Peaks Performance: On-screen, the unnamed bar singer who gigged at the Roadhouse...but of course also the chanteuse who provided the dreamy vocals on Angelo Badalamenti’s evocative score.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Cruise became a minor star off the back of Twin Peaks , but hasn’t released an album since 2002’s The Art of Being a Girl .
However, she'll be singing at chatting at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, on Saturday 27th November, as part of Twin Peaks UK Festival 2010 , a one-day event full of screenings and panels.
Peaks Performance: The “One Armed Man” in real-life as on-screen (the result of a car accident), Strobel was initially only meant to appear in a walk-on. But Lynch and Frost, never ones to miss an opportunity for a memorable character, brought him back as conflicted host to demon MIKE, trying to lead a normal life as a shoe salesman.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? “Officially retired,” according to a series fan forum. But we like to think he’s still wandering around, muttering the "Fire, Walk With Me" speech.
Mary Jo Deschanel
Peaks Performance: Occasionally, the fact that a Twin Peaks character had a quirk - in this case, Eileen Hayward was wheelchair-bound - turned out to be nothing weird or sinister at all. Deschanel remained remarkably normal, although husband Caleb, serving as sometime director on the show, did much to maintain Lynch's offbeat house style.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Deschanel continued to act, with roles in The Patriot , Breach and a recent appearance on House . But the baton has long passed on to her famous acting daughters, Bones star Emily and (500) Days of Summer 's Zooey.
Peaks Performance: Fresh from Memphis Belle and Dead Calm , Zane was already a big deal when he turned up in Twin Peaks out of the blue as wealthy playboy J.J. Wheeler. It’s a mark of the show’s appeal, even in its dying stages, that it could attract such a rising star.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? From the (ex-)biggest film in history (Titanic ), to an entirely different kind of sinking ship (Kelly Brook softcore disaster Three ), Zane’s had a career to rival Twin Peaks for off-the-grid oddness.
Austin Jack Lynch
Peaks Performance: One of the minor pleasures of Twin Peaks is watching characters who seem to go nowhere, but who feel like they should mean something. One notable example is Pierre Tremond/Chalfont, aka the Creamed Corn Boy. He only appears in one scene, but since he’s played by David Lynch’s son, it’s tempting to read much into his role.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Lynch, Jr remains a key collaborator of his dad, occasionally acting – he’s briefly in Inland Empire – as well as filming some of Lynch’s more experimental side-projects. In a cute twist, when Pierre was reprised in Fire Walk With Me , Austin was replaced by his cousin, David’s nephew, Jonathan L. Leppell.
Peaks Performance: One of the most influential characters introduced mid-series, career crim Hank Jennings’ arrival escalated several plot-lines and brought new danger thanks to Mulkey’s charming but corrosive performance.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Still a familiar face on telly ( 24 , Saving Grace , Boardwalk Empire ), and film, where his brief role in Cloverfield must have killed the illusion of ‘found footage’ for anyone to whom he’ll always be Hank Jennings.
Peaks Performance: It takes good actors to make an impression as a villain in a series dominated by owls, giants and killer spirits. Fortunately veteran Parks counterpointed criminal Jean Renault's menace and viciousness with softly spoken courtesy, easing the transition from the initial Palmer investigation to the full-on surreality of the series’ closing stages.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Parks has, if anything, become more famous over the past two decades, largely as a result of his recurring role for Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez as Earl McGraw in From Dusk Till Dawn , Kill Bill and both halves of Grindhouse .
He’s currently in such demand that he’s toplining Kevin Smith’s eagerly anticipated move into horror, Red State .
Peaks Performance: As Laura Palmer’s secret boyfriend James Hurley, Marshall’s brooding presence was the quietly intense yin to Bobby Briggs’ yang, but producers struggled to find much for him to do after the Palmer case was solved.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Touted as the next big thing, Marshall had major roles in Gladiator (no, not the Russell Crowe one) and A Few Good Men (yes, the Tom Cruise one).
However, he struggled with health problems which led to him having his colon removed. Marshall blamed acne drug Accutane and is currently suing the pharmaceutical company for multi-million dollar damages. His character witnesses? Martin Sheen and Brian Dennehy. Only in Hollywood.
