May 11, 2019: Actress Peggy Lipton of TV’s ‘Mod Squad’—Obituary

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Peggy Lipton, with Michael Cole (L) and Clarence Williams III

Peggy Lipton, an actress and model, and former wife of music producer Quincy Jones, died May 11, 2019. The announcement of her death, from cancer, was made by her daughters, Rashida Jones and Kidada Jones, both actresses, to the Los Angeles Times. Lipton was 72.

“She made her journey peacefully with her daughters and nieces by her side,” Lipton’s daughters said in the statement. “We feel so lucky for every moment we spent with her.”

Lipton began modeling in the early 1960s and ultimately signed a contract with Universal Pictures and guest starred in numerous TV series including Bewitched and The Invaders. But it was her role as Julie Barnes, one of three undercover cops in TV’s The Mod Squad that made her a star. The series debuted on ABC in 1968 when Lipton, then only 22-years-old, teamed her with co-stars Michael Cole and Clarence Williams III. The counterculture program dealt with a lot of issues that were still new to television, such as abortion and the anti-war movement.

Lipton’s mini-skirts and blonde hair were as distinctive as Williams’ Afro and shades, and Cole’s boyish good looks. Williams III died in 2021 at age 81.

The Mod Squad ran for five seasons, peaking in 1970-71 as network television’s #11 top-rated show. Lipton earned four Emmy Award nominations for her role, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama in 1970.

Not surprisingly, given the series’ popularity, Lipton also recorded several songs including this Donovan cover, though none were particular successful on the charts.

This ad for Peggy Lipton’s album and single appeared in the May 9, 1970 issue of Record World

She married Quincy Jones in 1974 and they had the two daughters together. They were separated in 1986 and divorced in 1990. While they were married, Jones produced Michael Jackson’s hugely successful Off the Wall and Thriller albums.

This photo of Peggy Lipton and Quincy Jones appeared in a 1976 issue of Record World

Years later, Lipton joined the cast of the mystery series, Twin Peaks, in the role of Norma Jennings.

Lipton was born August 30, 1946 in the Bronx, New York, to an upper-middle class family, and raised in Long Island. She published her memoir, Breathing Out, in 2005.

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  1. Cisley
    #1 Cisley 12 May, 2019, 12:17

    So very sorry to hear this. I was just watching Quincy’s documentary on Netflix again last night and loved seeing Peggy Lipton participate on it. She and Quincy Jones have two beautiful daughters. When Mod Squad came on it was “must watch” tv for we teens and wow, Peggy was always eloquent, graceful and beautiful. A very classy lady.

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