Scoop: ‘Actors Studio’s’ James Lipton tells his own story

James Lipton talks about “Inside the Actors Studio” with The Hollywood Reporter. (Jordan Strauss/ Invision/AP)

James Lipton talks about “Inside the Actors Studio” with The Hollywood Reporter. (Jordan Strauss/ Invision/AP)

James Lipton, the beloved “Inside the Actors Studio” host who turns 90 on Sept. 19, talks about his life in a fun Hollwood Reporter podcast with Scott Feinberg (a fine interviewer who cites Lipton as an inspiration).

The dean-emeritus of The Actors Studio Drama School said he would have someone “pull the trigger on a gun pointed at his head” before predicting that “The Actors Studio” would be viewed in 125 countries and, with 16 Emmy nominations, be the fifth most nominated series in TV history.

The series remains strong and steady, with guests including Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, Jeff Daniels, Sarah Silverman, Christopher Meloni and the cast of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” slated for the 21st season.

Lipton — who grew up poor in Detroit — was a radio actor, in the Air Force, a pimp in Europe, an acting student of Stella Adler, a writer and a producer working on charity events like the Bob Hope birthday specials before his Actors Studio teaching days.

The bespectacled interviewer (famously impersonated by Will Ferrell on “SNL”) claims the show’s success is because craft is the only topic up for discussion; his most memorable interviews were with Steven Spielberg, Jack Lemmon and Bradley Cooper.

He gives his own answers to the infamous Bernard Pivot questions with which he closes every “Actors Studio” show.


The S.F. Arts Commission announced that two public art projects in The City (selected from more than 250) have been honored by the national nonprofit Americans for the Arts. “Spiral of Gratitude, a dramatic glass cylinder and skylight is a memorial to fallen police officers in new Public Safety Building on Third Street, created by Shimon Attie, Vale Bruck and poet Margo Perrin. “Voyage” is an awesome glass mural by San Francisco-based Val Britton (in the San Francisco International Airport) that depicts “an imaginary panoramic space in continuous flux.”


Chelsea Clinton, who gave birth to son Aidan on Saturday, left a New York hospital with her husband Marc Mezvinsky on Monday. … An auction house is expecting a lock of David Bowie’s hair to sell for $4,000 in Southern California. … The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that rolled down a driveway and killed actor Anton Yelchin was a model that Fiat Chrysler recalled due to a gearshift that led some drivers to accidentally leave the car in neutral, thinking it was in park.


Singer Lana Del Rey is 31. … Singer Kris Allen is 31. … Whistleblower Edward Snowden is 33. … Singer Brandon Flowers of The Killers is 35. … Actress Juliette Lewis is 43. … Singer Kathy Mattea is 57. … Guitarist Nils Lofgren is 65. … Actor Michael Gross is 69. … Actress Meredith Baxter is 69. … Musician Ray Davies of The Kinks is 72. ,,, Actor Bernie Kopell is 83.

— Staff, wire reports

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