James Lipton is widely known as the creator, executive-producer, writer and host of Inside the Actors Studio, which is seen in 94 million American homes on Bravo and in 125 countries, and has been recognized with a record seventeen Emmy nominations.
For twenty years, Mr. Lipton has brought to the series his experience as actor, director and producer in theater, film and television, choreographer, playwright, lyricist, screen-writer, author of both fiction and non-fiction, and academician.
He has been responsible as writer and executive-producer for some of television's most celebrated specials, among them Jimmy Carter's Inaugural Gala, the first Presidential concert ever televised; twelve Bob Hope Birthday Specials, reaching record-breaking audiences; and The Road to China, the first American entertainment program from the People’s Republic.
On NBC TV, he was the writer and producer of Mirrors, adapted by him from his novel; and he created the story and teleplay for Copacabana, which was chosen by TV Guide as one of the year’s ten best TV films.
On Broadway, Mr. Lipton wrote the book and lyrics of two musicals, Nowhere to Go but Up, and Sherry!, which was based on Kaufman and Hart’s The Man Who Came to Dinner. In 2005, he revisited Sherry!, producing a cast album for Angel Records, starring Nathan Lane, Bernadette Peters, Carol Burnett, Tommy Tune and Mike Myers.
In addition to his novel Mirrors, which reflected his experience in the world of dance and dancers, he is the author of the non-fiction classic An Exaltation of Larks, which has been in print since its publication in 1968, and prompted Newsweek's book critic to write, "If there were an English Academy, Lipton would surely deserve election."
In October, 2007, Mr. Lipton's memoir 'Inside Inside,' was published by Dutton to critical acclaim. An account of his experiences as founding dean of the Actors Studio Drama School of Pace University and creator and host of Inside the Actors Studio, it put Mr. Lipton in the guest chair, to reveal with the same candor he demands of his guests the events and people who have shaped his life, prompting author Jay McInerney to write, "With all due respect to the actors and actresses he has famously interviewed, James Lipton is as interesting a character as any of them. Happily, he has the wit, erudition, and storytelling skills to do justice to his own amazing story."
Mr. Lipton’s approach to his duties as host of Inside the Actors Studio -- the more than four hundred blue cards, the focus on craft -- has inspired imitation and parody, notably by Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live and beyond. That led to Mr. Lipton's role in the film Bewitched with Mr. Ferrell, as well as to 34 appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, to a recurring role on Arrested Development, in its first run and its next one, acting appearances on According to Jim, Suburgatory, Joey, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Glee, and in the animated features Igor and Bolt. In addition to his appearances with Conan, he has appeared on virtually every talk show -- with Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson. Jimmy Kimmel, Larry King, Charlie Rose and the women of The View -- and on Saturday Night Live; on The Celebrity Apprentice as Donald Trump’s Board Room Advisor; with Snoop Dogg on the 2013 Hip Hop Awards, and in the 2013 finale of America's Got Talent, in a comedy sketch with one of the contestants.
During the 2012 presidential campaign, his Newsweek piece on the intersection of politics and performance, 'How to Act Human,' attracted so much attention that it propelled him back into the political arena with regular appearances on virtually every news network and program to appraise the candidates' performances, from the primaries to the election, a role that has continued as each breaking show business story, a death, a triumph, a tragedy, summons him back to the television news desks for his comments and opinions.
His commercials for Geico, DirecTV, Toyota, the LG Give It a Ponder campaign against cyber-bullying, and the 2013 Intel Ultrabook campaign have made him an even more familiar face on every television screen in America.
Mr. Lipton is an avid horseman and pilot, has received three honorary Ph.D.s, is a recipient of the French Republic's Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres, has been inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame, and has been awarded the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Lifetime Achievement Emmy.
He has received three Producer Guild Award nominations as Producer of the Year for Non-Fiction Television
In September, 2013, Mr. Lipton received the Emmy for Inside the Actors Studio, which the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences members voted the Outstanding Informational Series.
In 2014, he received his seventeenth Emmy nomination, making Inside the Actors Studio the fifth most nominated prime-time television series in the history of television, behind only American Masters, The Simpsons, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and Saturday Night Live.
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James Lipton sits down with Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Radnor and Co. on March 27.
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Test your knowledge with our Instagram clues.
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Watch the Actors Studio host's hilarious spot at the BET Awards.