I'm on page 97 of Peggy Lipton's Hollywood memoir, Breathing Out (St. Martin's Press, 2005). I began reading the book, because I knew that Peggy Lipton was close friends with actress Jill Banner. They attended the Hollywood Professional School together and got high together. Right now we're in the middle of the LA swinging Sixties scene, and Peggy is about to join the cast of The Mod Squad television series. For those of you who don't remember The Mod Squad, you might remember the TV show 21 Jump Street, which made Johnny Depp a star. Well, The Mod Squad was the same sort of thing: cool and intense cop kids solving crime and wearing contemporary clothing. For those of you who don't remember 21 Jump Street, Peggy Lipton also appeared in the television show Twin Peaks. For those of you who don't remember Twin Peaks, Peggy has more recently appeared in Wings, Alias, and Rules of Engagement.
Anyway, by page 97, she's already had a weird childhood on Long Island, been molested, done some modeling, moved to LA, slept with Paul McCartney at the height of Beatlemania, smoked weed with rock stars and movie stars, gotten beat up by an alcoholic boyfriend, and so on. I'm sure there are rapes, rehabs, and recriminations coming sometime soon, but I haven't gotten that far. There are certain rhythms in Hollywood biographies that include sex, betrayal, substance abuse (usually alcohol), romance, sex, stardom, insecurity, more sex, eventual death, and a retrospective DVD release. This is not meant as a spoiler. As far as I know, Peggy Lipton is alive and well and surfing the Internet right now for blogs that mention her name. (Hi, Peg.) Her co-authors, David Dalton and Coco Pekelis Dalton, who wrote a book called Everything I Know I Learned on Acid, which is an interesting title, should be commended for moving the story along at a brisk pace (at least thus far). If I think about it, I'll tell you how it comes out.