Michigan Native, ‘Actor’s Studio’ Host James Lipton Dead at 93
It was a career that started in radio in Detroit in the 1940's, included both acting, writing and producing in to the 20-teens, but was made famous by simply asking questions. James Lipton, best known for "Inside The Actor's Studio" has died at the age of 93.
Lipton was born in Detroit in 1926, the son of intellectual and journalist Lawrence Lipton. Detroit was where he got his first taste of fame, when he portrayed Dan Reid, the nephew of The Lone Ranger, which was produced in Detroit at WXYZ Radio.
After moving to New York, he planned to be a lawyer, and used acting to pay for his education. He became a soap opera actor and a prolific writer for some of the biggest and longest running soap operas. He also produced specials for comedy legend Bob Hope.
But it was in 1994, that his biggest fame came. According to wikipedia, "Lipton created a project within the Actors Studio Drama School: a non-credit class called Inside the Actors Studio, where successful and accomplished actors, directors and writers would be interviewed and would answer questions from acting students. These sessions are also taped, edited, and broadcast on television for the general public to see. The episodes are viewed in 89 million homes throughout 125 countries. Lipton hosted the show and conducted the main interview."
And the signature end to the main interview was French journalist Bernard Pivot's TenQuestions:
- What is your favorite word?
- What is your least favorite word?
- What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
- What turns you off?
- What is your favorite curse word?
- What sound or noise do you love?
- What sound or noise do you hate?
- What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
- What profession would you not like to do?
- If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?