Peaks Performance: One of the most normal, likeable presences in Twin Peaks , Dr Will Hayward – Donna’s dad, as well as the town’s chief physician – went to veteran stage actor Frost. Not coincidentally, he’s the dad of series co-creator Mark Frost.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Occasional acting in The Stand and The Larry Sanders Show paved the way for his delectable recurring role as George Constanza’s grumpy prospective father-in-law in Seinfeld . Frost’s on-screen wife was Grace Zabriskie, aka Laura Palmer’s mom.
Peaks Performance: Ex- Mod Squad starlet Lipton returned to acting in Twin Peaks after a long break being a stay-at-home mom. Her mix of beauty and homeliness was crucial to her performance as Norma Jennings, all-American object of Ed Hurley’s desire and – more importantly – maker of damn fine coffee and cherry pies at the Double R Diner.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Lipton continued to act on and off (most high profile gig: Kevin Costner disaster The Postman ). Today, though, she’s probably better known as the mom of Rashida Jones, star of The (U.S.) Office and The Social Network .
Peaks Performance: A late but significant arrival, ex-nun Annie Blackburn – played by Graham with wry innocence – is the gal who steals Dale Cooper’s heart and is then stolen away into the Black Lodge.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? It’s always the quiet ones you have to watch. Graham turned out to be one of the series’ biggest discoveries (albeit her breakthrough performance in Drugstore Cowboy preceded Peaks ).
Her late '90s run – Boogie Nights , Lost in Space , Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me – made her a star. Misguided softcore romp Killing Me Softly threatened career decline but The Hangover reminded she’s still got it.
Peaks Performance: As Big Ed Hurley, McGill was one of Twin Peaks ’ most level-headed, down-to-earth personalities... Impressive, considering he’s a secret 'Bookhouse Boy', deputising for the Sheriff’s Department, and is two-timing his loony-tune wife Nadine for his high school sweetheart Norma.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Usually cast as a heavy, McGill capitalised on Twin Peaks fame to star in Wes Craven horror The People Under the Stairs , opposite Peaks on-screen wife Wendy Robie. It proved to be his last leading role: it was back to heavies in Under Siege 2 and, after a small role in Lynch’s The Straight Story , he appears to have retired.
Eric Da Rae
Peaks Performance: As Leo Johnson, one of the most menacing villains in Twin Peaks , Eric Da Rae’s feral performance was truly frightening. The actor threw his all into working with Lynch, spending most of the second series in a drooling vegetative state after a near-fatal shooting... but still managing to be scary.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? With Dad an actor (Aldo Ray) and Mom David Lynch’s regular casting director (Johanna Ray), it’s perhaps surprising that Da Rae didn’t have a bigger career, with a bit-part in Starship Troopers his most high-profile role to date.
Peaks Performance: Nobody exemplified the sudden arrival of unfathomable horror into Twin Peaks better than Deputy Andy Brennan, far too nice and innocent a guy to have to deal with solving supernatural murder. Goaz’s lightness of touch made the gentle policeman a comedic stand-out in the ensemble.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Goaz swapped one weird town for another with a recurring role in Eerie, Indiana , before giving up acting for a life as a rancher (he’s Texan). But he still acts occasionally - most recently in indie sci-fi movie Earthling .
Peaks Performance: Dale Cooper darkly mentioned his mentor and partner Windom Earle many times in the early part of the series. By the time Welsh’s grinning psycho arrived in town it became clear that Coop had met his match. The show's late-period upswing is largely defined by Welsh's murderous scheming.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? A career character actor, Welsh has paid his dues in just about everything, but still gets meaty parts when the occasion deserves – notably his Dick Cheney-parodying Vice President in The Day After Tomorrow .
Peaks Performance: As Laura Palmer's boyfriend Bobby Briggs, Ashbrook’s rock-star looks and volatile personality made him both high-school heart-throb and chief suspect in the Palmer murder. While the series’ escalating weirdness left him behind, Ashbrook’s cocky charm was a major part of the first series' compulsive edge.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Ashbrook leapt into TV movie Bonnie & Clyde: The True Story , as Clyde, but major opportunities eluded him. He’s worked steadily, if largely under the radar, currently a regular in the TV spin-off of Paul Haggis’ Crash . Random fact: his sister, Daphne, was the companion in the Paul McGann Doctor Who TV movie.
