James Lipton

Actor / Host


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his hour-and-a-half interview, James Lipton (1926-2020) talks about his early years, and his very first acting role on the radio version of “The Lone Ranger.” He describes moving to New York City, and studying acting under Stella Adler, while appearing on the daytime drama Guiding Light, and making guest appearances on shows such as You Are There.  He recounts Irna Phillips making him head writer of Another World, and writing the Broadway musicals “Nowhere to Go But Up” and “Sherry!.” He speaks of producing Jimmy Carter’s Inaugural Gala, as well as a series of Bob Hope birthday specials, including Happy Birthday, Bob, which featured then-president Ronald Reagan. He details creating a formal degree program for The Actors Studio, from which sprung his show Inside the Actors Studio. He chronicles his interview technique for that show, as well as the exhaustive research that goes into it. Jim Colucci conducted the interview on April 30, 2009 in New York City.

What we’re doing on 'Inside the Actors Studio' is giving students a telescope to look ahead and see what this road is like. The perils, the glories, the heartbreak, the triumphs, the difficulties, the necessities, the hard work, the rewards. I think that is the reason why it has succeeded as well as it has." 

People Talking About ...
Highlights
James Lipton on appearing on "The Lone Ranger" radio show at age 12
James Lipton on appearing on You Are There as several historical figures
James Lipton on producing the Bob Hope special Happy Birthday, Bob with then-president Ronald Reagan as a guest
James Lipton on the creation of Inside the Actors Studio which eventually set a record for Emmy nominations
James Lipton on his interviewing technique on Inside the Actors Studio
James Lipton on writing the 1968 Broadway musical "Sherry!" based on "The Man Who Came to Dinner"
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on appearing on "The Lone Ranger" radio show at age 12
On moving to New York City, and studying acting with Stella Adler at The Actors Studio; on his earliest acting roles, and on appearing on daytime dramas early in his career; on playing "Dr. Dick Grant" on Guiding Light
On appearing on You Are There as several historical figures; on the Hollywood Blacklist; on his time on Guiding Light, and on being hired to write for Another World by Irna Phillips
On writing and directing the 1962 Broadway musical "Nowhere to Go But Up"; on writing the 1968 Broadway musical "Sherry!" based on "The Man Who Came to Dinner"

Chapter 2

On producing Jimmy Carter's Inaugural Gala, the first televised inaugural gala; on the lineup for Jimmy Carter's Inaugural Gala, and on Carter's reaction to it
On producing birthday specials for Bob Hope; on producing the Bob Hope special Happy Birthday, Bob with then-president Ronald Reagan as a guest
On creating a formal degree program for The Actors Studio, which led to Inside the Actors Studio; on the creation of Inside the Actors Studio which eventually set a record for Emmy nominations
On hosting Inside the Actors Studio, and on the fame that resulted; on his interviewing technique on Inside the Actors Studio; on the research that goes into Inside the Actors Studio
Shows

Another World

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James Lipton on his time on Guiding Light, and on being hired to write for Another World by Irna Phillips
James Lipton on writing controversial storylines for Another World and other daytime dramas

Bob Hope Specials

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James Lipton on producing birthday specials for Bob Hope
James Lipton on producing the Bob Hope special Happy Birthday, Bob with then-president Ronald Reagan as a guest

Guiding Light

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James Lipton on playing "Dr. Dick Grant" on Guiding Light, and on working with show creator Irna Phillips
James Lipton on his time on Guiding Light, and on being hired to write for Another World by Irna Phillips

Inside the Actors Studio

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James Lipton on creating a formal degree program for The Actors Studio, which led to Inside the Actors Studio
James Lipton on the creation of Inside the Actors Studio which eventually set a record for Emmy nominations
James Lipton on hosting Inside the Actors Studio, and on the fame that resulted
James Lipton on his interviewing technique on Inside the Actors Studio
James Lipton on the research that goes into Inside the Actors Studio

Jimmy Carter's Inaugural Gala

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James Lipton on producing Jimmy Carter's Inaugural Gala, the first televised inaugural gala
James Lipton on the lineup for Jimmy Carter's Inaugural Gala, and on Carter's reaction to it

You Are There

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James Lipton on appearing on You Are There as several historical figures
Topics

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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James Lipton on moving to New York City, and studying acting with Stella Adler at The Actors Studio

Emmy Awards

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James Lipton on the creation of Inside the Actors Studio which eventually set a record for Emmy nominations

Fame and Celebrity

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James Lipton on hosting Inside the Actors Studio, and on the fame that resulted

First Big Break

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James Lipton on appearing on "The Lone Ranger" radio show at age 12

Hollywood Blacklist

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James Lipton on the Hollywood Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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James Lipton on the Hollywood Blacklist

Pivotal Career Moments

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James Lipton on appearing on "The Lone Ranger" radio show at age 12
James Lipton on moving to New York City, and studying acting with Stella Adler at The Actors Studio

Pop Culture

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James Lipton on hosting Inside the Actors Studio, and on the fame that resulted

Ronald Reagan

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James Lipton on producing the Bob Hope special Happy Birthday, Bob with then-president Ronald Reagan as a guest

Television Industry

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James Lipton on the Hollywood Blacklist

Television and the Presidency

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James Lipton on producing the Bob Hope special Happy Birthday, Bob with then-president Ronald Reagan as a guest
Professions

Actor

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James Lipton on moving to New York City, and studying acting with Stella Adler at The Actors Studio

Hosts

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James Lipton on his interviewing technique on Inside the Actors Studio
James Lipton on the research that goes into Inside the Actors Studio

Interviewer

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James Lipton on his interviewing technique on Inside the Actors Studio
James Lipton on the research that goes into Inside the Actors Studio

Performers

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James Lipton on moving to New York City, and studying acting with Stella Adler at The Actors Studio
Genres

Daytime/Primetime Serials

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James Lipton on his earliest acting roles, and on appearing on daytime dramas early in his career
James Lipton on playing "Dr. Dick Grant" on Guiding Light
James Lipton on his time on Guiding Light, and on writing for Another World

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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James Lipton on producing Jimmy Carter's Inaugural Gala, the first televised inaugural gala
James Lipton on producing birthday specials for Bob Hope

News and Documentary

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James Lipton on appearing on You Are There as several historical figures

Talk Shows

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James Lipton on creating and hosting Inside the Actors Studio
People

Stella Adler

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James Lipton on moving to New York City, and studying acting with Stella Adler at The Actors Studio

Jimmy Carter

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James Lipton on producing Jimmy Carter's Inaugural Gala, the first televised inaugural gala

Bob Hope

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James Lipton on producing birthday specials for Bob Hope

Irna Phillips

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James Lipton on playing "Dr. Dick Grant" on Guiding Light, and on working with show creator Irna Phillips

Ronald Reagan

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James Lipton on producing the Bob Hope special Happy Birthday, Bob with then-president Ronald Reagan as a guest

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