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'Inside the Actors Studio' host James Lipton dies

Inside the Actors Studio creator and host James Lipton died Monday. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
"Inside the Actors Studio" creator and host James Lipton died Monday. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

March 2 (UPI) -- James Lipton, creator and host of Inside the Actors Studio, died Monday of bladder cancer at age 93. His wife, Kedakai Mercedes Lipton, confirmed the news to The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter. He has no other immediate family.

Inside the Actors Studio began airing in 1994 on Bravo. Lipton would interview famous actors for his students at the acting school. Guests included Robin Williams, Paul Newman, James Gandolfini, Halle Berry, Meryl Streep, Jack Lemmon, Julia Roberts, Scarlett Johansson and many more for 23 seasons.

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Lipton would probe actors in depth about their craft and their memorable roles. He would conclude with a series of stock questions including "What is your favorite curse word?"

Ovation relaunched Inside the Actors Studio in September with guest hosts Alec Baldwin, Jane Lynch and Ellen Burstyn.

Lipton joined the Actors Studio in 1992, where he created a masters of fine arts program to generate tuition for the Studio. The program began in 1994, with the broadcast celebrity interviews generating publicity for it.

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Lipton also performed himself. He had a stint on the soap Guiding Light from 1953-1962. He played himself in the Bewitched movie, an episode of The Simpsons and more. Most recently, he played prison warden Stefan Gentles on Arrested Development.

Prior to television and film, Lipton voiced The Lone Ranger's nephew in the radio series. He enlisted in the Air Force in World War II. He also wrote book and lyrics for musicals such as Nowhere to Go But Up and Sherry!

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Richard "Dick" Thornburgh, former attorney general of the United States and former governor of Pennsylvania, takes a seat at the witness hearing after U.S. Chief Justice nominee Judge John Roberts testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 15, 2005. Thornburgh died on December 31 at age 88. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

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