Actress and former model Peggy Lipton, who rose to stardom in the late 60s on The Mod Squad has died.
Her death from cancer was announced Saturday by Rashida Jones and sister Kidada, daughters from her marriage to producer Quincy Jones.
Lipton’s daughters said,
“She made her journey peacefully with her daughters and nieces by her side. We feel so lucky for every moment we spent with her.”
Lipton began modeling at age 15 and was quickly in demand and by 19, she made her TV debut The John Forsythe Show. She made appearances on Bewitched, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and The Virginian.
But her big break came in 1968 as the Julie Barnes, one of a trio of L.A. undercover “hippie cops” on The Mod Squad.
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 its five seasons, Lipton, became one of the “it” girls of the day with 4 Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe.
Lipton told The Times in 1993,
“I never saw myself as trend-setting. We were always working. Fame really drove me into my house. I was very paranoid. I didn’t like going out. I had no idea how to be comfortable with the press. I was very young. It was really hard for me.”
In 1974 Lipton stepped away from her career to focus on raising a family later with both daughters, Kidada and Rashida, becoming actors, the latter gaining fame on the comedy series The Office and Parks and Recreation.
Lipton and Jones divorced in 1989 and Lipton decided to return to acting, landing the role of Norma Jennings on the cult TV series Twin Peaks.
“It was very scary. 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.”
Lipton continued to appear in occasional supporting roles in films like When in Rome and A Dog’s Purpose.
Both daughters said in a statement Saturday.
“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 was 72.
(via L.A. Times)