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Peggy Lipton of Twin Peaks and the Mod Squad Has Died

Marion Charatan

Posted on May 12, 2019 18:04

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The lovely actress and model--who played one of the coolest cops on the planet-- has succumbed to cancer at age 72.

I just learned this morning that the lovely actress Peggy Lipton passed away. It was sad to hear this news. She always struck me as a ‘beacon of light,’ as her daughters Kidada and Rashida Jones eloquently stated in today’s Los Angeles Times.

Ms. Lipton was a few years older than me. I remember watching her on The Mod Squad way back in the day and thinking, "I’d like to be just as cool as her." I will never forget the image of three young crime fighters running with soaring theme music behind them.

Peggy Lipton was effortlessly stylish and a natural beauty. In 1968, Lipton took on the role of Julie Barnes in the Mod Squad (1968-1973). She was partnered with Micheal Cole as Pete Cochran and Clarence Williams III as Linc Hayes.

The show’s plot took three young rebellious social outcasts and turned them into unarmed undercover detectives as an alternative to being put in lock up.

The Mod Squad was one of the first programs to feature an interracial cast. Lipton garnered a Golden Globe in 1971 for best actress and earned 4 Emmy nominations for her character.  

More recently, Lipton acted in Twin Peaks. There was to be a reboot which she sadly can no longer be part of.

Lipton’s career began as a model at age 15. She would grace the cover of Vogue magazine before switching to acting.

Although her star was rising, Lipton left acting for years to raise her daughters—now both actresses. Their father is the legendary musician and composer Quincy Jones.

There is no way to manufacture the elegance of Peggy Lipton. She had an ethereal quality that casting agents define as ‘it’. It’s the stuff that stars are made of.

Peggy Lipton, in my opinion, helped open the door for actresses looking for ‘stronger’ roles. She helped to reduce stereotyping (yes, you can be a beautiful young female and take care of business-- and keep up with any man). She looked frail but she was not. She also broke down some racial barriers, not only by being part of an interracial cast but in an interracial marriage in real life, too.

Lipton’s life had its struggles. In her 2005 memoir, Breathing Out, she detailed receiving vile racist backlash for her marriage to Jones—even from her own mother. She also suffered from anxiety associated with being recognized in public.

Peggy Lipton passed away today of colon cancer. Her daughters were by her side and made this joint statement, "We feel so lucky for every moment we spent with her."

Ms. Lipton was part of the tapestry of my life. Even though I never met her, I will miss her, too. I am sure this sentiment is shared by many others who remember her fondly today.

Marion Charatan

Posted on May 12, 2019 18:04

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