Model, singer and Golden Globe award-winning actress Peggy Lipton, best known for her roles on the crime drama The Mod Squad and the horror drama Twin Peaks, passed away from colon cancer on May 11, 2019. Her death was announced by her daughters Kidada and Rashida Jones, who said in a statement: “She made her journey peacefully with her daughters and nieces by her side. We feel so lucky for every moment we spent with her.” She was 72 years old.
Born Margaret Ann Lipton on August 30, 1946, Lipton was raised in Long Island, New York City. At 15, Lipton enjoyed an early modeling career with Ford Agency. After relocating to Los Angeles and signing a contract with Universal Pictures, Lipton made her television debut in the NBC sitcom The John Forsythe Show. She went on to make television appearances on episodes of Bewitched, The Virginian, The Invaders, The Road West, The F.B.I., Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and Mr. Novak. In 1968, Lipton rose to fame as undercover hippie cop Julie Barnes in the counterculture police series The Mod Squad. Her performances earned her four Emmy nominations and a 1971 Golden Globe award for Best TV Actress in a Drama. With her long blonde hair, bell bottoms, and love beads, Lipton’s Barnes became a fashion icon and the “it” girl of her time.
Throughout her singing career, three of Lipton’s singles landed on the Billboard charts: “Stoney End,” later a hit for Barbra Streisand in 1970, “Lu,” and “Wear Your Love Like Heaven.” Lipton is also listed as one of several co-writers of the Frank Sinatra 1984 hit, “L.A. Is My Lady.” Around this time, Lipton married musician and producer Quincy Jones and took a hiatus from acting to concentrate on her family. The pair had two daughters, Rashida and Kidada, both of whom became actresses, before divorcing in 1990. Returning to acting, Lipton reprised her role as Barnes for the made for TV movie The Return of the Mod Squad. She gained further attention for her performance as Norma Jennings in the mystery horror drama Twin Peaks.
In her later career, Lipton appeared in many TV shows, including recurring roles in Crash, Alias, and Popular. In 2017 she reprised her role as Jennings for the revival of Twin Peaks. She also appeared in the films When in Rome and A Dog’s Purpose, along with starring in an episode of Angie Tribeca, as Peggy Tribeca, the mother of the title character played by her daughter Rashida.
She is survived by her two daughters and numerous nieces.