James Lipton Worked as a Pimp in ’60s Paris, Even Then Was Committed to ‘Craft’

Credit: AP Images

A shame that “What Are Your Former Occupations?” isn’t a question on the Bernard Pivot Questionnaire, because James Lipton would certainly have a head-turning answer. In an interview in the new issue of Parade magazine, the Inside the Actors Studio host, 86, says that in the 1960s he worked as a pimp in Paris. And this would have been after he had already worked as an actor on TV soap Guiding Light in the 1950s. Regardless of the medium, it seems Lipton has always been conscious of craft.

Lipton said that at the time it was “perfectly respectable” to go into procuring flesh. “It was a different time,” he said, after indicating that he no longer believes paying for sex is a good thing. The news comes as a particular shock to Arrested Development fans who may no longer find Lipton’s role as Warden Gentles of the Orange County Correctional Department to be casting against type. One thing is for sure, though. Our favorite word of the day is gross. 

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