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!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television | Twin Peaks, Episode Three, Season One. FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLaughlin, right) at former homecoming queen Laura Palmer's funeral with a lineup of mourners/suspects, from left: Shelly Johnson (Madchen Amick), Norma Jennings (Peggy Lipton), Ed Hurley (Everett McGill) and Nadine Hurley (Wendy Robie).

Image Credits: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television | Twin Peaks, Episode Three, Season One. FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLaughlin, right) at former homecoming queen Laura Palmer's funeral with a lineup of mourners/suspects, from left: Shelly Johnson (Madchen Amick), Norma Jennings (Peggy Lipton), Ed Hurley (Everett McGill) and Nadine Hurley (Wendy Robie).


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images / CBS Photo Archive | The title scene from the pilot episode of the television series 'Twin Peaks,' originally broadcast on April 8, 1990. It was filmed on Reinig Road in Snoqualmie, Washington.

Image Credits: Getty Images / CBS Photo Archive | The title scene from the pilot episode of the television series 'Twin Peaks,' originally broadcast on April 8, 1990. It was filmed on Reinig Road in Snoqualmie, Washington.


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images / CBS Photo Archive | Exterior shot showing the facade of the Twin Peaks' sheriff's building, from the pilot episode of the hit television show 'Twin Peaks', 1990.

Image Credits: Getty Images / CBS Photo Archive | Exterior shot showing the facade of the Twin Peaks' sheriff's building, from the pilot episode of the hit television show 'Twin Peaks', 1990.


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. 

Image Credits: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television | Twin Peaks. Homecoming queen Laura Palmer is found dead, washed up on a riverbank wrapped in plastic sheeting. FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLaughlin, left) is called in to work with local Sheriff Harry S.Truman (Michael Ontkean) in the investigation of the gruesome murder in the small Northwestern town of Twin Peaks.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television | Twin Peaks. Homecoming queen Laura Palmer is found dead, washed up on a riverbank wrapped in plastic sheeting. FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLaughlin, left) is called in to work with local Sheriff Harry S.Truman (Michael Ontkean) in the investigation of the gruesome murder in the small Northwestern town of Twin Peaks.


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?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television | Twin Peaks. Homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee, pictured) is found dead, washed up on a riverbank wrapped in plastic sheeting. FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper is called in to work with local Sheriff Harry S.Truman in the investigation of the gruesome murder in the small Northwestern town of Twin Peaks.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television | Twin Peaks. Homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee, pictured) is found dead, washed up on a riverbank wrapped in plastic sheeting. FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper is called in to work with local Sheriff Harry S.Truman in the investigation of the gruesome murder in the small Northwestern town of Twin Peaks.


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic | Actress Sheryl Lee attends the premiere of "Twin Peaks" at Ace Hotel on May 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic | Actress Sheryl Lee attends the premiere of "Twin Peaks" at Ace Hotel on May 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

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.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television | Sheryl Lee in Twin Peak's pilot, "Northwest Passage".

Image Credits: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television | Sheryl Lee in Twin Peak's pilot, "Northwest Passage".


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison | Kyle MacLachlan attends the Cadillac celebrates The 91st Annual Academy Awards at Chateau Marmont on February 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison | Kyle MacLachlan attends the Cadillac celebrates The 91st Annual Academy Awards at Chateau Marmont on February 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

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.

Image Credits: Getty Images / CBS Photo Archive | Kyle MacLachlan as Special Agent Dale Cooper hard on the heels of a murderer, from the pilot episode of the hit television series 'Twin Peaks', 1990.

Image Credits: Getty Images / CBS Photo Archive | Kyle MacLachlan as Special Agent Dale Cooper hard on the heels of a murderer, from the pilot episode of the hit television series 'Twin Peaks', 1990.


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic | Lara Flynn Boyle during 13th Annual Race to Erase MS - "Disco Fever to Erase MS" - Arrivals at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City, California, United States.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic | Lara Flynn Boyle during 13th Annual Race to Erase MS - "Disco Fever to Erase MS" - Arrivals at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City, California, United States.


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”.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic | Actor James Marshall attends the premiere of "Twin Peaks" at Ace Hotel on May 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic | Actor James Marshall attends the premiere of "Twin Peaks" at Ace Hotel on May 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.


