James Lipton Dies from Bladder Cancer at the Age Of 93

“He empowered people to do their best, and hopefully his spirit, curiosity and passion will live on.”


James Lipton, an American writer, lyricist, and actor, died after battling bladder cancer at the age of 93.

He was the dean emeritus of the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University in New York City.

Lipton’s wife, Kedakai, told The Hollywood Reporter that he died early Monday at his home in Manhattan from bladder cancer.

In a statement, Kedakai said, “He lived each day as if it were his last. His work was his passion, loved what he did and all the people he worked with. He empowered people to do their best, and hopefully his spirit, curiosity and passion will live on.”

Lipton served the Inside the Actors Studio since 1994, which was created to grant Master of Fine Arts degrees in acting, directing, and playwriting. More than 300 subjects, including many Emmy and Oscar winners, shared the secrets of their craft with Lipton.

President of NBCU Lifestyle Networks Frances Berwick said on Monday, “James Lipton was a titan of the film and entertainment industry and had a profound influence on so many.”

“I had the pleasure of working with Jim for 20 years on Bravo’s first original series, his pride, and joy Inside the Actors Studio,” she added. “We all enjoyed and respected his fierce passion, contributions to the craft, comprehensive research and his ability to bring the most intimate interviews ever conducted with A-list actors across generations.”

“Bravo and NBCUniversal send our deepest condolences to Jim’s wife, Kedakai, and all of his family,” added Berwick.

For Lipton, Inside the Actors Studio was the culmination of a lengthy career that began in radio and included stints as a scriptwriter, choreographer, actor, lyricist, author, producer, and academic.

He was married twice. He was married to actress Nina Foch from 1954 to 1959, which ended in divorce. He married Kedakai in 1970.

Lipton was born on September 19, 1926, in Detroit.

His family struggled financially so he started to work at the age of 13. He worked in high school as a newspaper copy boy for the Detroit Times and as an actor in the Catholic Theater of Detroit.

He graduated from Central High School in Detroit and then attended Wayne State University for a year in the mid-1940s and enlisted in the United States Air Force.

Lipton once stated in an interview that he was a pilot, certified in Airplane Single Engine Land planes. He had been flying since 1980 and learned in a Cessna 152 and 172, at Van Nuys Airport. He was a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.