May 29th, 2013
01:02 PM ET
The tables were turned on inquisitive talk-show host James Lipton recently, and he found himself reminiscing about his days as a pimp.
As it turns out, before becoming famous on Bravo's "Inside the Actors Studio," Lipton "represented" Parisian ladies of the night in the '50s.
"It was only a few years after the war. Paris was different then, still poor," Lipton recently told Parade magazine. "Men couldn’t get jobs and, in the male chauvinist Paris of that time, the women couldn’t get work at all. It was perfectly respectable for them to go into 'le milieu.' ”
He told Parade that he got into the profession through a friend, who was working as a prostitute and offered to set him up. Soon enough, he was representing not only his friend but also "a whole bordello."
"I did a roaring business, and I was able to live for a year," Lipton recalled. "The French mecs didn’t exploit women. They represented them, like agents. And they took a cut. That’s how I lived. I was going through my rites of passage, no question about it. It was a great year of my life."
Lipton moved on to become an actor-writer-producer and, of course, host of "Inside the Actors Studio." The series, which has featured Lipton exploring the art of drama with famous thespians since 1994, will celebrate its 250th episode on Wednesday night.
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