When it comes to Classic TV, The Mod Squad may not be the first television show from the late ‘60s/early ‘70s to come to mind — at least not in the same way that, say, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, The Brady Bunch, The Odd Couple, All in the Family or M*A*S*H might. That said, memories of the show have definitely come rushing back with news that Peggy Lipton, at 72, has died after a 15-year struggle with colon cancer.
Rashida Jones and Kidana Jones, Peggy’s daughters from her marriage with music producer Quincy Jones, issued the following statement shortly after she passed on May 11: “She made her journey peacefully with her daughters and nieces by her side. We feel so lucky for every moment we spent with her. We can’t put all of our feelings into words right now, but we will say: Peggy was and will always be our beacon of light, both in this world and beyond. She will always be a part of us.”
She was born Margaret Ann Lipton in New York City on August 30, 1946, and was raised on Long Island. Describing herself as a nervous and withdrawn child, she struggled with a stuttering problem and was also sexually abused by an uncle. In 1964, the family moved to Los Angeles, where she began to go through a personal metamorphosis, later describing herself as a “Topanga Canyon hippie.”
Peggy’s road to showbiz began while the family still lived in NYC. Her father, a corporate lawyer, arranged her first gigs as a model, while her mother, an artist, encouraged her to take acting lessons. All of this paid off when, at the age of 15, she was signed with the Ford Models and, shortly after they moved to L.A., she began acting. In 1965, she appeared on the TV shows Bewitched, Mr. Novak, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The John Forsythe Show, followed over the next few years with a number of other shows and the feature film Blue (1968).
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