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.
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.
Remembering James Lipton 1926-2020 ❤️— The Emmys (@TheEmmys) March 2, 2020
Lipton was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2007 Creative Arts & Entertainment Emmy Awards. Reflect on his impressive life and career by revisiting the moment. #RipJamesLipton pic.twitter.com/ke55ELfcdS
There is no word to describe James Lipton's perfection, so I am forced to make one up and I’m going to do so right now... Scrumtrulescent.— Mark Duplass (@MarkDuplass) March 2, 2020
RIP James Lipton. “Inside the Actors Studio“ always such a treat. What an amazing insight he leaves us. https://t.co/c1osZPLXv7— Reece Shearsmith (@ReeceShearsmith) March 2, 2020
You were always one of us and you were always there for us.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 2, 2020
You will be missed, James Lipton. pic.twitter.com/CfDB8PU1uR