Television audiences that remember the hit 1960s action series The Mod Squad will likely be familiar with the name Peggy Lipton. Peggy Lipton rose to fame portraying stylish crime fighter Julie Barnes on the classic counter-culture police program, and went on to lead an incredibly interesting life before her death from cancer in 2019. Join Facts Verse as we explore details you didn’t know about Peggy Lipton.
Peggy Lipton was born in New York on August 30, 1946. The young woman was born with natural good looks, and found herself at the beginning of a professional modeling career when she was only 15 years old. Peggy was soon in high demand on the New York modeling scene and began being offered roles on television. Although these roles started out small, they increased in prominence until she eventually cast in the iconic series The Mod Squad.
Peggy had started her modeling career when she was 15, and began her acting career only a few years later, at the age of 19. Peggy’s television debut came via an appearance on a sitcom known as The John Forsythe Show, and she would go on to make increasingly notable appearances in other programs. Some of the many other television programs that Peggy appeared on before taking her role on The Mod Squad included The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and Bewitched. She was cast in The Mod Squad when she was only 21 years old. The series utilized Peggy’s natural good looks, and also turned her into a counter-culture fashion icon.
Peggy Lipton had only been acting for a little over a year when she was cast in The Mod Squad. Her natural good looks and charm had allowed her career in the entertainment industry to take off like wildfire. Although Peggy could’ve certainly made a living off of modeling alone, she decided that she would rather be a television star. The Mod Squad proved to be the perfect vehicle to rocket Peggy to fame.
It was in 1968 that Peggy was cast as Julie Barnes in the action series The Mod Squad. The Mod Squad revolved around the novel premise of three counter-culture youths tasked with becoming undercover agents as an alterative to serving time in prison. The show featured a keen eye for fashion, based predominantly around the British mod subculture of the time. In addition to it’s revolutionary fashion, it also tackled revolutionary themes that authentically played into the counter-culture of the time.
With the British Invasion having recently reached full force by the time that The Mod Squad premiered, the mod subculture was at peak popularity. The subculture had originally originated in London, and was exemplified by popular British rock groups and celebrities of the time, including the Beatles. Mod was short for “modern” and The Mod Squad was certainly the most modern police program of it’s era.
There were three youths making up the titular Mod Squad, including Peggy’s Julie Barnes. Michael Cole, Clarence Williams, and Tige Andrews made up the other stars featured on the program. The show became a huge success thanks to both it’s cast and it’s sense of style. It lasted from 1968 until 1973, over which period Peggy became a huge star and a fashion icon in the eyes of the public. In addition to her public notoriety, Peggy also earned a Golden Globe Award for her portrayal of Julie, as well as several Emmy Award nominations that she sadly never won.
The same year that The Mod Squad premiered, Peggy also released a self-titled pop album that was intended to launch her career as a singer. The album wasn’t quite as successful as the record label had hoped, so a follow-up record was never produced. Around this time period, Peggy was also romantically linked up with Paul McCartney. Given the mod theme of Peggy’s hit show, her pairing up with one of the scene’s biggest celebrities was likely no coincidence.
Although Peggy was briefly linked romantically to Paul McCartney, it was another musician that would eventually win over the actress’s heart. This musician was Quincy Jones, a popular producer and studio musician best known for producing Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall and Thriller albums. Peggy married Quincy in 1974, and the two went on to have two daughters together. Those daughters’ names are Rashida and Kikada Jones. Rashida went on to follow in the footsteps of her mother and then some. In addition to becoming a hit television actress thanks to her turns in shows such as The Office and Parks and Recreation, she has also dabbled behind the scenes on features such as the most recent entry in the Toy Story franchise: Toy Story 4.
After settling down with Quincy and having her two daughters, Peggy decided to take it easy as far as acting was concerned. Quincy made more than enough money with his record producing to pay the bills, allowing Peggy to have the chance to take time off of work to raise Rashida and Kikada. Although Peggy did return to television for 1979’s The Return of the Mod Squad, she tried her best to stay out of the acting scene while her daughters were young.
