tributes from the world of entertainment poured in following Lipton’s death.

NEW YORK - APRIL 29: (L-R) James Lipton and actor Tom Hanks pose at the 5th Annual Tribeca Film Festival April 29, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images For TFF)
Image:Tom Hanks was a guest on Lipton’s show
Roger Federer, the world's #1 male ranked tennis player from Oberwil, Switzerland went one-on-one with James Lipton, host of "Inside The Actors Studio" at the Brickell Tennis Club in Miami, Florida on March 23, 2005. Federer, an ambassador of Maurice Lacroix Swiss Watches answered questions by Lipton then played some tennis with invited guests. (Photo by Bob Riha Jr/WireImage)
Image:Lipton talks to Roger Federer on stage in 2005

Actor Jeff Daniels wrote on Twitter: “R.I.P. James Lipton. He made you want to tell him everything.”

Donald Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr said: “Very sad to hear of the passing of my friend and great guy James Lipton.

“We got to know each other on the set of the Apprentice in 2012 and from then on he was kind enough to make bringing my kids and me with his family to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular an annual tradition.”

Rest in peace, James Lipton. He was interested in the actor’s process, which was so refreshing.

— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) March 2, 2020

Ovation TV, which had broadcast Inside The Actors Studio following Lipton’s retirement, said he would be remembered “for his passion, dogged spirit, and indelible contribution to the world of performing arts”.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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