Entertainment & Arts

Peggy Lipton: The Mod Squad and Twin Peaks star dies aged 72

Peggy Lipton Image copyright EPA
Image caption Peggy Lipton rose to fame in the 1960s before starring in Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks actress Peggy Lipton, who rose to fame in groundbreaking 1960s show The Mod Squad, has died of cancer aged 72.

Lipton died surrounded by her family, including her daughters Kadida and Rashida Jones, from her past marriage to music producer Quincy Jones.

"Peggy was, and will always be our beacon of light. She will always be a part of us," they said in a statement.

"We feel so lucky for every moment we spent with her," the pair added.

Lipton, born in New York, began modelling at the age of 15, before landing the role of hippie delinquent-turned-detective Julie Barnes on ABC's The Mod Squad in 1968.

Her performances earned her four Emmy nominations and a 1971 Golden Globe award.

The counterculture show made her a figure of cool but - amid affairs with Paul McCartney and Elvis Presley - her memoir, Breathing Out revealed she felt "too unsure of herself" to fully enjoy her rise to fame.

She married music producer Quincy Jones in 1974 and took a career break to look after their two daughters, Rashida and Kadida.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Lipton and Jones with Michael Jackson in 1982

The couple faced a racist backlash at a time when high-profile interracial relationships were a source of controversy.

Her mother found it difficult until the birth of her grandchildren.

"She thought I was going to be with a white prince charming or some great Jewish king. She couldn't envision my life with a black man and mixed-race babies," revealed Lipton in her memoir.

The break-up with Jones saw Lipton return to acting as Norma Jennings - the kind owner of the Double R. Diner in ABC's mystery drama series Twin Peaks - created by Mark Frost and David Lynch.

She reprised the role for 2017's revival and news of her passing has seen co-stars of both eras pay tribute.

Twin Peaks star Kyle MacLachlan tweeted his condolences.

Riverdale's Madchen Amick, who played Shelly Johnson in the series' return, posted a photo of Lipton on Instagram.

'Unconditionally loving person'

Amick also paid testament to Lipton's motherly pride, saying she "loved her girls more than anything in the world. I will always love you Peggy. I hope to dance with you again in the stars one day."

After the separation Rashida stayed with her mother, while Kadida moved to live with Jones.

Both Jones and Lipton's daughters grew up to reflect their parents' artistic streaks.

Kadida appeared in a number of music videos following her relationship with late rapper Tupac Shakur, while Rashida landed a breakthrough role as Ann Perkins on the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Lipton with Rashida, Quincy Jones and Kadida

Describing her mother as her "best friend", Rashida told Oprah Winfrey's website in 2008 that she was a constant support at her auditions, and the "most unconditionally loving person".

The pair starred on stage together in 2002's Pitching to the Star, alongside Lipton's brother Richard.

'Find the bright side'

A few months after the play concluded its run in 2004, Lipton was diagnosed with colon cancer.

Discussing its impact, Rashida told Oprah.com she decided her job "was to find joyful moments during what could have been a terrifying time for both of us.

"Just because a situation is grim doesn't mean you don't have every right to smile. It isn't about 'being strong' and pretending everything's okay; it's about finding joy where you can. My dad has always said, 'Approach life with love and not fear.' It's such a dynamic way to live."

In recent years, Lipton continued to appear in occasional supporting roles in films including 2017's A Dog's Purpose, alongside her small screen return to Twin Peaks.

She is survived by her two daughters and numerous nieces.

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