Long before he was inside the actors studio, James Lipton used to be inside the bordello. The "Inside the Actors Studio" host recently told Parade magazine that back in the 1950s he worked as a pimp in Paris.
"It was only a few years after the war. Paris was different then, still poor. 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 [prostitution]," he explained. "There was no opprobrium because it was completely regulated. Every week they had to be inspected medically…I did a roaring business, and I was able to live for a year. The French [men] 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."
Of course, these days, Lipton sings a different tune when it comes to paying for sex ("I think if you can't earn [sex] on your own, then you don't deserve it," he said), but check out these other celebs who've had jobs in the sex business.
"World War Z" star Brad Pitt used to dabble in a different world. In 2007, the actor told People that before he made it big, he was a limo driver for strippers. "My job was to drive them to bachelor parties and things," he said. "I'd pick them up, and at the gig I'd collect the money, play the bad Prince tapes and catch the girls' clothes. It was not a wholesome atmosphere, and it got very depressing."
The depressing job did help Brad get his big break, though. "This girl -- I'd never met her before -- was in an acting class taught by [famous acting coach] Roy London," he revealed. "I went and checked it out, and it really set me on the path to where I am now. Strippers changed my life."
Prior to nabbing the role of Don Draper on "Mad Men," Jon Hamm had a behind-the-scenes job in the porn industry. Last year the actor told Playboy, "I did set dressing on some soft-core porn films. That was hands down the worst. I was working on the crew from seven to seven, and it was horribly depressing. I'm sure there are more terrible day jobs in L.A., but it's definitely on the lower end of the spectrum of the wonder of moviemaking."
Before she talked about hot topics on "The View," Whoopi Goldberg got paid for a different type of talk - as a phone sex operator. In 2011 the daytime chat fest host responded to "View" co-host Sherri Shepherd's story that she wouldn't let her son play at the house of a friend whose mother was a phone sex operator. Whoopi chimed in with, "I was a phone sex operator, too…. When I was younger, the money was great. See now, people would know my voice."
Rapper Snoop Dogg has long been vocal about his pimpin' days. He recently told Rolling Stone, "I did a Playboy tour, and I had a bus follow me with ten [girls] on it. City to city… hotel room to hotel room, athlete to athlete, entertainer to entertainer. If I'm in a city where the Denver Broncos or the Nuggets play, I get a couple of the players to come hang out, pick and choose, and whichever one you like comes with a number. A lot of athletes bought [sex] from me. It was never about the money; it was about the fascination of being a pimp... As a kid I dreamed of being a pimp, I dreamed of having cars and clothes and [women] to match. "
There's no shortage of stripper stories for real life "Magic Mike," Channing Tatum. In 2012, the former male stripper told Access Hollywood about his G-string-wearing past and his first stripper costume that had him channeling a Boy Scout while singing "Camp Granada."
"[It was] my first night of stripping and my sister and six of her friends came my first night up, which was horribly mortifying," he said. "My sister didn't watch, but all her friends watched, all in the front row, and I'm just like, 'This [Boy Scout routine] is the worst idea ever!'"
He also detailed a stripping clown costume that was more scary than sexy. "It was the worst idea that I had heard," he said. " I danced to like, '99 Red Balloons' or something, I come out and... crickets. Crickets. People didn't know if it was a joke [or] if it was supposed to be for real. No one cheered, no nothing. That was the last night I did that."
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- Arts & Entertainment
- James Lipton
- Whoopi Goldberg
- Brad Pitt