Twin Peaks star Peggy Lipton dies aged 72

The actress who played diner owner Norma Jennings was also known for ground-breaking US series The Mod Squad

Peggy Lipton as Norma in Twin Peaks

American actress Peggy Lipton, best known for roles in Twin Peaks and The Mod Squad, has died of cancer aged 72.

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Lipton passed away on Saturday, 11th May, surrounded by her family, including her daughters Rashida and Kidada Jones, who released the following statement to the Los Angeles Times.

“We are heartbroken that our beloved mother passed away from cancer today. 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.”

To US audiences, Lipton’s breakthrough role was undercover hippy cop Julia Barnes in late 60s/early 70s counterculture police drama The Mod Squad, for which she won a best actress Golden Globe in 1970.

But to a generation of British viewers, she will be most fondly remembered as Norma Jennings, owner of the Double R Diner in David Lynch’s dark, surreal melodrama Twin Peaks, which aired for two series, over a total of 30 episodes, in 1990 and 1991 and returned for a third run, with Norma still in her place at the centre of the small-town community, in 2017.

Lipton’s life and career were centred around the entertainment industry. She was also a singer, and released several tracks between 1968 and 1970. In 1974, she married musician and producer Quincy Jones, filing for divorce in 1989.

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Their two daughters Rashida and Kidada Jones are both actresses, with Rashida known for hit US sitcom Parks and Recreation and more recently as the title character in police comedy Angie Tribeca, which featured an appearance from Lipton as Angie’s appropriately named mother Peggy Tribeca.