Hollywood pays tribute following the death of James Lipton, host of 'Inside The Actors Studio', at 93

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
·3-min read
***FILE PHOTO*** James Lipton Has Passed Away. James Lipton attends the 'Joy' New York premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on December 13, 2015 in New York. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/MediaPunch /IPX
James Lipton (MediaPunch/IPX)

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

He had been suffering from bladder cancer, and died at his home in Manhattan.

Taking on the interview series in 1994, it allowed Lipton access to the biggest names in Hollywood, thanks to its connection to the famous New York acting school, the home of 'method acting', and were intended as a kind of masterclass for its students.

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With an encyclopedic knowledge of his subjects, Lipton presided over the show for 22 seasons on the Bravo network, eventually retiring from the show in 2018.

Famously, Lipton's interviews, which often played to the vanity of his subjects – and was occasionally affectionately lampooned, Lipton providing his own voice on The Simpsons – and could last for hours, more than four in the case of Steven Spielberg in 1999.

In all, he interviewed 74 Oscar winners, and on the 200th edition of the show, was the interview subject himself, asking comedian Dave Chappelle to put him under the spotlight.

Alec Baldwin was his first interviewee, followed by Paul Newman, and then the likes of Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Peter Falk, Barbra Streisand, Martin Sheen, Shirley Maclaine and Gene Hackman.

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Famously, a young Bradley Cooper appeared in the audience to ask a question during Sean Penn's interview with Lipton, and then later became an interview subject himself.

Originally planning to study law, he began acting to pay his tuition fees. But Lipton fared better as a writer, penning plays and soap episodes.

His fame on the Actors Studio then later bought him cameo roles on comedy shows like The Simpsons and Arrested Development, and he was further lampooned by Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live and targeted by Sacha Baron Cohen on Da Ali G Show.

Many actors and other broadcasters – not to mention his beloved ice hockey team, the New York Rangers – have paid tribute to Lipton following the news of his death.