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James Lipton, Host of ‘Inside the Actors Studio,’ Dead at 93

James Lipton, who hosted Inside the Actors Studio on Bravo, died March 2 in Manhattan. He’d battled bladder cancer. He was 93.

Lipton hosted Inside the Actors Studio for 23 seasons. He departed when the show shifted from Bravo to Ovation TV in 2019. Guests on the program included Paul Newman, Sally Field, John Goodman, Carol Burnett, Alan Alda, Jim Carrey, David Chappelle, Julia Roberts and countless other performance luminaries.

Lipton’s association with the Actors Studio began in 1992, said the New York Times, when he was invited to observe a session of the workshop. A notable producer at the time, Lipton helped create a master of fine arts program whose tuition would support the Actors Studio. The program began in 1994, added the NY Times, in partnership with the New School in Manhattan, with Lipton the chairman and later the dean. It moved to Pace University in 2006.

Inside the Actors Studio was nominated for 21 Primetime Emmys. In 2013 it won for outstanding informational series or special.

Lipton was born in Detroit in 1926, son of Beat poet Lawrence Lipton and teacher Elizabeth Lipton.

After a stint in the Air Force, Lipton moved to New York and studied acting. His roles included Dr. Dick Grant in Guiding Light. He wrote for soap operas, plays and movies, and authored a few books as well.

Lipton went on to production, overseeing President Jimmy Carter’s inaugural gala and several birthday special telecasts for Bob Hope, before he shifted to Inside the Actors Studio. 

Michael Malone
Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.