The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will present its Lifetime Achievement Award to James Lipton, creator, executive-producer, writer and host of the 12-time Emmy-nominated Bravo series, "Inside the Actors Studio." From daytime to primetime, in front of and behind the camera, the Dean Emeritus of the Actors Studio Drama School is an accomplished director, choreographer, producer, writer of stage and television and published author, with a long distinguished career. The award will be presented to Lipton at the Creative Arts & Entertainment Emmy® Awards on Thursday, June 14 in Hollywood.
"Jim Lipton knows everything there is to know about acting and actors," said Peter Price, President/CEO, The National Television Academy. "He loves the craft of acting and has instilled that passion in his screenwriting, acting, and producing as well as in his teachings to drama students and his documentation of the life stories of the most successful actors. With years of extraordinary success, Jim Lipton deserves this Lifetime Achievement Award."
"'Achievement' is a word I associate much more readily with others than with myself," said Lipton. "So it comes as a stunning surprise to learn that a peer group I respect has elected to honor me for what felt like nothing more than putting one foot patiently in front of the other, day after day, without the remotest idea - or expectation - that it would lead me to this thrilling moment."
Lipton is widely known as the creator, executive producer, writer and host of Bravo's longest running series "Inside the Actors Studio," available in 125 countries around the world. From 1994 to the present, more than 200 actors, directors and writers have joined 'Inside the Actors Studio' in creating what many consider the definitive craft archive of our time. The television series, which has been recognized with 12 Emmy nominations in 12 years, is in fact a course in a master's degree program. Lipton, who is a vice-president of the Actors Studio, in collaboration with his Studio colleagues, created the renowned Actors Studio Drama School, which is now at Pace University. With Lipton as its founding dean, it became the largest graduate drama school in America.
Early in his acting career, he was one of the stars of "The Guiding Light," then became head writer of that show, as well as "Another World" and other daytime dramas.
More than ten years of his life were spent in the classroom as a student of three of the acknowledged masters of the theatrical arts -- Stella Adler, Harold Clurman and Robert Lewis. Hanya Holm, Alwin Nikolais, Ella Daganova and Benjamin Harkarvy trained him in modern dance and ballet. His voice teachers were Eva Gauthier and Arthur Lessac. His acting career began on Broadway in "The Autumn Garden" by Lillian Hellman, and extended to a wide variety of roles in film and television.
Lipton wrote and produced some of television's most celebrated specials, among them "Jimmy Carter's Inaugural Gala," the first Presidential concert ever televised, and the first television special to originate in the Kennedy Center; twelve Bob Hope Birthday Specials, reaching record-breaking audiences; and "The Road to China," the first American entertainment program from the People's Republic, which aired for three hours on NBC.
On Broadway, Lipton wrote the book and lyrics of two musicals, "Nowhere to Go but Up," and "Sherry!." In 2005, he revisited "Sherry!," producing a cast album for Angel Records, starring Nathan Lane, Bernadette Peters, Carol Burnett, Tommy Tune and Mike Myers. He also produced "The Mighty Gents," starring Morgan Freeman, and "Monteith and Rand," which Dennis Cunningham of WCBS-TV called "the comic event of the season."
He was the writer and producer of "Mirrors," adapted by him from his novel, which appeared on NBC; and he created the story and teleplay for "Copacabana," which was chosen by TV Guide as one of the year's 10 best TV films. Lipton is also the author of the acclaimed non-fiction book "An Exaltation of Larks." The book, which has been in print since its publication in 1968, contains more than 1000 collective terms, real and fanciful. Penguin declared it "a classic," while Newsweek's book critic said, "If there were an English Academy, Lipton would surely deserve election."
On October 13, 2007, Dutton will publish Lipton's new book, "Inside Inside," which, is an account of the past 13 years of his life as dean of the Actors Studio Drama School and creator and host of "Inside the Actors Studio." In addition to revealing the behind-the-scenes story of the series, Lipton has put himself in the guest's chair, and subjected himself to the same kind of no-holds-barred examination his guests have faced.
Lipton's approach to his duties as host of "Inside the Actors Studio" – the two weeks of preparation, the four hundred blue cards, the focus on craft – has inspired imitation and parody, notably by Will Ferrell on "Saturday Night Live" and beyond. That led to Lipton's role in the film "Bewitched," starring Ferrell and Nicole Kidman, and to repeated appearances on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" where Dean Lipton has distinguished himself by shotgunning beer to celebrate Spring Break week, solemnly reciting K-Fed's rap, and dancing with the horny manatee, which, in turn, has led to increasingly frequent invitations to return to his acting roots, notably in a recurring role on "Arrested Development."
Viewers of "Inside the Actors Studio" know that Lipton is an avid horseman who has won numerous showjumping championships, and that he enjoys nothing more than talking flying with fellow pilots like Harrison Ford, John Travolta, Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Kedakai Turner Lipton, a vice-president of the Corcoran Real Estate Group, and who, as the series' viewers know, will not allow him to have a tattoo. He insists that she is in every other respect a remarkable woman.
Lipton has received three honorary Ph.D.s, and is a recipient of the French Republic's Chevalier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
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