Peaks Performance: Even Coop was shocked when his DEA buddy Dennis Bryson turned up in drag and answering only to Denise. Duchovny managed to get noticed despite only appearing in the second series' post-Palmer, pre-Windom Earle rut.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Along with Heather Graham, Duchovny is probably the show’s biggest break-out guest star. As The X-Files ’ Fox Mulder, he was the natural successor to Dale Cooper, while naughty Hank Moody in Californication proves he was no one-hit wonder.
Don S. Davis
Peaks Performance: A stunt double and real-life Army captain, Davis brought gruff authority to the initially minor role of Major Briggs, Bobby’s stern father. But his natural intensity ensured that the role developed into one of Peaks ’ most significant characters in the later stages.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Davis was promoted from Major in Twin Peaks to General in Stargate SG-1 , a leading role in one of the '90s most popular sci-fi series. For good measure, he had an important role in the decade’s other big hit, playing Dana Scully’s father in The X-Files . He died, aged 65, in 2008.
Peaks Performance: A major star in her native China, The Last Emperor signalled Chen's move to the West and into the pivotal role of Josie Packard, the outsider who owns much of Twin Peaks through marriage... and a character whose presence drove much of the non-Palmer action.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? With opportunities limited in Hollywood (biggest hits: Judge Dredd and Oliver Stone’s Heaven and Earth ) she turned to direction. But Richard Gere / Winona Ryder romance Autumn in New York was a flop. Since then, Chen has worked mainly in Chinese cinema and remains a bankable name.
Peaks Performance: The Sheriff's Department's nice but dim receptionist Lucy Moran. Her on-off affair with Deputy Andy provided some of the series' lighter moments, dovetailing with the slaughter and surrealism elsewhere.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Steady. Occasional film roles ( Speed 2 ) augmented by good work in animation, where her squeaky voice saw her specialise as schoolgirls. Finest hour? Millhouse's girlfriend Samantha Stanky in The Simpsons .
Robertson is appearing at Twin Peaks UK Festival 2010 , Riverside Studios, Hammersmith on Saturday 27th November.
Peaks Performance: Deputy Hawk, the Sheriff Department's Native American law-enforcer and a bridge between Truman's straight-laced chief cop and Coop's more unorthodox methods of deduction.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Horse continued to plug away in film and TV work - he was a terrorist in Wesley Snipes action flick Passenger 57 , and appeared in shows like Malcolm in the Middle . But today he specialises in traditional art, which can be seen at his website .
Peaks Performance: Discounting Laura Palmer, dead before the credits rolled, Shelly Johnson was the most tragic of the Twin Peaks beauties, trapped in an abusive relationship with husband Leo.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Like all of the Peaks girls, Amick underachieved in movies ( Dream Lover , anyone?) But she’s found her niche in recent years as integral support in upscale US series like E.R. , Californication and Damages .
Peaks Performance: One of two major West Side Story stars to take lead roles in Twin Peaks , Beymer was the scheming, amoral Benjamin Horne, a prime suspect in the Palmer case as well as providing some of the show's most soap opera-esque moments of intrigue.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? After ubiquitous roles in The X Files and Deep Space Nine , Beymer largely abandoned screen acting to indulge his passion for photography. His collection of on-set Peaks photos is well worth checking out.
Peaks Performance: Ferrer, George Clooney’s cousin, was best known as the inventor of Robocop when he breezed into Twin Peaks as sarcastic, snarling FBI forensics expert Albert Rosenfield – ending up sprawled over Laura Palmer’s corpse after a punch-up with Sherrif Truman.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Ferrer’s a dependable presence, cropping up in everything from Hot Shots Part Deux to Traffic to voicing the lead villain in Mulan . Not as famous as cousin Clooney, mind.
Peaks Performance: Zabriskie's unsettling, hysterical presence as Laura Palmer's traumatised mother Sarah established the template for bringing Lynch's creepy/kooky acting style into primetime U.S. television.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? She's forever typecast as whackos, but there are a lot of directors calling for Zabriskie's goggle-eyed craziness. Notably she was a regular on Big Love and a recurring guest on Seinfeld (where her screen husband was fellow Peaker Warren Frost).
Lynch himself used her in Wild at Heart , Inland Empire and his recent collaboration with Werner Herzog, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?
