A quote from James Lipton's 2012 interview with CNN about the afterlife has resurfaced on social media since his death. The beloved host of Inside The Actors Studio, famed for sticking to the craft of acting in his interviews with stars, died Monday morning at his New York City home following a battle with bladder cancer. He was 93.
During a 2012 interview with CNN, Lipton was asked what he wanted to hear God tell him when he arrived at the "Pearly Gates."
"You see, Jim? You were wrong," Lipton replied. "I exist. But you may come in, anyway."
Castle Rock writer Marc Bernardin shared the quote on his Instagram page as a tribute to Lipton on Monday.
In that same CNN interview, Lipton was asked about Will Ferrell's hilarious impression of him on Saturday Night Live.
"I love it, I love it," Lipton said. "It's flattering."
Lipton said he became close friends with Ferrell, who eventually appeared on Inside The Actors Studio for real. Lipton also appeared in Ferrell's 2005 film adaptation of Bewitched.
"We're good friends... and I think he's got me cold, that rat," Lipton joked.
Lipton's wife, Kedakai Turner, told TMZ her husband died peacefully Monday morning.
"There are so many James Lipton stories but I'm sure he would like to be remembered as someone who loved what he did and had tremendous respect for all the people he worked with," Turner said.
Lipton's life in the entertainment world stretched back to the early 1950s, when he appeared on radio and early television shows. In 1994, he began hosting Inside The Actors Studio, which he hosted for almost 25 years. He left the show in September 2018 when it moved from Bravo to Ovation, which now uses a rotating panel of hosts for the show.
Inside The Actors Studio helped make Lipton a cultural icon, thanks to his incredibly detailed questioning of famous figures. He always avoided gossip, focusing strictly on the craft of acting. Lipton made frequent appearances on television as himself late in life, although he did occasionally have hilarious roles. He played the jail warden Stefan Gentiles in six episodes of Arrested Development, and plated a doctor in an episode of Suburgatory.
"He lived each day as if it were his last," Turner said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "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."
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