Twin Peaks’ Cast: Then & Now
The American mystery drama television series that is still listed among one of the best, Twin Peaks returned over a quarter of a century later in 2017. The fans of the show, which is considered a landmark turning point in television drama, couldn’t wait for the new season, and nor could we! Check how what the cast has been doing in the meantime, and get a refresher on who played who!
TWIN PEAKS: A SHOW THAT KEEPS ON INSPIRING
The influential TV show that has become one of the fans’ favorites from David Lynch is still making headlines. Having being used as an influence for shows such as "Veronica Mars," "Pretty Little Liars", and "13 Reasons Why”, the show ran from 1990 to 1991.
THE PLOT BEHIND THE SERIES
If you have never seen the show, make sure to book some time off your schedule, because you will surely be binge-watching it! Twin Peaks follows an investigation into the murder of homecoming queen, in a fictional town named as the show. Drawing on soap opera drama and horror moves, you will be delighted by its surrealism, humor, and cinematography.
WHY WAS THE SHOW CANCELLED?
Once the murder of Laura Palmer was coming to a point in the middle of season 2, as well as the other storylines becoming darker, the audience seemed to have lost interest in keeping up with the show. However, ABC soon realized that canceling the show would be a mistake.
THE CAST OF TWIN PEAKS
On April 8, 1990, ABC introduced families all over America to the fictional town of Twin Peaks, and it is easy to understand how the public got addicted to the show. With colorful and eccentric characters and a twisting plotline, Twin Peaks became a reference to TV quality. But what are the actors that took part in it doing now?
SHERYL LEE / LAURA PALMER
Making her appearance on the show as a dead girl, Sheryl Lee’s career within acting was quite understated. Her most well-known roles surely are the ones she played for Lynch’s productions, however, she also took some steps into different types of shows.
Playing Ellie Harp in “One Tree Hill”, as well as co-starring with Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone”, Lee was also cast in the television drama “Desperate Housewives”. Recently, Sheryl Lee played Karen Stern in “Cafe Society”. Even though she made some appearances in certain shows and movies, her role in “Twin Peaks” was her major acting role.
KYLE MACLACHLAN / AGENT DALE COOPER
Kyle MacLachlan’s career since the television drama where he played Agent Dale Cooper has been an interesting one. Taking roles in the romantic comedy shows “Sex and the City” and “Desperate Housewives”, he was often type-casted as an ill-fated lover.
Having also taken some steps in “Portlandia”, Kyle is passionate about animals and went as far as naming his winery “Pursued by Bear”, as well as building a website specifically for his dogs, Mookie and Sam. Having been acting since 1984, when he had his first role in “Dune”, we are certain that his career will still develop further.
LARA FLYNN BOYLE / DONNA HAYWARD
Being a Twin Peak’s acting beginner, Boyde became one of the biggest breakout stars of the whole cast. The actress can be seen in movies like “Happiness”, “Men in Black II”, “Dead Poets Society”, and “Wayne’s World”, as well as having played the character of Helen Gamble in “The Practice” for six years.
JAMES MARSHALL / JAMES HURLEY
Having started his acting career by taking on tiny roles, Marshall’s decision to accept Lynch’s invitation to join Twin Peaks was his big breakthrough. After the show, he moved onto the silver screen, having made an appearance in “Cadence” alongside Martin and Charlie Sheen. This experience allowed him to move into bigger movies, like “Gladiator” and “A Few Good Men”.
MÄDCHEN AMICK / SHELLY JOHNSON
One of the show’s most memorable and successful actresses, Amick’s career soared high after she left Twin Peaks. Playing several characters on famous shows, such as, “Gilmore Girls”, “ER”, “Gossip Girl”, “Witches of East End”, and more recently “Riverdale”. She also took a recurring role in “Dawson’s Creek”.
SHERILYN FENN / AUDREY HORNE
Like many of her counterparts in Twin Peaks, Fenn’s career within television shows was a good one. Taking on roles in “Gilmore Girls”, “Ray Donovan”, and “Shameless”, the actress surely didn’t leave anything hidden when it came to acting. Since then, she as appeared in “CSI: Miami” as well as in the TV movie “The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning”.
RAY WISE / LELAND PALMER
Wise’s best-known role is surely the one where he played Leland Palmer in Twin Peaks, and his mad-man smile will be very difficult to forget. Since then, he kept making appearances in movies such as “RoboCop” and television series like “Reaper” and “Suburban Gothic”.
