In 2007, I read Peggy Lipton's autobiography Breathing Out. Around the same time, I bought and began watching Seasons 1-4 of The Mod Squad. I got on the Peggy Lipton train and never looked back. Soon after, I featured Ms. Lipton in two of my videos, Undun by The Guess Who and my style compilation video, Classic.Sporty.Chic.
I never had a chance to watch 'The Mod Squad' before–––on TV or in reruns–––although I'd been trying to watch it for years. I went on a binge of sorts with it when I finally got the chance. In fact, when I created Retro Active Critiques, it was out of my desire to write posts about shows like 'The Mod Squad' and people like Peggy Lipton.
There's so much to love and admire about Peggy Lipton, I hardly know where to begin. Superficially, in my eyes, she's one of the most naturally beautiful women of all time. She was, and remains today, an effortlessly lovely woman.
This is my opinion, but Peggy Lipton always pops in my mind when I think 'pretty'. She's the prettiest woman I've ever seen.
Here are some especially lovely, rare photos of her by Guy Webster-Globe. (They're not easy to access, but still worth posting here.)
Other actresses might be considered beautiful, gorgeous, stunning–––and she fits any of those descriptions, as well–––but I equate the word 'pretty' with her. If I had to place a photo in a dictionary entree for 'pretty' (not that we have 'dictionaries' anymore) I'd add one of Peggy Lipton.
She's always been natural in her acting methods, not to mention in her personal style. She wasn't a highly trained actress, having started out as a commercial model for Eileen Ford.
|Peggy Lipton, Clairol Deb Star of The Year, 1965|
While developing her character Julie Barnes in 'The Mod Squad', she found that she was comfortable with nailing a certain look for Julie, and a mood, and just sticking with that each time. Rolling with it. The method worked, and she was nominated for playing Julie numerous times during awards seasons. She even won a Golden Globe in 1971 for her portrayal.
|Peggy Lipton as Julie Barnes|
Despite being raised on Long Island, the only daughter of fairly conservative Jewish parents, Peggy Lipton came to embody the cool California girl with her long-running stint as Julie Barnes on 'The Mod Squad', a runaway from San Francisco who gets arrested for vagrancy in LA, only to become an undercover cop.
'The Mod Squad' might feel somewhat dated today–––although I love the key players' style and lingo, especially when Linc Hayes stoically says 'solid' to mean he gets it (in just about any situation.) But the drama still holds up and remains effective in many ways. And one of the greatest charms of the show is Peggy Lipton's manner of playing the sweet, gentle and resourceful Julie Barnes.
|The Mod Squad with kitties. Solid.|
|The Mod Squad|
On the show, Julie always has a soft spot for her friends and fellow undercover cops, Pete and Linc. The three of them seek justice while still being distrustful of 'The Man'. The show was a hit because it touched on topics of the time with sincerity and poignancy. Peggy Lipton's soulful, kind eyes and demeanor were a perfect fit for the show's vibe.
Julie Barnes' empathetic nature extended into Peggy Lipton's personal life, as well. Her relationships ran the gamut of (what I consider to be) very different men. She's someone who I would say never had a 'type'. I believe she was simply attracted to a certain man for his spirit.
Prior to becoming a household name, she had a short-lived (publicity-based) 'date' with Paul McCartney, after which she became the sort of classic 'who's that girl' story, with newspapers the next day posting her photo and everyone wondering who she was.
|Paul and Peggy, newspaper clipping|
Other notable men she (actually) dated include Terence Stamp, Keith Moon, music producer Lou Adler, Sammy Davis, Jr., even Elvis Presley (and her candid story about her The King was especially touching to read in her book.) Of course, she fell for and married Quincy Jones. The greatest similarity these men shared, as far as I can tell, is that–––apart from Terence Stamp–––they're all musicians. Something I find interesting about Peggy Lipton is how open her heart has always seemed to be, which is a beautiful way to be.
|Sammy Davis, Jr. and Peggy Lipton|
|Lou Adler and Peggy Lipton|
|Peggy Lipton and Terence Stamp|
Back when she and Quincy Jones got married, it was still very unusual to be a mixed-race couple. Peggy Lipton never cared for a moment what people would think. Her carefree and kind spirit shines right through, which is why she is so beautiful on the surface. She and Quincy Jones have two lovely daughters together, Rashida and Kadida, and they remain very close despite the fact they're no longer married.
|Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton|
|Peggy Lipton with her family|
Speaking of music, Peggy Lipton also sang for a while. Her voice didn't have a massive range, but she put a lot of soul and style into her vocals. Her voice suited the confessional, pretty style of the 1970's, and she was able to put it to use on several of her own albums.
|Peggy Lipton's single for 'Stoney End' & 'San Francisco Glide'|
|Peggy Lipton recording|
In the clip above, Peggy Lipton sings on 'The Mod Squad'. 'She's now. She's where it's at.' That's how Sammy Davis, Jr. introduced his friend Peggy to his audience, below.
As if all of that wasn't cool enough, Peggy Lipton also portrayed Norma Jennings on 'Twin Peaks'. The lovely Norma is my favorite character in that show, and that's also because of Peggy Lipton. I'm not sure that character would have struck me the way she did if someone else had played Norma.
|Peggy Lipton as the lovely Norma Jennings|
|How to age well... Peggy Lipton|