Peggy Lipton dies

Peggy Lipton dies

Postby Zenith » Tue May 14, 2019 1:24 am

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

Actor who won a Golden Globe for The Mod Squad and starred in David Lynch’s TV drama Twin Peaks

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The natural shyness and reticence of the actor Peggy Lipton, who has died of cancer aged 72, lent her work an enigmatic, often melancholy quality. A chunk of time spent off-screen between the two TV series for which she was best known – The Mod Squad and Twin Peaks – only added to that sense of mystery.

From 1968 until its cancellation five years later, she was one of the stars of The Mod Squad, a popular TV drama, produced by Aaron Spelling, about a trio of formerly delinquent young hipsters who go undercover as law-enforcement agents – “teenycoppers”, as People magazine put it – in a countercultural milieu; staying true to their hippy ideals, they eschew guns. In 1971, Lipton won a Golden Globe; the charm of her performance as Julie Barnes, the runaway daughter of a sex worker, with her fashionably long, kink-free hair, was undeniable. It outlived the audience’s eventual realisation that the show was square and conformist at heart and somewhat of a wolf in chic clothing.

In 1969, she had met the musician and producer Quincy Jones on a friend’s boat in the Bahamas. They started dating in 1971, then moved in together once Lipton had mastered cooking because, said Jones, “she couldn’t even manage cornflakes, and I don’t believe in a woman who can’t cook”. Following their marriage in 1974, Lipton concentrated on raising their two daughters, putting her career on hold until the late 80s.

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Once the couple divorced in 1990, having separated four years earlier, she returned to acting, appearing as Norma Jennings, the wise waitress at the Double R Diner, in David Lynch’s surreal TV crime drama Twin Peaks. She was also featured in the spin-off film, Fire Walk With Me (1992), and in the show’s celebrated and uncompromising third series in 2017.

Lipton was born in New York City, to Harold Lipton, a corporate lawyer, and Rita (nee Benson), an artist, and raised in Lawrence, Long Island. She was a nervous, stammering child. “I felt hurt inside,” she recalled. “I was very guarded. I had a wall around me and a lot of fantasy locked inside. When I was young, I decided the best thing to do was not talk.”

It was her father who facilitated her earliest modelling jobs when she was a teenager, and her mother who persuaded her to take acting lessons; she attended the Professional Children’s School in Manhattan. After the family moved to Los Angeles in 1964, Lipton got work as a cinema usherette before landing small acting roles in TV shows including Bewitched and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. She described herself during that period as a “Topanga Canyon hippy”, a look that appealed to the producers of The Mod Squad. “I enjoyed it, but I didn’t realise how violent it was,” she later said of the show. Instant celebrity brought its own problems. “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.”

She released several singles and a self-titled 1968 album, and was also one of the co-writers of Frank Sinatra’s 1984 song LA Is My Lady. She dabbled in hallucinogenics and dated Paul McCartney, Terence Stamp, Ryan O’Neal and a girdle-wearing Elvis Presley. “He was a great kisser,” she wrote of Presley in her 2005 autobiography Breathing Out, “but that was about it.”

Though Publishers Weekly dismissed the book as “an old-fashioned kiss-and-tell”, its author was admirably candid about many other areas of her life: her sexual abuse by an uncle, her experiences of drugs and depression, and of raising mixed-race children in a society that could be intolerant. The book ended with her receiving a diagnosis of colon cancer in 2004.

Even after her return to acting she was never prolific. She starred occasionally in films, such as the race-swap comedy True Identity (1991), which was Lenny Henry’s unsuccessful attempt to crack the US, Kevin Costner’s vilified drama The Postman (1997) and the family movie A Dog’s Purpose (2017).

She had recurring TV roles in Popular (2000), co-created by Ryan Murphy, and in the JJ Abrams action series Alias (2004). She appeared in two episodes of the comedy series Angie Tribeca (2016-17) as the mother of the title character, a cop working for the Really Heinous Crimes Unit, played by Lipton’s younger daughter, Rashida Jones.

She is survived by Rashida, and by her elder daughter, Kidada.

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RIP eternally ethereal woman.
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Re: Peggy Lipton dies

Postby Angelito » Tue May 14, 2019 12:22 pm

RIP.
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