See the Cast of ‘Twin Peaks’ Then and Now
‘Twin Peaks’ was a jolt to the television landscape when it premiered with a special two-hour episode in 1990. The campy and surreal David Lynch creation immediately became “water cooler TV,” with everybody who watched the show debating who killed Laura Palmer.
The show began to lose its buzz in its second season, and once the killer was revealed it lost many of its viewers, too.
‘Twin Peaks’ wasn’t renewed for a third season, and instead Lynch released the 1992 theatrical film ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me,’ which acted as a prequel and sequel to the TV series.
Despite its short run, ‘Twin Peaks’ is considered a classic TV show and maintains a fervent fan base. See what the stars of ‘Twin Peaks’ are up to these days below.
Kyle MacLachlan — Special Agent Dale Cooper
Then: MacLachlan was the protagonist of ‘Twin Peaks’ — pie-loving FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, who had come to town to solve the Laura Palmer murder. A David Lynch veteran, MacLachlan made his film debut as the lead in 1984’s ‘Dune’ and next starred in ‘Blue Velvet.’ He turned down ‘Fire Walk With Me’ because he didn’t want to get typecast…and then he did ‘Showgirls,’ which was probably not the best career move.
Now: While the ‘Showgirls’ debacle may have cost MacLachlan the chance to be a movie A-lister, he’s gone on to have quite the successful career as a TV actor. Among his memorable roles were blueblood Trey MacDougal on ‘Sex and the City’ and the mysterious Orson Hodge on ‘Desperate Housewives.’ He’s also played recurring characters on ‘How I Met Your Mother,’ ‘Portlandia’ and ‘The Good Wife.’
Mädchen Amick — Shelly Johnson
Then: In ‘Twin Peaks,’ Amick was waitress Shelly Johnson, whose love life puts her right in the center of the murder mystery. The part was Amick’s big break, with her having previously done episodes of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ and ’Baywatch.’ She followed up ’Twin Peaks’ with a starring role in the much-hyped but short-lived drama ’C.P.W.’
Now: As busy as any actress on TV, Amick has guest starred on ’Beauty and the Beast,’ ’Longmire,’ ’Drop Dead Diva,’ ’Ringer,’ ’In Plain Sight,’ ’Psych’ and ’Mad Men’ in the last few years. She also snagged regular work as one of the stars on the Lifetime drama ‘The Witches of East End.’
Michael Ontkean — Sheriff Harry S. Truman
Then: Harry S. Truman, the plainspoken sheriff of ‘Twin Peaks,’ was played by Michael Ontkean. The Canadian actor was a college hockey star, and he showed off those skills in the role of Ned Braden in the 1977 Paul Newman comedy ‘Slap Shots.’
Now: These days, Ontkean lives in Hawaii and will occasionally appear in movies and TV shows shot on the island state. In 2011, he popped up in ‘The Descendents’ as cousin Milo, a character who is seen throughout the movie but doesn’t have any lines.
Dana Ashbrook — Bobby Briggs
Then: You probably remember Ashbrook as high school football captain and drug dealer Bobby Briggs on ‘Twin Peaks.’ The year before he had played his biggest role to date in the Tony Danza comedy ‘She’s Out of Control.’
Now: Ashbrook was a series regular on the TV adaptation of the Oscar-winning film ‘Crash.’ Since that show went off the air in 2009, he’s popped up on episodes of ‘Psych’ (where he brought back Bobby for the ‘Twin Peaks’ tribute episode ‘Dual Spires’) and ‘Blue Bloods.’
Lara Flynn Boyle — Donna Hayward
Then: Lara Flynn Boyle made a name for herself playing Donna Hayward, Laura Palmer’s best friend. She went on to star in movies such as ‘Threesome’ and ‘Wayne’s World’ before returning to TV as Helen Gamble on ‘The Practice.’
Now: Boyle’s career had been fairly quiet of late, although she has scored in lesser-known movies like ‘Hansel & Gretel Get Baked,’ ‘Cougar Hunting’ and ‘Life Is Hot in Cracktown.’
Ray Wise — Leland Palmer
Then: Who could forget Leland Palmer, the demonically possessed father of Laura Palmer, played by Ray Wise? The character actor was known for his work on ‘Dallas,’ ‘Knots Landing’ and the movie ‘RoboCop’ before appearing on ‘Twin Peaks.’
Now: Wise’s last regular TV role was as the devil on the CW show ‘Reaper,’ which ended in 2009. But the 65-year-old is still all over the dial as a guest star, and you may recognize him from his recurring role as Robin’s dad on ‘How I Met Your Mother’ or for his appearances on ‘Criminal Minds’ and ‘Mad Men.’ Or maybe you saw him in this crazy Beach House video.
Sherilyn Fenn — Audrey Horne
Then: Fenn became an instant ’90s crush as Audrey Horne, whose obsession with Cooper leads her to try her hand at criminal investigating. Fenn went on to star in the highly controversial film ‘Boxing Helena’ and her resemblance to screen legend Elizabeth Taylor helped her grab the title role in the TV movie ‘Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story.’
Now: Fenn’s biggest role of the past decade was recurring character Anna Nardini on ‘Gilmore Girls.’ The mother of two recently guest starred on an episode of ‘Magic City.’
Sheryl Lee — Laura Palmer and Maddy Ferguson
Now: David Lynch first cast Sheryl Lee to play Laura Palmer’s corpse based mostly on her photo. But upon discovering she was actually a pretty good actress, he wrote the part of Maddy Ferguson, Laura’s cousin, for Lee to play, as well. This fortunate turn of events launched Lee’s career, which included starring roles in ‘Backbeat’ and ‘Jersey Girl.’
Now: Lee’s last high-profile role was as Andrea Darling on ‘Dirty Sexy Money.’ She is married to photographer Jesse Diamond, who is the son of legendary singer/songwriter Neil Diamond. She paid tribute to ‘Twin Peaks’ alongside other cast members in the 2010 ‘Psych’ tribute episode.
Peggy Lipton — Norma Jennings
Then: Peggy Lipton was Norma Jennings, who owned the town’s Double R Diner. Lipton got her start as a model and became a household name thanks to her run as Julie Barnes on ‘The Mod Squad,’ which lasted from 1968 until 1973.
Now: Lipton did a 2012 episode of ‘House of Lies,’ her first TV appearance since popping up on a few episodes of ‘Crash’ in 2009. These days the 66-year-old, who was married to record producer Quincy Jones between 1974 and 1990, is probably best known for being the mother of ‘Parks and Recreation’ star Rashida Jones.
Joan Chen — Jocelyn Packard
Then: Chen played femme fatale Jocelyn Packard on ‘Twin Peaks.’ The Shanghai-born actress started her career in China before coming to the US in the early ’80s, eventually landing a starring role in ‘The Last Emperor.’ During the ’90s, she was featured in movies such as ’Heaven and Earth,’ ’On Deadly Ground’ and ’Judge Dredd.’
Now: A naturalized citizen of the United States, Chen switches between Chinese and American productions. Some of her recent work stateside includes an episode of ’Fringe’ and the HBO movie ’ Hemingway & Gellhorn.’
Kimmy Robertson — Lucy Moran
Then: Kimmy Robertson’s squeaky voice made her a memorable presence as Lucy Moran, a ditzy receptionist who worked for the town’s sheriff’s department. During that time she was also in the movies ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids’ and ‘Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead.’