The Los Angeles Times reports that Peggy Lipton, who starred on two hit shows separated by two decades in-between (The Mod Squad and Twin Peaks), has died. She was 72.
Rashida Jones and her sister Kidada Jones, Peggy Lipton’s daughters with Quincy Jones, announced their mother’s passing from cancer yesterday.
“She made her journey peacefully with her daughters and nieces by her side. We feel so lucky for every moment we spent with her. We can’t put all of our feelings into words right now, but we will say: Peggy was and will always be our beacon of light, both in this world and beyond. She will always be a part of us.”
Peggy Lipton, who was born in New York City on August 30, 1946 in New York City, worked as a model and tv actress bit player up until 1968 when she hit it big at 21 playing “street-smart flower child” police detective Julie Barnes on The Mod Squad. The show was a big deal at the time.
One of pop culture’s first efforts to reckon seriously with the counterculture — and one of the first TV shows to feature an interracial cast — the series, which costarred Michael Cole and Clarence Williams III, dealt with issues such as domestic violence, abortion, police brutality, the Vietnam War and drugs. Over five seasons, the series earned Lipton, one of the “it” girls of her time, four Emmy nominations and a 1971 Golden Globe award for best actress in a TV drama.
She also had a brief singing career, covering songs by Laura Nyro and Donovan. She married Quincy Jones in 1974 and put her career on hold to raise her daughters. Peggy and Quincy divorced in 1989. In 1990, she returned to television in the role of Double R Diner waitress Norma Jennings in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.
“It was very scary,” Lipton told The Times in 1993. “I had a push-pull thing inside me that I wanted to do it…. I had become so insulated in my world as a mother, that I didn’t know how to pick up the phone and call anybody to put myself out there.”
She appeared in the Twin Peaks revival in 2017 on Showtime, starred in a couple of movies (A Dog’s Purpose and When In Rome), and also appeared on tv’s Alias and Crash. She wrote a memoir in 2005 (Breathing Out) about “her struggles with fame and the racism she and Jones faced as an interracial couple” and also revealed she had been treated for colon cancer the previous year.
Rest in peace, Peggy.