James Lipton Was an Actual Pimp
Frazer Harrison / Staff / Getty
You might know James Lipton from his time hosting Inside the Actors Studio, or perhaps as the warden from Arrested Development. But rewind back to postwar Paris and you would have found the soft-spoken, bespectacled man with the gentle smile on the streets of the red light district, slingin' ass to passersby.
That was not research for a role. James Lipton was straight-up pimpin'.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
The literature is notably silent on whether he chased bitches like Tom chases Jerry.
In the 1950s, Lipton was a poor American youth living in Paris to pursue his dream of becoming a lawyer. Because that's what the city is most known for: its rigid bureaucracy. As he tells the story, one day Lipton was approached by two beautiful women who asked if he would like to watch them make love to each other. Lipton answered in the affirmative, because it is literally against the laws of physics for a man to answer that question in the negative.
Obviously the women were prostitutes, but it wasn't strictly the business of getting the business for Lipton. He became fast friends with one of the ladies, though he insists that they never slept together because -- get this -- he doesn't believe in prostitution. Apparently Lipton has an open mind, however. As soon as he fell on some hard times, his lady friend offered James a job as a pimp for the bordello she worked at, and he took it.
Taylor Hill / Stringer / Getty
This man officially has more street cred than Lil' Wayne.
In Lipton's defense, he rejects the term "pimp" and prefers to refer to himself as a maquereau, because he didn't degrade, harm, or dominate the women. He was more like an agent. In Lipton's offense, a preliminary Google search reveals "maquereau" to be a colloquial French word for "pimp."
Aaron Short has a blog he updates infrequently about bad movies. Richie Ryan occasionally works the wood real good. See his things. You can also follow Richie on Twitter, if that's how you roll.
Related Reading: For some famous people "early career" meant not existing at all. Neither Mavis Beacon or Betty Crocker were ever real. If that bums you out, cheer up by learning about Tupac's start as a ballet dancer. Need more dirt on our rich and famous role-models? Click here!