James Lipton died on Monday at the age of 93

By Alexia Fernández
March 02, 2020 04:35 PM
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James Lipton‘s impact on Hollywood is being felt in the wake of his death at 93.

The executive producer, writer and host of Inside The Actors Studio died on Monday at his Manhattan home from bladder cancer, his wife Kendekai Turner, told The New York Times.

Lipton created the memorable and iconic Bravo show in 1994 and worked on it for 25 years until he stepped down in September 2018.

Memorable friends of his, including guests and those who took over hosting duties after he stepped away, shared their tributes on social media, remembering his legacy, his wit and his love for the craft of acting.

Andy Cohen, who oversaw programming at Bravo when the show was on the air, was one of the first to tweet, sharing his memories of Lipton on Twitter, writing, “#JamesLipton was a warm, meticulous man with a great appreciation of the arts and wicked sense of humor. He was the face of Bravo who delivered us one-of-a-kind interviews with a breadth of superstars. He was always so kind to me… (cont.)”

“2. when he found out how much I love Diana Ross, he insisted on taking me to see her in concert,” Cohen continued. “He really cared about what he did. If you got booked on his show, it meant you’d made it, and had the talent to back it up. What a good guy. James Lipton will be missed.”

CNN’s Jake Tapper also tweeted, “RIP James Lipton, we loved having you come on our show to share your love of TV and film.”

Jane Lynch, who was one of the stars tapped to host the show after Lipton stepped down, tweeted, “Oh, my heart. I too worked with him on Arrested Development. He revered actors and the process. And what a wonderful guy. He will missed. #RipJamesLipton.”

Jeff Daniels wrote, “R.I.P. James Lipton. He made you want to tell him everything.”

Geraldo Rivera also posted a tribute on social media, tweeting, “#JamesLipton of Actors Studio was a great gentleman who unpeeled the profession’s onion with grace and skill. RIP.”

This Is Us star Susan Kelechi Watson commemorated Lipton, writing, “I dreamed of one day being interviewed by you. Glad I got to fangirl you 2 years ago. Your show made a tremendous impact. Thank you, #JamesLipton. Rest well. #RipJamesLipton.”

Inside the Actors Studio focused on in-depth interviews with famous actors and actresses about their craft and careers. Lipton interviewed over 200 guests on the show, which began with Paul Newman who served as the Actors Studio president at the time.

The series has been nominated for 20 Emmy Awards in the outstanding informational series or special category and received the Emmy in 2013.

Inside the Actor's Studio
James Lipton and George Clooney
| Credit: Anthony Behar/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank

A-list actors who have appeared on the show include George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Al Pacino, Barbara Streisand, Clint Eastwood, as well as directors such as Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg.

In June 2016, Lipton told Steve Adubato in an interview about his favorite moment on the show, saying, “For decades, I was asked what guest do you want the most? You know what my answer was? The night that one of our graduated students has achieved so much that he comes back to our stage and sits next to me as my guest. And Bradley was the one.”

Lipton often ended his interviews with the famous Proust questionnaire — a list of 10 personality questions that delved into favorite words, quirks and what they imagined God would say to them if they entered Heaven.

In May 2012, Lipton was asked during an interview on CNN, “If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates, James Lipton?”

He replied, “You see, Jim, you were wrong. I exist. But, you may come in anyway.”