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Hollywood stars and public figures took to social media to pay tribute to actor and theater academic James Lipton, who died Monday from bladder cancer. He was 93.
Lipton’s wife, Kedakai Mercedes Lipton, issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter following his death: “He lived each day as if it were his last. His work was his passion, loved what he did and all the people he worked with. He empowered people to do their best and hopefully his spirit, curiosity and passion will live on.”
Lipton was best known for his work on Bravo’s Inside the Actors Studio, which he created to serve as a thinly disguised master class for the students of the Actors Studio Drama School. Each one-hour program featured a top performer in an intimate interview with Lipton.
With Paul Newman serving as the show’s first guest, Inside the Actors Studio featured nearly 300 subjects that shared the secrets of their craft with Lipton and his audience of students. The show became one of cable’s longest-running series.
Lipton stopped hosting the show in 2018 when it moved from Bravo to Ovation TV.
“James Lipton was a titan of the film and entertainment industry and had a profound influence on so many,” Frances Berwick, president of NBCU Lifestyle Networks and home to Bravo, said in a statement. “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. 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 of his family.”
Andy Cohen, who reacted to Lipton’s death on Twitter, remembered Lipton as “a warm, meticulous man with a great appreciation of the arts and wicked sense of humor.” Added Cohen, “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.” In a second tweet, Cohen recalled Lipton inviting him to see Diana Ross in concert after learning that he was a fan. “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,” he concluded.
Piers Morgan also took to Twitter to remember Lipton. “Interviewed all the greats, and did so with such skill, intelligence & charm. An absolute master of his craft, always so well prepared. His favourite actor? Charlie Chaplin. Why? ‘He was the best, a genius,'” Morgan captioned a photo of the two of them during an interview.
Melissa Fumero tweeted that she always had “a soft spot” for Lipton. “Not only because I’m an acting nerd & loved his show, but mostly for the beautiful & comforting eulogy he gave at my acting teacher/mentor Doug Moston’s memorial,” the actress wrote.
Read on to see what other stars had to say about Lipton.
2. when he found out how much I love Diana Ross, he insisted on taking me to see her in concert. 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.
— Andy Cohen (@Andy) March 2, 2020
He built the Actors Studio, and he will be sorely missed. Rest in peace, James Lipton.https://t.co/hG7mYbUaPi
— Bravo (@BravoTV) March 2, 2020
RIP James Lipton, 93, host of “Inside The Actors Studio.”
Interviewed all the greats, and did so with such skill , intelligence & charm. An absolute master of his craft, always so well prepared.
His favourite actor? Charlie Chaplin.
Why? ‘He was the best, a genius.’ pic.twitter.com/hSfcsrz4QD
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 2, 2020
— Al Jean (@AlJean) March 2, 2020
James Lipton was so funny in Arrested Development, if you haven’t seen it I recommend you do, RIP https://t.co/DjOGIlxvE9
— Nicola Coughlan (@nicolacoughlan) March 2, 2020
Always had a soft spot for #JamesLipton, not only because I’m an acting nerd & loved his show, but mostly for the beautiful & comforting eulogy he gave at my acting teacher/mentor Doug Moston’s memorial. #RIP https://t.co/ag1o149E4u
— Melissa Fumero (@melissafumero) March 2, 2020
RIP to #JamesLipton . Thank you for your contribution to the craft of acting and for sharing your passion with all of us
— Keesha Sharp (@keeshasharp) March 2, 2020
#RIP James Lipton. Thoughts and prayers to his family and friends. “Inside the Actors Studio” was quite the show.
— Adina Porter (@AdinaPorter) March 2, 2020
RIP James Lipton, we loved having you come on our show to share your love of TV and filmhttps://t.co/vjgmNX4gt7
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 2, 2020
“No, James, this is where I ask YOU the questions.” – St Peter, to James Lipton, who just asked what was Peter’s favorite curse word.
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) March 2, 2020
We honor the legacy of James Lipton, whose prolific television career spanned over 65 years. He’s remembered by most for his #Emmy-winning work on “Inside the Actors Studio,” but today?—we’re reminded of the value of a life spent listening. pic.twitter.com/nz62zs9r8L
— Television Academy (@TelevisionAcad) March 2, 2020
You were always one of us and you were always there for us.
You will be missed, James Lipton. pic.twitter.com/CfDB8PU1uR
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 2, 2020
Very sad to hear of the passing of my friend and great guy James Lipton. We got to know each other on the set of the Apprentice in 2012 and from then on he was kind enough to make bringing my kids and me with his family to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular an annual tradition. pic.twitter.com/uaEsu2piUu
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 2, 2020
I adore James Lipton. Unique, witty, and the most wonderful interviewer. His legacy lives on with “Inside the Actor’s Studio.” Thank you for so many inspirational moments. RIP. pic.twitter.com/vqB0IlI0eQ
— Ming-Na Wen (@MingNa) March 2, 2020
If you’ve never watched Inside The Actor’s Studio I can’t tell you how magical it was. I loved watching it as a young person who loved storytelling. James Lipton was such a G for creating a space for things like this to happen. https://t.co/cVRepCpC1m
— Jenn Kaytin Robinson (@JennKaytin) March 2, 2020
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