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”.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tibrina Hobson | Madchen Amick attends John Varvatos International Day of Peace with Ringo Starr at John Varvatos Boutique on September 21, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tibrina Hobson | Madchen Amick attends John Varvatos International Day of Peace with Ringo Starr at John Varvatos Boutique on September 21, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.


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”.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Amy T. Zielinski | Actress Sherilyn Fenn, who plays the character Audrey Horne in the TV series Twin Peaks poses for a photograph during the Twin Peaks UK Festival 2017 at Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre on October 8, 2017 in London, England.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Amy T. Zielinski | Actress Sherilyn Fenn, who plays the character Audrey Horne in the TV series Twin Peaks poses for a photograph during the Twin Peaks UK Festival 2017 at Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre on October 8, 2017 in London, England.


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”.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Michael Tran / FilmMagic | Ray Wise arrives at the Chipotle world premiere of original comedy web series "Farmed And Dangerous" held at DGA Theater on February 11, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Michael Tran / FilmMagic | Ray Wise arrives at the Chipotle world premiere of original comedy web series "Farmed And Dangerous" held at DGA Theater on February 11, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

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.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television | Ray Wise in Twin Peaks.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television | Ray Wise in Twin Peaks.


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”.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic | Peggy Lipton attends Stella McCartney's Autumn 2018 Collection Launch on January 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic | Peggy Lipton attends Stella McCartney's Autumn 2018 Collection Launch on January 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Steven Ferdman | Dana Ashbrook attends a screening of Framing John DeLorean during the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theater on April 30, 2019 in New York City.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Steven Ferdman | Dana Ashbrook attends a screening of Framing John DeLorean during the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theater on April 30, 2019 in New York City.


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tibrina Hobson | Piper Laurie attends the Los Angeles premiere of Gravitas Ventures 'Snapshots' at Laemmle Music Hall on July 27, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Tibrina Hobson | Piper Laurie attends the Los Angeles premiere of Gravitas Ventures 'Snapshots' at Laemmle Music Hall on July 27, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.

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”.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television | Piper Laurie in Twin Peaks.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television | Piper Laurie in Twin Peaks.


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Suhaimi Abdullah | Chinese American actress, screenwriter, film director and producer Joan Chen poses for a photo after the 29th Singapore International Film Festival media interview on December 8, 2018 in Singapore.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Suhaimi Abdullah | Chinese American actress, screenwriter, film director and producer Joan Chen poses for a photo after the 29th Singapore International Film Festival media interview on December 8, 2018 in Singapore.

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.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television | Joan Chen in Twin Peaks.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television | Joan Chen in Twin Peaks.


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”.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Amanda Edwards | Actress Kimmy Robertson arrives at the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Reception at The Beverly Center on August 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Amanda Edwards | Actress Kimmy Robertson arrives at the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Reception at The Beverly Center on August 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.


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”.

Image Credits: Getty Images / J. Countess | Actor Kenneth Welsh attends the Virgin Mobile Arts & Cinema Centre - "The Art Of The Steal" After Party at F-Stop on September 11, 2013 in Toronto, Canada.

Image Credits: Getty Images / J. Countess | Actor Kenneth Welsh attends the Virgin Mobile Arts & Cinema Centre - "The Art Of The Steal" After Party at F-Stop on September 11, 2013 in Toronto, Canada.


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?”.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television | Richard Beymer in Twin Peaks.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television | Richard Beymer in Twin Peaks.


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television | Jack Nance in Twin Peaks.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television | Jack Nance in Twin Peaks.


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Ron Galella, Ltd. / Ron Galella Collection | Actor Michael Ontkean attends the opening of 'Byron' on August 23,1989 at the Doolittle Theater in Hollywood, California.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Ron Galella, Ltd. / Ron Galella Collection | Actor Michael Ontkean attends the opening of 'Byron' on August 23,1989 at the Doolittle Theater in Hollywood, California.


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic | Actress Grace Zabriskie attends the premiere of "Twin Peaks" at Ace Hotel on May 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic | Actress Grace Zabriskie attends the premiere of "Twin Peaks" at Ace Hotel on May 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

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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