The plasma membrane serves as a barrier, separating the cell from its external environment. Simultaneously it acts as a site for information transduction, entry of nutrients, receptor signaling, and adapts to the shape of the cell. This requires local control of organization at multiple scales in this heterogeneous fluid lipid bilayer with a plethora of proteins and a closely juxtaposed dynamic cortical cytoskeleton. New membrane models highlight the influence of the underlying cortical actin on the diffusion of membrane components. Myosin motors as well as proteins that remodel actin filaments have additionally been implicated in defining the organization of many membrane constituents. Here we provide a perspective of the intimate relationship of the membrane lipid matrix and the underlying cytoskeleton.