One of the unexpected successes in television was the program “Inside The Actor’s Studio”. It started out simply as a non-credit class at the Actor’s Studio Drama School in New York City. It was intended to bring in already-successful actors, directors, producers, and writers to speak to students who were interested in acting. These classes were recorded and produced for television, but not in their wildest dreams did the people responsible think it would ever turn into the monster hit it became.

The class/show was hosted by James Lipton for its full run of 1994-2018. Lipton was born in Detroit, Michigan on September 19, 1926. When he was six years old, his parents divorced and his father abandoned them, leaving James and his mother on their own.

James and his mother ended up living in Detroit’s crowded North End neighborhood, in a brick house at 280 Hague Street. Over the decades since, the house and neighborhood went under renovations and are holding up well (see photos of the house and neighborhood below).

Realizing he needed to help with finances, 13-year-old James went to work as a paper boy for the Detroit Times. The acting bug had bit him at an early age, and while attending Central High School (2425 Tuxedo Street), he was able to balance a job with acting at the Catholic Theater of Detroit, and on radio. His radio gig was providing the voice of The Lone Ranger’s nephew on WXYZ, paving the way for some serious acting gigs.

1) Attended Wayne State University in the 1940s
2) Joined the U.S. Air Force
3) Studied law
4) Lived as a pimp in Paris, France, with a stable of hookers
5) Wrote episodes of TV soap operas including Another World, The Edge of Night, and The Guiding Light.
6) Played Dr. Dick Grant on The Guiding Light in the mid-1950s
7) Wrote lyrics for musicals
8) Authored several books 9) Produced TV specials, including twelve Bob Hope Birthday Specials.

From 1954 thru 1959, Lipton was married to actress Nina Foch, who may be most-remembered for her role in the 1943 Bela Lugosi horror film, “Return of the Vampire”.

The last episode of “Inside The Actor’s Studio” hosted by Lipton was with Ted Danson, on January 11, 2018. Lipton passed away due to bladder cancer in March, 2020.

James Lipton had a very impressive career, able to fulfill his desires and live his dream. And he was from Michigan.


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