Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Lipton a Pimp? What Else Is New?

Those who have been watching the “Actors Studio” host interviewing movie stars for years will not be shocked to learn that, in an earlier incarnation, James Lipton worked as a facilitator in the world’s oldest profession.

In a new book, according to ABC, Lipton says that when he was “very very young, living in Paris, penniless, unable to get any kind of working permit... I had a friend who worked in what is called the Milieu, which is that world and she suggested to me one night, `Look, you'll be my meck... We would translate it perhaps... as pimp.

"We were earning our living together, this young woman and I, we made a rather good living, I must say."

It has always been a source of wonder that Lipton as an interviewer has had such perfect pitch for unction and smarm, but he appears to have worked hard to perfect his bedside manner.

"I had to accompany my clientelle to the Rue Pigalle,” he recalls. “And then I'd take them up to the room and I had to remain there because they were very nervous, they were young Americans for the most part...and they didn't speak French."

Only a short step from there to putting actors at ease in front of TV cameras in an academic setting.

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