Memorable episodes from James Lipton’s Inside the Actors Studio

james lipton best episodes

James Lipton hosted Inside the Actors Studio for over 24 years. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)

James Lipton, best known for interviewing Hollywood celebrities on his talk show Inside the Actors Studio, passed away on Monday in New York. He hosted the show for over 24 years and interviewed over 250 guests including the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Meryl Streep, Steven Spielberg and Bradley Cooper among others.

Here are some of the most memorable episodes from James Lipton's Inside the Actors Studio:

1. Bradley Cooper

During the show's 17th season, James Lipton hosted actor Bradley Cooper, and this episode was special for both as Cooper was a former student of Actors Studio. Cooper famously got quite emotional during the episode as he reminisced about his early years as an actor. After Cooper became a popular Hollywood actor, the clip from Sean Penn's 1999 interview where the American Hustle star had asked him an acting question found many takers.

2. Robin Williams

James Lipton hosted Robin Williams in 2001 and revisited the actor's journey in the movie business. The interview famously lasted for over five hours and was in-depth take into Williams' method. At one point, Lipton candidly asked him, "Are you thinking faster than the rest of us? What the hell is going on?"

3. Dave Chappelle

In 2006, James Lipton hosted comedian Dave Chappelle. Prior to this, Chappelle had walked out of a $50 million contract with Comedy Central for his ongoing show, Chappelle's Show. Dave had spent some time in Africa following the exit, and this interview became the platform where he spoke about the seemingly abrupt departure. Chappelle said at the time, "The hardest thing to do is to be true to yourself, especially when everybody is watching."

4. Amy Adams

This episode was broadcast in February 2014, shortly after the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. As Amy spoke about her Charlie Wilson's War, Doubt and The Master co-star, she was overwhelmed with emotions.

5. The Simpsons

Almost the entire cast of the animated show, The Simpsons, arrived on James Lipton's show in 2003. While the cast members did not fail to entertain and make the audience laugh, Lipton kept a straight face throughout the interview as he delved deeper into their method.

6. Robert Downey Jr

Robert Downey Jr has had his ups and downs, and the actor spoke candidly about his journey with Lipton on the show in 2006. This was back when the second phase (post-Iron Man) of RDJ's life was yet to start, so the actor had a better perspective about his earlier mistakes.

7. Martin Scorsese

The Goodfellas director appeared on the show in 2002. From Taxi Driver to Raging Bull, Scorsese had enough knowledge to impart, and Lipton stirred the conversation with his insightful questions.

8. James Lipton

James Lipton took the guest's seat in 2008 as Dave Chappelle asked him questions about his long and illustrious career as an actor, teacher and interviewer. This was the show's 200th episode and certainly a memorable one.

James Lipton stepped away from Inside the Actors Studio in 2018 after hosting it for over 24 years.

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