When Rashida and Kikada got older, Peggy and Quincy divorced. After that, Peggy returned to acting with some notable roles in various made-for-television features and series. In one made-for-television feature, Peggy was even given the opportunity to play the on-screen mother of one of her real-life daughters, which happened to be Rashida.
Perhaps Peggy’s most notable role besides Julie Barnes form The Mod Squad is the character of Norma Jennings from David Lynch’s hit series Twin Peaks. Norma was one of the original characters on the series when it premiered in 1989, and Peggy went on to portray the character for all of the show’s original three seasons. As well, Peggy returned to portray the character for the show’s 2017 revival, Twin Peaks: The Return. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! As well, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
Besides Paul McCartney and Quincy Jones, there was another musician that Peggy Lipton was once romantically linked up with. That musician was Elvis Presley, although the two were only together for a very short period of time. The relationship occurred the in 1973, the year before Peggy married and settled down with producer Quincy Jones.
Although Peggy’s relationship with Elvis Presley was incredibly brief, it left a gigantic impression on the actress that lasted until her death in 2019. Although the romantic connection between the two was never entirely there, Peggy considered Elvis to be one of the strangest and most interesting men that she had ever met. In the years after their relationship, she loved telling stories to anyone that would listen about her time with the legendary musician.
Elvis had split up with his wife Priscilla in 1973. Like much of the rest of the world, he had fallen in love with Peggy via her portrayal of Julie Barnes on The Mod Squad. Given that Elvis was in a position to actually meet up with Julie, he eventually secured a date wit her and started up a relationship. This came later in Elvis’ career, when Elvis was well into his karate practice and other strange obsessions.
According to Peggy, the main two things that Elvis spent his time doing during their brief relationship were practicing karate and eating. While one might imagine that Elvis was a stud in bed, Peggy claimed that the legendary musician was essentially impotent during their relationship, although that didn’t mean that she didn’t enjoy spending time with him.
Peggy claimed that her and Elvis had attempted sex multiple times, starting at the very beginning of their relationship. In fact, Peggy expressed that sex was pretty much the first thing that Elvis had attempted to do. However, the legendary musician failed to perform after multiple attempts, and the problems continued throughout the rest of the relationship.
The fact that Elvis couldn’t perform in bed certainly frustrated Peggy given that she was sexually attracted to him, but the two still managed to find other ways to make their brief relationship work. There were many other things that Peggy appreciated about Elvis, including his strength, heart, and soul. According to Peggy, Elvis was a beautiful person inside and out, though incredibly complicated. She also expressed that being with Elvis was more like being with an overgrown child than it was like being with an adult man, though this innocent quality made the legendary figure more endearing.
It didn’t take long for Peggy and Elvis to split up, and Peggy soon married Quincy Jones. Elvis moved on from the relationship, as well, taking up with Ginger Alden. Elvis maintained his relationship with Ginger until his death only a few years later. Elvis died in 1977 at his home, Graceland. Although Peggy and Elvis’ relationship certainly didn’t last very long, Peggy never forgot it. She went on to write about the relationship in great detail in her 2005 autobiography.
Just a short time after reprising the role of Norma Jennings in Twin Peaks: The Return, Peggy passed away from cancer. The actress passed away in 2019, at the age of 72. Her two daughters made the announcement. Although Peggy and Quincy had divorced, Rashida and Kikada always maintained a close relationship with both of their parents.
Although Peggy Lipton had a few other roles after The Mod Squad, she will likely always remain best known for her portrayal of Julie Barnes on that show, as well as it’s 1979 reunion feature. Comment down below to share what your favorite role of Peggy’s is besides her iconic turn as Julie, or if you wish that she would’ve been given the opportunity to do more prominent work later on in her career. As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!