Nevertheless, his Joker-smile was put into use in several other instances, and his career continued developing over the years. Ray was cast on “24”, the famous comedy show “How I Met Your Mother”, the movie “Mad Men”, as well as “Fresh Off the Boat”. The actor, who has now accomplished a well-rounded career, will surely always be remembered as Leland.
PEGGY LIPTON / NORMA JENNINGS
Peggy’s career might not have been as successful as some of her cast-colleagues, but she surely made extraordinaire works. After Twin Peaks, she joined a fellow co-star in “Crash”, and more recently was cast as the adult version of Hannah in “A Dog’s Purpose”.
DANA ASHBROOK / BOBBY BRIGGS
Ashbrook doesn’t always play swaggering roles like the one he had in Twin Peaks. The actor, who developed a well-rounded career, went on to play Rich Rinaldi in “Dawson’s Creek”, as well as taking part in the TV adaptation of Crash.
PIPER LAURIE / CATHERINE MARTELL
Piper Laurie was no stranger to good acting, and she had already made a name for herself long before being cast for the role of Catherine in Twin Peaks. The actress, who played Carrie’s mother in the 1976 film adaptation of Carrie, has been making appearances in several TV series.
After the show was canceled, Piper moved on to other television series. She took roles in “Frasier”, “Will & Grace”, “Law & Order: S.V.U.”, among many others. Because of her amazing performances, she became a three-time Oscar nominee and was nominated by BAFTA as well as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for best performance in “The Hustler”.
JOAN CHEN / JOSIE PACKARD
Born into a family of doctors and educated at the Shanghai Film Academy and the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Languages, Joan Chen’s career was already well-established when she joined Twin Peaks. The actress, who won China's Best Actress award, and resulted in the Chinese press calling her "The Elizabeth Taylor of China", still acts to this day.
More recently, Chen was involved in the Netflix show “Marco Polo”, where she played Empress Chabi. Since late 2017, the actress has been working mostly within the Asian cinematographic industry, as well as making several appearances in TV shows, but that doesn’t stop her from dazzling us with her amazing performances.
KIMMY ROBERTSON / LUCY MORAN
Robertson started her career as a ballet dancer, however, she soon caught people’s attention due to her distinctive sense of humor and quirky style. After Twin Peaks, Robertson took on several roles, being seen in “Beauty and the Beast”, “The Simpsons”, and “Kimmy on The Louie Show”.
KENNETH WELSH / WINDOM EARLE
Paying the ex-cop (who was insane) in Twin Peaks, Kenneth’s career had started long before his appearance on the show. Nevertheless, the experience he gained and the charisma he portrayed, allowed him to have a high rise in terms of roles. He made appearances in the movies “The Day After Tomorrow”, “The Aviator”, and “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”.
RICHARD BEYMER / BENJAMIN HORNE
Richard, who is now 81 years old, does not do much acting anymore. Since leaving Twin Peaks, the actor worked steadily in the industry, for both films and television, however recently he didn’t appear in any new roles. He did, however, come back with a semi-autobiographical novel, titled “Impostor: Or Whatever Happened to Richard Beymer?”.
JACK NANCE / PETE MARTELL
Even though Jack’s career was not as successful as some of his ex-colleagues after Twin Peaks, he has appeared in almost every movie by Lynch. The two first met in the 1970s, and Nance was usually cast to play secondary characters or quirky supporting parts. Unfortunately, Nance passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on December 30, 1996.
MICHAEL ONTKEAN / SHERIFF HARRY S. TRUMAN
Currently living his best life in Hawaii, Ontkean occasionally still makes some appearances in movies and television series. Some of his most recent work involves “The Descendents”, where he played alongside George Clooney. Even though not much has happened in his career, he still lives a happy life with his wife.
GRACE ZABRISKIE / SARAH PALMER
Known as "Amazing Grace" Zabriskie, her nickname clearly makes justice to her career. Grace has been in several titles, including “The West Wing” and “Big Love”, as well as most recently taking part in the TV series “Hot Streets”. Being a woman of many talents, Zabriskie has been working on her own original paintings, sculptures, and woodwork art.
Making a final comeback with season 3 in 2017, David Lynch’s Twin Peaks has surely become one of the favorites of many people around the world. Being rated number 12 in the “25 Best Cult TV Shows from the Past 25 Years" by Entertainment Weekly, we are certain that the followers of the show will still be talking passionately about it in the 25 years to come!
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