Peaks Performance: Thought the first series was weird? The Season 2 premiere, directed by Lynch himself, introduces 7ft tall Struycken as The Giant, a benign spirit who helps Dale Cooper track down Laura Palmer’s killer.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Inevitably typecast, Struycken achieved his most enduring role, as The Addams Family ’s butler Lurch, immediately after Twin Peaks . Today, he’s more likely to be found experimenting with photography on his Spherical Panoramas website, proof that he still thinks big.
Peaks Performance: As the star of Eraserhead , and a supporting player in most of Lynch’s subsequent films, it was only natural that the director would cast his friend and good luck charm in Twin Peaks . Counter-intuitively matched with Piper Laurie, Nance’s offbeat, avuncular charm made Pete Martell the most lovable of the town’s oddballs.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? After his wife’s suicide in 1991, Nance worked less and, tragically, died in 1996 from injuries caused by an apparent drunken brawl. Fittingly, his last filmed role was for Lynch’s Lost Highway .
Peaks Performance: Thrice Oscar-nominated (most obviously as Carrie ’s mental mom), Laurie was arguably the biggest star in the show. Aptly, the character she played – waspish Catherine Martell – strutted around like she owned the town. She pretty much did.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Twin Peaks was pretty much the cap on an already glittering career, but Laurie has continued to work in semi-retirement in the likes of Frasier and, on the big-screen, The Faculty .
Lara Flynn Boyle
Peaks Performance: As Donna Hayward, Boyle was supposed to be the flipside to Laura Palmer: the strait-laced, brunette best friend. But this being Twin Peaks , it didn’t take Boyle long to turn sultry and stoke the show’s smoking rep for sex appeal.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Boyle refused to reprise Donna in Fire Walk With Me , preferring to push her big-screen career in Red Rock West and Threesome .
But aside from a high-profile gig as the villainess in Men in Black 2 , Boyle’s biggest post- Peaks success, like so many other of the town’s alumni, has come in television, notably a six year stint on The Practice .
Peaks Performance: The second veteran of West Side Story (alongside Richard Beymer) to be cast by Lynch, Tamblyn bagged the juicier role of Dr Lawrence Jacoby, the town psychiatrist who could do with a spot of treatment himself. With his fondness for Hawaiian culture and mismatched glasses, he brought stoner-slacker cool to smalltown America.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Tamblyn all but retired after Twin Peaks , but cropped up alongside his daughter, future The Grudge / House star Amber, while she was starring in soap General Hospital . His role? Lawrence Jacoby, of course.
Peaks Performance: In a cute meta-twist, the series creator and occasional director popped up as Dale Cooper’s hard-of-hearing boss Gordon Cole, providing further off-kilter twists to scenes that had never even been near a kilter to start with.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Do you need to ask? If Twin Peaks movie prequel Fire Walk With Me remains a source of contention amongst fans and critics, his follow-ups ( Lost Highway , The Straight Story , Mulholland Dr. and Inland Empire ) remain one of the strongest bodies of work of the past two decades.
Bizarrely (or not: this is Lynch we’re talking about) he’s recently made an unlikely return to acting as Gus the Bartender in Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show .
Peaks Performance: Ex-hockey player Ontkean (he was one of Paul Newman's dirty team in Slap Shot ) provided the ruggedly handsome, square-jawed counterpoint to the Lynchian weirdness as Sheriff Harry S. Truman. In any other series, he might have been the star, but he gamely played straight man to Kyle MacLachlan's Cooper.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Something of an enigma. Considering his centre-stage role, Ontkean has had only sporadic TV credits since and, according to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, has since decamped to Hawaii.
Peaks Performance: In a town of eccentrics, Robie’s Nadine Hurley is a strong contender for the craziest of all. Blind in one eye, unnaturally strong, obsessed with inventing silent drape-runners and, after a failed suicide attempt, deluded into believing she’s a peppy teenager rather than a lonely housewife. She deserved a show of her own.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? A starring role opposite Twin Peaks hubby Everett McGill in The People Under The Stairs continued Robie’s dalliance with freak chic but – aside from the obligatory appearance in Deep Space Nine – her career headed stageward.
Peaks Performance: According to legend, Lynch accidentally caught the reflection of set decorator Silva’s face on camera, sparking the dream weaver to create the role of BOB – Laura Palmer’s supernatural killer – for him. Lynch’s eye for the nightmarish has probably never been better focused.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Silva died in 1995 - tragically young at 45 - from AIDS-related illness.
