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Lawrence native Peggy Lipton, 72

Former Five Towner was in the ‘Mod Squad’


Known for her role in the 1970s television show “Mod Squad” and as the mother of actresses Rashida and Kidada Jones, Lawrence native Peggy Lipton died on May 11 of colon cancer, according to her daughters. Lipton was 72.

The former wife of musician, composer and producer Quincy Jones, Lipton was born in New York City on Aug. 30, 1946 to a upper-middle-class Jewish family and attended Lawrence High School up to 1962 when she moved on to attend the Professional Children’s School, a nonprofit college prep for mostly working or aspiring actors or dancers in grades six to 12.

Lipton’s father, Harold Lipton, was a corporate lawyer. Her mother, Rita Benson, was an artist. She was raised with her brothers, Robert, who was an actor, and Kenneth. According to multiple reports, Lipton was a nervous child because her uncle sexually abused her.

She began working as a model at 15 with the elite Ford agency with the help of her father and became a success on the runway. Her mother encouraged her to take acting lessons. After a family move to Los Angeles in 1964, Lipton signed a contract with Universal Pictures. At 19, she made her TV debut in the NBC situation comedy “The John Forsythe Show,” a year later.

Lipton earned four Emmy Award nominations and the same number of Golden Award nominations for her role as Julie Barnes in the “Mod Squad,” where a trio of hippie cops went undercover to solve crimes. The show ran five seasons from 1968 to 1973. It also stared Michael Cole, Clarence Williams III and Tige Andrews. She won the Golden Globe for Best TV Actress in a Drama in 1971. The Barnes character became a fashion icon of the time as Lipton played her with her straight blonde hair, mini-skirts, bell bottom pants and love beads.

Her entertainment career included singing and three of the songs landed on the Bill Board charts. In 1974, Lipton married Jones. Twelve years later they separated, and in 1990 divorced.

Lipton returned to TV as Norma Jennings in the series “Twin Peaks” 1990 to 1991 and then appeared on several shows. in 2017, she also played Norma Jennings in the revival of “Twin Peaks” that ran in 2017 on Showtime.