Twin Peaks: then and now

Ever wondered how some of your favorite Twin Peaks actors look today? Here’s your chance!

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Twin Peaks went on the air in the spring of 1990, and soon became one of the most successful shows in modern American television. The series was the center of kitchen conversations in every workplace, where everybody debated about the mystery “who killed Laura Palmer”. Now, after two seasons and one prequel film, David Lynch’s favorite cult series is back on our screens on the Showtime network, and it’s surely as strange and beautiful than ever. The show’s creators managed to weave a plot centered around a murder investigation of a young girl but also built an entire world around it for the viewers to slowly unravel. As other characters and storylines slowly came to light, we got to know Twin Peaks’ heroes and the villains, as well as the secrets beneath the surface of this all-American town. Among its qualities, the series masterfully combined the soap opera genre with humor, supernatural and horror elements, earning many new fans and accolades from TV critics.

From the first seconds of the intro you feel at home, tripping on a cloud over a waterfall. Combined with the beautiful scenery of the Pacific Northwest, the show’s music and visuals capture the viewer at the perfect moment and welcomes him into its universe. Long time composer and collaborator Angelo Badalamenti created a timeless fusion of dreamy yet eerie atmospheric music, film noir themes and 50’s American music, all blended perfectly in the background of Twin Peaks’ endless green pine trees. Following other mythical 90’s TV shows that made a come back to the little screen, such as The X-Files, Twin Peaks new season promises to take us back down memory lane with its large cast of original cast members and newly added cameo roles. Here’s a chance to look back at some of our favorite actors from the show.

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Kyle MacLachlan / Special Agent Dale Cooper

Kyle Maclachlan appeared as the lead character, Agent Dale Cooper, in the series, which back then was his third collaboration with director David Lynch, following MacLachlan’s acting debut Dune in 1984 and Blue Velvet 1986. The actor went on to appear in several other films and successful TV shows such as SATC, Portlandia and How I Met Your Mother. Aside from his flourishing acting career, McLachlan is an avid animal lover and owns his winery.

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Mädchen Amick / Shelly Johnson

Coming into the show with total anonymity, Amick took our life by storm with her role as Shelly the waitress. Although she was praised by many critics for her part, Amick failed to ignite her acting career after Twin Peaks for over a decade. These days, Madchen Amick is back in the saddle with major roles in Gossip Girl, Californication, My Own Worst Enemy and The Witches of East End. And she still looks gorgeous!

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Dana Ashbrook / Bobby Briggs

Dana Ashbrook was often remembered for his portrayal of swaggering football captain Bobby Briggs in Twin Peaks. During that time, he dated actress Marisa Tomei. Following the show’s end, Ashbrook played the role of Rich Rinaldi in Dawson’s Creek and was a series regular in the TV adaptation of Crash. Since the show ended in 2009, he’s turned up on episodes of Psych (where he brought back Bobby for the Twin Peaks tribute episode ‘Dual Spires’) and Blue Collar.

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Richard Beymer / Benjamin Horne

It may have come as a surprise, but Richard Beymer was actually quite a charmer in his youth, appearing as Tony in the 1961 film version of West Side Story. Beymer, who played the role of the Mischievous hotel owner, Ben Horne, in the series, went off the radar completely and even published a semi-autobiographical novel called What Happened to Richard Beymer. The actor came out of oblivion to revisit his role in the 2017 adaptation of the series.

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Peggy Lipton / Norma Jennings

Our older readers will recognize Peggy Lipton as a stunning model and actress in the late sixties and early seventies, appearing in the successful police drama The Mod Squad. Afterwards, Lipton married famous record producer Quincy Jones and concentrated on raising her family. Twin Peaks gave Lipton a second shot at fame when she appeared in the series as restaurant owner Norma Jennings. She is also the mother of actor and comedian Rashida Jones.

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Catherine E. Coulson / The Log Lady

Although she was primarily a theater actor, Catherine Coulson had numerous TV appearances beside her role as the mysterious and cryptic Log Lady. Coulson had worked with Lynch since his early career, producing his classic film Eraserhead. In addition, she was also married to the late Jack Nance (who played Pete Martell in the series). Coulson was originally scheduled to appear in the new adaption of the series before sadly passing away 2015.

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Michael Ontkean / Sheriff Harry S. Truman

Michael Ontkean portrayed Harry Truman, the sheriff of the sleepy town in the Pacific Northwest. These days, Ontkean lives in Hawaii with his family and occasionally works in TV and film, including a performance alongside George Clooney in 2011 movie The Descendants. Before his famous role as Sheriff Truman, he appeared in ABC’s American crime drama The Rookies from 1972 to 1976. Ontkean decided not appear in the 2017 version of Twin Peaks.

