James Lipton, best known for creating and hosting Inside the Actors Studio, died on Monday, March 2. He was 93.
Ovation TV, the network that Inside the Actors Studio aired on, confirmed the news on Monday. “Beloved Inside the #ActorsStudio host James Lipton has died at 93,” they tweeted. “We’ll miss him dearly, but we wish him peace as he arrives at those pearly gates. 💙 #RestInPeace.”
Lipton’s wife, Kedakai Turner, revealed to TMZ that the host had been battling bladder cancer. “There are so many James Lipton stories but I’m sure he would like to be remembered as someone who loved what he did and had tremendous respect for all the people he worked with,” she said.
Frances Berwick, President of NBCU Lifestyle Networks, also mourned the icon. “James Lipton was a titan of the film and entertainment industry and had a profound influence on so many. I had the pleasure of working with Jim for 20 years on Bravo’s first original series, his pride and joy Inside the Actors Studio,” she said in a statement to Us Weekly. “We all enjoyed and respected his fierce passion, contributions to the craft, comprehensive research and his ability to bring the most intimate interviews ever conducted with A-list actors across generations. Bravo and NBCUniversal send our deepest condolences to Jim’s wife Kedakai and all his family.“
The series began on Bravo in 1994. He hosted 22 seasons — 269 episodes — all taped at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University in New York City. He retired from the show in 2018. In October 2019, season 23 debuted on Ovation and guest hosts took over each week.
Lipton served as dean of the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University. Additionally, he was a writer, lyricist and actor. He appeared in episodes of Arrested Development, Joey, According to Jim, Glee and Suburgatory.
In 2007, he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmy Awards. In 2013, he won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Series or Special for Inside the Actors Studio.
In 2016, Lipton opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about his impressive career. “If you had put a gun to my head and said, ‘I will pull the trigger unless you predict that in 23 years, Inside the Actors Studio will be viewed in 94 million homes in America on Bravo and in 125 countries around the world, that it will have received 16 Emmy nominations, making it the fifth most-nominated series in the history of television, that it will have received an Emmy Award for outstanding informational series and that you will have received the Critics’ Choice Award for best reality series host — predict it or die,’ I would have said, ‘Pull the trigger,'” he told the magazine at the time.
He is survived by his wife.
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