Peaks Performance: Already a cult fave following Swamp Thing and Robocop , Wise gained small-screen immortality as Laura Palmer’s stricken dad, Leland. Grieving parent or genuine nutjob? We’re not saying.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? A regular presence on the small-screen, Wise is one of those actors who crops in everything: 24 , The West Wing , Mad Men . But his edgy persona was best used in Reaper , where he got to play a character even weirder than the denizens of Twin Peaks: The Devil.
Michael J. Anderson
Peaks Performance: Officially billed 'The Man From Another Place,' you'll know him as the strange-talking, dancing dwarf from Cooper's dreams/nightmares. One of Peaks ' most iconic presences, despite only appearing in a handful of episodes, a key part of Anderson's oddness came from a lifelong ability to speak in reverse phonetics, which Lynch then played backwards.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Given his height (the result of a genetic bone condition that prevented him from walking until his 20s) Anderson has specialised in the weirder side of film and TV, with roles in obligatory post- Peaks series The X-Files and Deep Space Nine .
Freakshow drama Carnivale was a rare shot at taking centre stage, but it's the Lynch association - continued in Muholland Dr. - that defines his career.
Anderson is appearing at Twin Peaks UK Festival 2010 , Riverside Studios, Hammersmith on Saturday 27th November.
Peaks Performance: Forget the surreal humour and horror. For many people (mostly men) Twin Peaks was all about Fenn’s curvaceous, flirtatious Audrey Horne. Especially when Lynch filmed her real-life party trick of being able to tie a cherry stem with her tongue. Yum.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Fenn's association with the Lynch family continued with a vastly different outcome when she played serial amputee in Boxing Helena , the notorious flop directed by David's daughter, Jennifer.
It curtailed a promising film career ( Ruby , Of Mice and Men ), but Fenn continues to crop up in the usual small-screen hotspots - CSI , House - and is yet another cast member set to spoof her most famous role in Psych's Twin Peaks homage episode.
Read Fenn's blog here .
Catherine E. Coulson
Peaks Performance: If we said Coulson played Margaret Lanterman, you’d probably give an indifferent shrug. How about if we call her by her character’s more famous name: The Log Lady?
Despite brief, infrequent appearances in the show, the tree-stroking medium was seized on by viewers as evidence that this series was a lot stranger than anything they’d been used to.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Coulson, a long-term friend of Lynch’s (she worked on Eraserhead and was once married to Jack Nance) is primarily a stage actress. When she appears on screen, it’s invariably with a log in her hands, whether providing specially-filmed intros to the episodes or spoofing herself as (ahem) Woman With Wood in the forthcoming Psych homage.
Coulson is appearing at Twin Peaks UK Festival 2010 , Riverside Studios, Hammersmith on Saturday 27th November.
Peaks Performance: Novice actress Lee achieved the impressive feat of finding global fame as a corpse. Her ability to play dead as Laura Palmer was rewarded when she re-appeared as Laura’s identical cousin Maddy Ferguson… until (SPOILER!) she met a similarly unpleasant end.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? Lynch’s loyalty saw Lee take centre-stage in Peaks -quel Fire Walk With Me where, as an actress, she had to delve into some pretty dark places. But, aside from major parts in Backbeat and John Carpenter’s Vampires , she'd become too synonymous with Palmer to really break out.
Lee narrowly missed out on playing another dead'un, Mary Alice Young in Desperate Housewives , but producers probably decided that would have been an in-joke too far.
Peaks Performance: Coop, of course. As in Special Agent Dale Cooper, the FBI's damn fine exponent of Buddist detection, dictation to Diane and coffee that's black as midnight on a moonless night. Already Lynch's on-screen avatar in Dune and Blue Velvet , Twin Peaks made McLachlan a star and the leftfield heartthrob of the early 90s.
Damn Fine Career... or Wrapped in Plastic? MacLachlan struggled to find movie roles to match his mercurial presence for Lynch, with a downward trajectory that led from keyboard support in The Doors to swimming pool sex in Showgirls .
Fittingly the small-screen provided his comeback in middle-age, first in Sex and the City and latterly as Orson Hodge in Desperate Housewives , a show that shamelessly wears its Peaks influence on its designer sleeve.