James Lipton Wiki – Biography
James Lipton was an American writer, lyricist, actor and dean emeritus of the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University in New York City. He was the executive producer, writer and host of the Bravo cable television series Inside the Actors Studio, which debuted in 1994. He retired from the show in 2018.
James Lipton, the host of “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” has died at the age of 93. His wife, Kedakai Turner, confirmed his passing speaking to TMZ. Lipton retired from hosting the iconic show in 2018. Its first episode premiered in 2018. Famously, Lipton would conclude his interviews by asking his subject 10 questions inspired by French talk show host Bernard Pivot. The final of which was, “If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?”
Turner told TMZ, “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.” Lipton had been the dean emeritus of the Actros Studio Drama School at Pace University.
Lipton was a native of Detroit, Michigan, where he was born in September 1926. His parents, Lawrence and Betty Lipton were the descendants of Eastern European Jews.
James Lipton, who was best known for his in-depth interviews of celebrities as the host of “Inside the Actors Studio,” has died https://t.co/5T1QLuDlh3
— New York Times Arts (@nytimesarts) March 2, 2020
James Lipton Age
He was 93 years old.
Early Life and Career
Lipton was born on September 19, 1926, in Detroit, Michigan, the only child of Betty (née Weinberg), a teacher and librarian, and Lawrence Lipton, a journalist and beat poet. Noted as the author of the popular Beat Generation chronicle The Holy Barbarians, Lawrence was a graphic designer, a columnist for the Jewish Daily Forward and a publicity director for a movie theater. Lawrence was a Polish Jewish immigrant (from Łódź), while Betty’s parents were Russian Jews. His parents divorced when Lipton was six, and his father abandoned the family.
Lipton’s family struggled financially, and he started to work at age 13. He worked in high school as a newspaper copy boy for the Detroit Times, and an actor in the Catholic Theater of Detroit and in radio. After graduating from Central High School in Detroit, he attended Wayne State University for one year in the mid-1940s and enlisted in the United States Air Force.
Lipton portrayed Dan Reid, the Lone Ranger’s nephew, on WXYZ Radio’s The Lone Ranger. He initially studied to be a lawyer in New York, and turned to acting to finance his education. He wrote for several soap operas: Another World, The Edge of Night, Guiding Light, The Best of Everything, Return to Peyton Place and Capitol.
He also acted for over ten years on The Guiding Light. Lipton studied two and half years with Stella Adler, four years with Harold Clurman, and two years with Robert Lewis. He also started studying voice and dance (including modern dance and classical ballet), and choreographed a ballet for the American Ballet Theatre.
In 1951, he appeared in the Broadway play The Autumn Garden by Lillian Hellman. He portrayed a shipping clerk turned gang member in Joseph Strick’s 1953 film, The Big Break, a crime drama. He was the librettist and lyricist for the short-lived 1967 Broadway musical Sherry!, based on the Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman play The Man Who Came to Dinner, with music by his childhood friend Laurence Rosenthal. The score and orchestrations were lost for over 30 years, and the original cast was never recorded. In 2003, a studio cast recording (with Nathan Lane, Bernadette Peters, Carol Burnett, Tommy Tune, Mike Myers and others) renewed interest in the show.
His book, An Exaltation of Larks, was first published in 1968, and has been in-print and revised several times since then, including a 1993 Penguin Books edition. The book is a collection of “terms of venery”, both real and created by Lipton himself. The dust jacket biography for the first edition of Exaltation said his activities included fencing, swimming, and equestrian pursuits and that he had written two Broadway productions.
Between 1954 and 1959, Lipton was married to actress Nina Foch. He has been married to Kedakai Turner Lipton, a model and real estate broker, since 1970. Kedakai Turner Lipton is well known as the model playing Miss Scarlett on the cover of the popular boardgame Clue. She was the book and illustration designer for James Lipton’s book, An Exaltation of Larks, The Ultimate Edition.
In the 200th episode of Inside the Actors Studio, Lipton revealed that he is an atheist. He also revealed that during the 1950s, he had been a procurer of prostitutes in Paris.
Lipton has stated in interviews that he is a pilot, certified in Airplane Single Engine Land planes. He has been flying since 1980 and learned in a Cessna 152 and 172, at Van Nuys Airport. As of 2013, he had logged more than 1,000 hours of flight time. Lipton is a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Cause of Death
James Lipton, the elegant, articulate wordsmith and theater academic whose desire to give his acting students a greater insight into their art led to the popular Bravo series Inside the Actors Studio, has died, his wife Kedakai Turner told TMZ. He was 93.
“Inside the Actors Studio” host and veteran TV writer James Lipton has died … TMZ has learned.
Lipton passed away peacefully Monday morning at his New York City home. His wife, Kedakai Turner, tells TMZ James had been battling bladder cancer. She adds, “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.”
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