James Lipton, an actor-turned-academic who became an unlikely celebrity and got hundreds of master actors and Hollywood luminaries to open up about their craft as the longtime host of Inside the Actors Studio, died Monday.
Lipton died of bladder cancer at his New York home, his wife, Kedakai Lipton, told the New York Times and the Hollywood Reporter. He was 93.
The Detroit-born Lipton began the Bravo show in 1994 that also served as a class for his students at the Actors Studio, where he was then dean.
He often said his only requirement for a guest was whether they had something to teach his students. His first guest, Paul Newman, set a standard of stardom for those that would follow, including Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Glenn Close, Steven Spielberg and Barbra Streisand.
Lipton was known, and often parodied, for his highbrow and sometimes worshipful tone with his subjects, and for his intensive preparation, represented by a stack of blue notecards that held his meticulously researched questions. When Will Ferrell played Lipton on Saturday Night Live the stack of cards was nearly a foot thick.
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