Lipton, the dean emeritus of the Actors School who died Monday of bladder cancer, hosted the Bravo staple for nearly 25 years, from 1994 until he stepped down in September 2018 ahead of the show's reboot on Ovation. Lipton interviewed nearly 300 guests, starting with then-Actors Studio president Paul Newman. Inside the Actors Studio was nominated for 20 Emmys, winning one for Outstanding Informational Series or Special in 2013. Lipton often ended his show with the Proust questionnaire and was famously parodied by Will Ferrell on SNL. In a 2016 interview with The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast, Lipton said: "If you had put a gun to my head and said, 'I will pull the trigger unless you predict that in 23 years, Inside the Actors Studio will be viewed in 94 million homes in America on Bravo and in 125 countries around the world, that it will have received 16 Emmy nominations, making it the fifth most-nominated series in the history of television, that it will have received an Emmy Award for outstanding informational series and that you will have received the Critics' Choice Award for best reality series host — predict it or die,' I would have said, 'Pull the trigger.'" Bravo's Andy Cohen paid tribute, tweeting that Lipton "was a warm, meticulous man with a great appreciation of the arts and wicked sense of humor. 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....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." ALSO: James Lipton loved Will Ferrell's SNL impression of him. “I have never been so grateful in my life as I am to Will Ferrell,” Lipton said on Watch What Happens Live.
TOPICS: James Lipton, Bravo, Inside the Actors Studio, Saturday Night Live, Andy Cohen, Will Ferrell, Obits