As leggy and lithesome flower girl and undercover cop Julie Barnes on ABC’s “The Mod Squad,” Peggy Lipton, who is dead on age 72 from cancer on May 11, became a counter-cultural sex symbol alongside actors Michael Cole as long-haired Pete Cochran and Clarence Williams III as African-American Lincoln Hayes. The catchphrase for the series that lasted five seasons from 1968 to 1973, “One black, one white, one blonde,” might sound corny these days, but it was one of the first network shows to feature an integrated cast that also reflected the times were a-changing by tackling cases with social issues and using the cool jargon of the day.
Check out the clip above featuring a “Mod Squad” scene between Cole and Lipton.
As often was the case back in the ’60s, Lipton would cash in on her TV popularity by recording a self-titled album in 1968, tackling such tunes as Donovan‘s “Wear Your Love Like Heaven” and Laura Nyro‘s “Stoney End.”
The former teen model would win a Golden Globe for her bell-bottomed law-enforcer hippie and was nominated for an Emmy four times. Lipton, who had romantic liaisons with Paul McCartney, Sammy Davis Jr. and Elvis Presley and lived with music producer Lou Adler for a time, would marry music mogul Quincy Jones in 1974. They would divorce in 1990 after splitting up in 1986.
She took a break from acting to raise her daughters, Rashida Jones and Kidada Jones, who both became actresses, but returned to series TV on another ground-breaking show, ABC’s “Twin Peaks,” the soap-opera-ish mystery drama created by David Lynch and Mark Frost that became a cult hit in 1990 and ran for two seasons.
She played Norma Jennings, the unhappily married owner of the Double R Diner that was frequented by Kyle MacLachan‘s FBI agent Dale Cooper as he investigates the murder of a local high school girl. She would serve Cooper his much-beloved damn fine cups of coffee as well as cherry pie. Lipton reprised her character in the 2017 revival of the show that ran on Showtime. Also that year, she would play daughter Rashida’s mother on an episode of TBS’ “Angie Tribeca.” She also appeared in the notorious Kevin Costner film, “The Postman,” in 1997 and more recently was in 2017’s “A Dog’s Purpose.”