February 22, 2020

Actress Peggy Lipton, 72

Peggy Lipton, actress known for "The Mod Squad" died May 11 of cancer at the age of 72.

Peggy Lipton, whose blond hair and flower-child charisma made her a star of the 1960s TV hit “The Mod Squad” and the ’90s cult series “Twin Peaks,” died May 11 of cancer at the age of 72.

Margaret Ann Lipton was born Aug. 20, 1946, in Lawrence, N.Y., a well-heeled  Long Island suburb. Her parents, Harold and Rita, were children of Eastern European Jewish refugees. The family, which included brothers Robert and Kenneth, moved to Los Angeles in 1964. Peggy, who had found some success as a model, took acting lessons and appeared in guest spots on various shows.

Lipton was barely 22 when “The Mod Squad” made its debut in 1968. She played Julie Barnes, a teenage runaway who joined two other troubled youths as undercover cops. The show, co-starring Clarence Williams III and Michael Cole,  was a hit, and Lipton became a countercultural sex symbol.

The show ran until 1973, earning Lipton four Golden Globe and four Emmy nominations. She won a Golden Globe for best actress in a TV drama in 1971.

She recorded an album in 1968, of which three singles — covers of “Stoney End,” “Lu” and “Wear Your Love Like Heaven” — made the lower end of the Billboard Hot 100. When “The Mod Squad” was canceled in 1973, Lipton stepped away from the spotlight. Except for the 1979 TV movie “The Return of the Mod Squad,” she stayed away from acting.

Her marriage to musician and record producer Quincy Jones in 1974 kept her name in the news. The couple had two daughters, actresses Kidada and Rashida Jones, both of whom survive Lipton. The marriage lasted until 1990.

Lipton’s 2005 memoir, “Breathing Out,” documented some of her various relationships with men — many famous — her drug use and motherhood. In 2004, she was diagnosed and treated for colon cancer. 

Around the time of her divorce, Lipton returned to acting, appearing as Norma Jennings in David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks.” She reprised the role in the 1992 movie “Fire Walk With Me” and the 2017 reboot,  which was Lipton’s final screen appearance.