Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$6 Million
Sep 19, 1926 (97 years old)
5 ft 8 in (1.75 m)
Actor, Screenwriter, Television producer, Choreographer, Writer, Pilot, Presenter, Voice Actor
United States of America
💰 Compare James Lipton's Net Worth

What is James Lipton's Net Worth?

James Lipton was a American writer, actor, and lyricist who had a net worth of $6 million at the time of his death. He died on March 2, 2020 at the age of 93. James Lipton was best known for writing and hosting the television talk show "Inside the Actors Studio" from 1994 to 2018. Before that, he wrote for such soap operas as "Guiding Light," "The Doctors," "Another World," and "Capitol." Lipton was dean emeritus of the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University in New York City, where "Inside the Actors Studio" was recorded. James Lipton was famously impersonated by Will Ferrell on "Saturday Night Live."

Early Life and Education

James Lipton was born as Louis James Lipton on September 19, 1926 in Detroit, Michigan. He was the only child of Jewish parents Betty, a teacher and librarian, and Lawrence, a journalist and beat poet. When Lipton was six, his parents divorced. To help support his financially struggling family, he began working when he was 13. Lipton became a newspaper copy boy for the Detroit Times, and acted in plays and radio programs. After graduating from Central High School, he attended Wayne State University for a year before joining the US Army Air Forces. Lipton went on to study acting with such famed acting teachers as Stella Adler, Harold Clurman, and Robert Lewis; he also studied voice and dance.

Television Career

Lipton began his television career in the early 1950s with appearances on such anthology series as "Pulitzer Prize Playhouse," "Armstrong Circle Theatre," and "CBS Television Workshop." He soon became the head writer of the newly created soap opera "Guiding Light," on which he also played the role of Dr. Dick Grant. Lipton mostly devoted himself to screenwriting over the ensuing decades, with a focus on daytime soap operas. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, he wrote for "The Doctors," "Another World," "The Best of Everything," and "Return to Peyton Place." From 1984 to 1987, Lipton wrote for the soap opera "Capitol." During that time, he wrote the television musical film "Copacabana," based on the Barry Manilow song and starring Manilow in his acting debut. The film premiered in late 1985 on CBS.

Lipton earned his greatest recognition for his talk show "Inside the Actors Studio," which began in 1994 as a televised craft seminar for students at the Actors Studio Drama School in New York City. Lipton created the program so acting students could learn valuable information from successful actors, writers, and directors, whose conversations with Lipton would be broadcast for the general public to see. The first guest on "Inside the Actors Studio" was Paul Newman; he was followed over the years by hundreds of others. Lipton hosted the show on the cable network Bravo until 2018, when he retired after 24 years. His final interview was with Ted Danson. In 2019, Lipton made his last onscreen appearance, reprising his role as Warden Stefan Gentles on the sitcom "Arrested Development."

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

Theater Career

Lipton was involved in a few theatrical productions during his life. In 1951, he appeared on Broadway in Lillian Hellman's play "The Autumn Garden." Later, in 1967, he was the librettist and lyricist for the short-lived Broadway musical "Sherry!," on which he collaborated with his childhood friend Laurence Rosenthal.

Film Appearances

Lipton made his first appearance on the big screen in 1953, playing a gang member in Joseph Strick's crime drama "The Big Break." He wasn't in another feature film until over half-a-century later, when he played himself in the 2005 big-screen adaptation of "Bewitched." Three years after that, Lipton lent his voice to the animated films "Igor" and "Bolt."


As an author, Lipton published his first book, the collection "An Exaltation of Larks," in 1968. His first novel, "Mirrors," was published in 1981; he later adapted it into a television film. Lipton also wrote a behind-the-scenes book about "Inside the Actors Studio" called "Inside Inside," which came out in 2007.

Personal Life and Death

Lipton was married three times. He wed his first wife, Shirley Blanc, in 1947. They eventually divorced. Lipton next married actress Nina Foch in 1954; they divorced in 1959. He wed his third and final wife, model and real estate broker Kedakai Turner, in 1970. The couple remained together until Lipton's passing.

On March 2, 2020, Lipton died from bladder cancer at his home in Manhattan. He was 93 years of age.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
Did we make a mistake?
Submit a correction suggestion and help us fix it!
Submit a Correction