Actress Peggy Lipton had two major periods of public visability: When she starred in the TV series The Mod Squad between 1968 and 1973, and two decades later, when she played diner owner Norma Jennings on Twin Peaks. In between, Lipton was married for many years to legendary music producer Quincy Jones, with whom she had two daughters, actresses Rashida and Kikada Jones.
Lipton passed away this weekend at the age of 72, her daughters announced in a statement to The Los Angeles Times.
“She made her journey peacefully with her daughters and nieces by her side,” Rashida Jones and Kidada Jones said in a statement. “We feel so lucky for every moment we spent with her.”
Lipton was born in New York in 1946 and became a model as a teenager. She took up acting not long after, making early appearances on such shows as Bewitched. Her breakthrough role was as Julie Barnes on The Mod Squad, a crime drama that was a major touchstone of the counterculture, and won Lipton a Golden Globe award. Lipton also did some work as a singer around the time period of The Mod Squad.
After a long hiatus, Lipton returned to acting at the end of the 1980s, most notably in a small but memorable role as Norma, the owner of the Double R Diner, on David Lynch’s cult TV series Twin Peaks. Lipton acted sporadically in the 1990s and 2000s, including a reprise of the Norma role in 2017’s Twin Peaks: The Return. Lipton also appeared on Angie Tribeca, her daughter Rashida Jones’ TBS show, and her final movie role appears to be 2017’s A Dog’s Purpose.
Godspeed, Peggy Lipton
— Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) May 12, 2019
In 2009, Lipton became an unlikely part of a political scandal in New York, per The Village Voice, when the chief of staff to the New York state comptroller reportedly committed major financial misdeeds because he was in love with Lipton and wanted to impress her. The scandal also roped in numerous other individuals, including Elliott Broidy, the Republican financier who a decade later became a minor Russiagate figure.
Lipton had been battling cancer for many years. She told many stories about her life and career in Breathing Out, a 2005 memoir. It was described by The New York Times as “a perfectly companionable book. Reading it is a little like being introduced to someone at a cocktail party who charms you with stories that aren’t really confidences but still are franker than you’d expect from a new acquaintance.”