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Joan Chen / Jocelyn Packard

Joan Chen portrayed the mysterious, beautiful widow Josie Packard on the show. Chen, who was originally born in Shanghai, had a successful career already in the Chinese film industry prior to Twin Peaks. She first broke out to international recognition when she was praised for her role in the 1987 award-winning film The Last Emperor. After the show ended, Chen appeared in various productions but is especially remembered for her performance in Ang Lee’s film, Lust Caution that came out in 2007.

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Kimmy Robertson / Lucy Moran

Apart from a small cameo in Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, Robertson’s career was still in the beginning until she landed her role as police clerk Lucy Moran, who is known for her naive, forgetful behavior. In contrast with the show’s somber tone, Robertson’s character would often serve as comic relief in the series. Today, she is enjoying a successful career primarily as a voice actor for many films and TV shows such as Batman: The Animated Series, The Simpsons, and American Dad.

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Piper Laurie / Catherine Martell

Although today she is officially retired from the movie industry, Piper Laurie was already a respected actress prior to her role as mill owner Catherine Martell. Laurie, who had been in show business since the 1950’s, appeared in many successful films such as The Hustler, Carrie, and Children of a Lesser God, and was known for a stunning look. Rumors in Hollywood say that she often bathed in milk in order to maintain her soft, white skin.

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Ray Wise / Leland Palmer

We all know Ray Wise from many US TV shows, and it seems like he was always there. The talented actor maintains a steady career in the entertainment business, appearing in many 80’s soap operas including Days Of Our Lives and Dallas. After his famous role as Laura Palmer’s eerie dad, Leland, Wise made other television appearances in Mad Men, How I Met Your Mother and as President Hal Gardner in 24.

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Grace Zabriskie / Sarah Palmer

The actress began her career in several TV shows throughout the 70’s and 80’s, including Knots Landing, Falcon Crest and Cagney and Lacey. After seeing her performance, Zabriskie was chosen by Lynch to play Laura Palmer’s heartbroken mother on the show. After Twin Peaks was canceled, she went to appear in other successful TV programs such as Seinfeld (alongside Twin Peaks co-star Warren Frost), The West Wing and Big Love.

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Eric Da Re / Leo Johnson

Da Re originally landed the role of criminal Leo Johnson through his mother Johanna, who worked as a casting director for David Lynch in many of his productions. After appearing in several films such as Starship Troopers and Bundy, Da Rae slowly disappeared from Hollywood. In 2012, he was detained by the L.A.P.D, who suspected that Da Rae started more than 50 fires in the Hollywood area. He is nowhere to be seen since then.

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James Marshall / James Hurley

Unfortunately for Marshall, his acting career was practically gone after Twin Peaks ended. In the beginning, things looked better for Marshall when he landed a role on Aaron Sorkin’s penned movie, A Few Good Men, in 1992. However, his life took a bad turn as he became ill for many years, suffering from bowel disease. Following the failure of his acting career, Marshal decided to reinvent himself as a singer-songwriter.

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Kenneth Walsh / Windom Earle

Until his wicked performance as the arch-nemesis Windom Earle, Kenneth Walsh was practically unknown to the American audience. Born in Canada, Walsh performed as an actor mainly in theater productions and small independent movies. Later on, Walsh landed the role of the Vice President of the United States in the 2004 environmental disaster film The Day After Tomorrow. According to various sources on the set, Walsh was chosen due to his physical similarity to US Vice president at the time, Dick Cheney.

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Miguel Ferrer / Albert Rosenfeld

Although the talented actor was born to award-winning actor Jose Ferrer, Miguel soon broke out of his father’s shadow. Ferrer first broke through into the mainstream when he appeared in Robocop, which brought him to Lynch’s attention. After Twin Peaks, he appeared on many TV shows including Crossing Jordan and NCIS: Los Angeles. Ferrer re-appearance as Agent Albert Rosenfeld on the show was his last before he passed away in 2017 after a battle with cancer.

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Harry Goaz / Andy Brennan

Harry Goaz appeared in Twin Peaks as the town’s deputy sheriff, Andy Brennan. Originally born in Texas, Goaz later moved to Los Angeles to study and pursue a career in acting. According to the actor, he landed the role of Deputy Brennan when he drove director David Lynch to a Roy Orbison memorial concert. Goaz disappeared completely from the entertainment business in 1995, reprising only a decade later for small cameo roles.

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Michael Horse / Deputy Hawk

Known as one of fan’s personal favorites, Michael Horse portrayed Sheriff Truman’s partner, best friend and personal adviser Deputy Hawk. Horse, who has Austrian, Swedish and Native American roots, continued to act in many TV shows and films throughout the 90’s. His repertoire includes productions such as Passenger 57, The X Files, House of Cards, The Untouchables and North of 60. Like many others, Horse was delighted to appear in the new installment.

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Chris Mulkey / Hank Jennings

Although you won’t recognize his face like many A-list actors, Mulkey is considered as one of the busiest actors in the industry. While he is known in Hollywood as an extremely private person, Mulkey appeared in over 80 films and TV shows. Apart from his work in Twin Peaks, Chris Mulkey had regular roles on Saving Grace and Any Day Now while appearing in shows such as Friday Night Lights, Boardwalk Empire and Better Call Saul.

