The untold truth of James Lipton’s wife

Inside the Actors Studio host James Lipton died on March 2, 2020, at age 93 after a battle with bladder cancer, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed. Lipton — who had interviewed close to 300 esteemed actors about their craft in one-hour segments — leaves behind his wife of 50 years, Kedakai Mercedes Lipton. “He lived each day as if it were his last,” Kedakai said in a statement to THR after his passing. “His work was his passion, loved what he did and all the people he worked with. He empowered people to do their best, and hopefully, his spirit, curiosity, and passion will live on.” The real estate agent also commended James’ kind spirit in an interview with TMZ, telling the outlet, “There are so many James Lipton stories but I’m sure he would like to be remembered as someone who loved what he did and had tremendous respect for all the people he worked with.”

Although many fans are more familiar with the writer’s work and life, Kedakai is as equally as interesting. Just one example?  She illustrated and designed the beautiful graphics of James’ book, An Exaltation of Larks. But wait, — there’s more. Kedakai also had some involvement in the iconic game board Clue, which we’ll get to after the jump.

James Lipton adored Kedakai Lipton

There’s no denying James Lipton was an accomplished man, having starred in and written for various television shows in addition to his tenure at Inside the Actor’s Studio. As it turns out, however, James’ shining moment has nothing to do with his life’s work. “Marrying Kedakai,” the Michigan native told Parade magazine in 2013 when asked to name his greatest achievement. The producer upped the cute factor when he explained the success of his marriage on Kedakai being a “masterpiece.” Aww.

Considering James was head-over-heels for the model, it makes perfect sense they married shortly after meeting. “We met at the ballet,” he told Parade. “I took one look at her and I fell madly in love. I called her the next day and asked her to have dinner with me. Nine months later we were married.”

It’s sad James is no longer here with his great love, but at least the couple enjoyed 50 years together. 

Kedakai Lipton was a model for this game board

Arguably one of the most interesting factoids about Kedakai Lipton is that she was a model for the 1972 version of Clue, embodying the character of Miss Scarlett. Kedakai did an awesome job of portraying the femme fatale, completing the look with a long cigarette holder and all-knowing expression. Not many fans might not know about this interesting tidbit, as one commenter on Twitter joked in 2018, “How old were you when you learned Inside the Actor’s Studio’s James Lipton is married to the model for Miss Scarlet from Clue?”

In addition to modeling for Clue, Kedakai is a real estate agent in New York. “Known for her insightful guidance and calm and confident demeanor, Kedakai listens carefully to her clients, guiding them through each phase of the buying or selling process,” her real estate bio reads. Kedakai’s page also credits her as holding degrees in Environmental Architectural Design and in Interior Design from Parsons School of Design, where she was recognized for her “impressive leadership in alumni relations.” Talk about an impressive woman.

Of course, our thoughts are with Kedakai during this difficult time.

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