Surprising Facts About James Lipton 'Inside The Actors Studio' Host Who Has Died At 93

James Lipton, the host behind Bravo's popular interview show, Inside the Actors Studio, passed away from bladder cancer at the age of 93. Since the show's premiere in 1994, Lipton has interviewed about 300 guests, ranging from the late Robin Williams to Dave Chappelle. Here are some surprising facts you might not have known about the former Guiding Light soap opera star.

In front of a studio audience, the students at the Actors Studio Drama School would observe Lipton and his guest discuss the craft of acting. Lipton himself would do the research required for his intensive interviews. Paul Newman (The Sting) was the first guest to be interviewed on the Bravo show; according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Arrested Development

On the Fox comedy, Arrested Development, Lipton appeared as Warden Stefan Gentles. As the warden of Orange County Prison, where George Bluth (Jeffrey Tambor) was incarcerated in the first season. Stefan spent his free time daydreaming about becoming a screenwriter. Gentles also sought to have an affair with George's wife, Lucille Bluth (Jessica Walter).

James Lipton
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: James Lipton attends the 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic) Getty/Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Lipton reprised the role once more when the ensemble reunited for the show's fourth season on Netflix.

In an interview with HuffPost, Lipton described the cast, "They're an extraordinary bunch. And we had a wonderful time reuniting. There we were in the makeup room and suddenly, we were alive again. It was heaven. It's a great show."

Dave Chappelle

Back in 2006, Chappelle came on Lipton's show as a guest to discuss why he left the popular The Chappelle Show. For the 200th episode Chappelle returned, only this time he was asking the questions, interviewing Lipton! Outside of the show, the two hip-hop music lovers even attended a Jay-Z concert together, per Uproxx.

Will Ferrell

Donning a fake beard and round glasses, Will Ferrell (Elf) imitated Lipton's booming voice during a Saturday Night Live sketch in 2000. Lipton himself admitted he was a fan of Ferrell's spot-on imitation.

In a CNN video interview from 2012, Lipton said he not only loved the impression; he also added, "I think he's got me cold, the rat."


Lipton wrote the book and lyrics to the Broadway musical, Sherry!, which is considered a theatrical flop.Sherry! ended its Broadway run to poor reviews after just 72 performances. In a 2004 interview with The New York Times, Lipton mentioned that the music sheets were burned after the sets were moved.

Lipton revealed, 'When the score was lost, Larry [Rosenthal] and I realized we would never know if this work was good, because so much had been changed before we reached Broadway.''

Bradley Cooper

After interviewing 300 guests, Lipton picked out the one that stood out to him. Bradley Cooper happened to be one of his students at the Actors Studio Drama School.

In the 2017 video interview with Larry King, Lipton remembered, "The night that one of my students has achieved so much that he or she comes back and sits down in that chair next to me would be the night that I've waited for since we started this thing 23 years ago. And it turned out to be Bradley Cooper."