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Phoebe Augustine / Ronette Pulaski

Not familiar with this name? You are not the only one. Apparently, Phoebe Augustine’s entire connection to acting is based on the show. Augustine appeared as Ronette Pulaski, the second surviving victim of Laura Palmer’s attacker. The actress later reprised her role in the prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and in the new series. As it turned out, this was one of her only roles in her acting career.

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Julee Cruise

Cruise was a long time collaborator with David Lynch and Twin Peaks composer Angelo Badalamenti, while also performing several songs on the soundtrack. Her vocal version of the show’s theme “Falling” became a surprising hit in the United States, selling over 500,000 copies. Cruise is considered as part of the cast although she does not have a speaking role in the series, appearing only as the singer in the local club.

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Ian Buchannan / Dick Tremayne

The Scottish actor began in classic TV shows such as Quantum Leap and The Flash before playing in the second season of the series as Lucy Moran’s former love interest Richard Tremayne. Outside Twin peaks, Buchanan is a television star who is famously known for appearing in multiple American soap opera’s like General Hospital, The Bold and the Beautiful, All My Children and Days Of Our Lives. Unfortunately, his character did not come back to the show.

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Al Strobel / Mike Gerrard

Albert Michael Strobel is mostly famous for his portrayal of the mysterious and cryptic one-armed Mike Gerrard in the series. Strobel, who himself is one-armed due to a car accident as a teenager, appeared in various TV shows before he officially decided to retire from the film industry. Upon receiving a special invitation by David Lynch himself, Strobel agreed to come back and reprise his role on the show.

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David Lynch / Agent Gordon Cole

Believe it or not, but the part of Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent Gordon Cole was played by none other than director David Lynch himself. In the series, Lynch portrays Agent Cooper’s superior officer, who is known for wearing his large white hearing aids. While his baffled character often speaks extremely loud and in coded language, Lynch himself confessed in various interviews that many of his lines on the show were largely improvised on set.

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Everett McGill / Ed Hurley

Everett McGill was brought to the original show by Lynch’s request, who along with several other Twin Peaks cast, worked with the actor on his films A Straight Story and the sci-fi movie Dune. McGill retired from acting a few years ago, but Lynch decided to locate him in his country home and personally convince him to return to the show. McGill agreed to come back from his retirement and reprise his role as “Big” Ed Hurley.

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Sheryl Lee / Laura Palmer

She was the mystery behind the entire series and the subject of every kitchen conversation in 1990. Sheryl Lee portrayed the dead body of Laura Palmer, while also portraying her cousin Maddy Ferguson and Laura herself in the series flashbacks. Lee revealed that she dated her fellow co-actor David Duchovny during the show. Today, she is still in the movie industry and could be seen in Desperate Housewives and One Tree Hill.

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David Duchovny / Dennis Brayson

One of the most well-known actors to ever come out of Twin Peaks, David Duchovny became a worldwide phenomenon in the 90’s when he appeared as the lead role, Fox Mulder, on the cult TV show The X Files in 1993. After the show’s demise in 2002, Duchovny went to perform other roles before landing a lead role in another hit show – Californication. These days, the actor is enjoying the 90’s nostalgia wave as he reprised his iconic roles in both The X Files mini-return and Twin Peaks new seasons.

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Heather Graham / Annie Blackburn

While Graham appeared in several films before the show, her role in Twin Peaks as Kyle Mclachlan’s love interest, Annie Blackburn, practically jump started her career. The gorgeous actress later went on to appear in many successful movies including the first Austin Powers movie, Boogie Nights and the first and third installments of The Hangover. Despite her decision to concentrate on independent films, Heather Graham remains today as one of the busiest actors in the industry.

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Sherilyn Fenn / Audrey Horne

When the original show was broadcasted for the first time, Sherilyn Fenn was considered as the industry’s ‘It girl’ due to her charming portrayal of the seductive Audrey Horne. Despite the show’s intermediate success towards the end, Fenn turned down an offer for a spin-off. Since then, her career remained under the radar as she appeared in several low-key roles in many TV shows including CSI: Miami, Ray Donovan, Gilmore Girls and Rude Awakening.

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Lara Flynn Boyle / Donna Hayward

Twin Peaks helped the talented Lara Flynn Boyle jump start her career during the 90’s, with her compassionate role of Laura’s best friend, Donna Hayward. Flynn Boyle went on to appear in several movies such as Wayne’s World, Happiness, Men In Black II and Hansel And Gretel Get Baked. The actress came back to the public eye for the wrong reasons when pictures of her after several unsuccessful plastic surgeries spread all over the internet. Although Flynn Boyle’s career slowly waned in the 2000’s, she still appears on various television shows.

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