Lipton poses for a portrait circa 1967, shortly before The Mod Squad made her a household name
Donaldson Collection—Getty Images
May 16, 2019 8:32 AM EDT

Peggy Lipton’s performance as Julie Barnes on The Mod Squad made a huge impact on my whole generation. The show was decidedly not meant for our parents, and Peggy, who died on May 11 at 72, was a revelation. She represented a type of person not seen on television before, the quintessential example of a new kind of woman, young and hip, with a resilience that complemented a truly gentle spirit.

Later, she played a more personal, yet equally influential, role in my life, when we worked together on Twin Peaks. Peggy brought mystery and strength in equal measure to the character of Norma, who ran the Double R Diner. She radiated a sense of purpose, and her performance on the show in many ways mirrored Peggy the unique individual. She was always gracious and ever thoughtful, and moved to her own rhythm. She was wise and seemed all-knowing, and I instinctively felt that her world was full and complete—and far more fascinating than she would ever reveal to the rest of us.

When she poured you a coffee at the counter at the Double R, her smile and calming voice made everything feel all right with the world. And she made one hell of a cherry pie.

MacLachlan is an actor

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