It’s been more than a quarter-century since last we saw the citizens of Twin Peaks, a town whose many mysteries will be revisited—and folded into newer enigmas—when David Lynch and Mark Frost’s series returns for a new season on Showtime on May 21. Since keeping track of Twin Peaks’ characters wasn’t always easy even when the show was on the air, we’ve compiled this near-comprehensive guide to its many players (some returning, some not) to catch you up, as well as fill you in on what the actors who portrayed them have been up to since its original run ended in 1991. Get yourself a whole lot of damn fine coffee and enjoy.
The role: Special Agent Dale Cooper
The actor: Kyle Maclachlan
Last seen: The methodical, metaphysically attuned Agent Dale Cooper had solved the murder of Laura Palmer but had only begun tapping into the bigger mysteries of Twin Peaks when the show ended. Fans know that the revival series must, first and foremost, answer the question posed by its cliffhanger finale (no, not “How’s Annie?”)—namely, what the hell happened to him in the Black Lodge?
Where have they been since? Maclachlan was just getting his start when he was cast in David Lynch’s Dune, but he found a collaborator for life, starring in 1986’s Blue Velvet before playing Cooper in both the series and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. He’s since enjoyed a steady career away from Lynch, with film roles that have ranged from the risible (Showgirls) to the pedigreed (2000’s Hamlet), and TV work that’s included recurring gigs on Sex And The City and How I Met Your Mother.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Diane, it was reported on January 12, 2015 that Maclachlan would return for the revival. [Danette Chavez]
The role: Laura Palmer/Maddy Ferguson
The actor: Sheryl Lee
Last seen: As the murdered Laura Palmer and her cousin, Maddy Ferguson, Sheryl Lee was a central—if oft-abused figure—on the show that cast her as a beautiful corpse, before bringing her back as another character, only to kill that one as well. Both Laura and Maddy (what remained of them) were last seen trapped in the Black Lodge.
Where have they been since? Lee got to be far livelier in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, which Lynch conceived as a prequel primarily because he loved Lee’s performance as Laura. Since then, Lee—who was acting in Seattle theater when Lynch asked her to audition after seeing her photograph—has carved out a respectable screen career through movie roles like Backbeat, John Carpenter’s Vampires, and Winter’s Bone, and TV credits that include One Tree Hill, Dirty Sexy Money, and Psych (in its Twin Peaks homage episode). Most recently, she had a small role in Woody Allen’s Café Society.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? As predicted, we will see Lee in the revival. [Danette Chavez]
The role: Leland Palmer
The actor: Ray Wise
Last seen: Laura Palmer’s haunted, tortured father is dead, having finally been chewed up and spit out by Bob, the malevolent spirit that drove him to commit the murders (and worse) that brought Dale Cooper to town. Although he died in jail, weeping with remorse, our last sight of Leland was in Fire Walk With Me, when Bob rips a bunch of suffering-flavored cream corn out of his stomach to appease The Man From Another Place.
Where have they been since? Working, almost constantly. Wise is one of the most prolific actors in the show’s cast, lending his sinister smile and winking charm to everything from Reaper to Mad Men, with stops for truly oddball stuff like Tim And Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie along the way.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Yep—although, given Leland’s fate, he’ll presumably be relegated to either flashbacks or trips to the terrifying Black Lodge. [William Hughes]
The role: Sarah Palmer
The actor: Grace Zabriskie
Last seen: Though Laura Palmer’s grieving, tortured mother had more or less been forgotten in the wake of Leland’s and Maddy’s deaths, Sarah reemerged one last time in the finale to deliver an ominous message to Major Briggs.
Where have they been since? Zabriskie has worked pretty steadily since Peaks, including a regular—and regularly outstanding—role as a polygamist wife and mother on Big Love.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Yes. According to IMDB, she’ll be in all 18 episodes of the new season. [Marah Eakin]
The role: Audrey Horne
The actor: Sherilyn Fenn
Last seen: Teenage dream Audrey Horne, played with commanding allure by Sherilyn Fenn, was still getting what she wanted when the series concluded, whether it was fighting to save the forest or flirting with Billy Zane. Unfortunately, the last time anyone saw her, Audrey’s stubbornness and newfound activism had led to handcuffing herself inside an exploding bank.
Where have they been since? Fenn was busy shooting Of Mice And Men when Fire Walk With Me came around, and plans for an Audrey-centered spin-off eventually mutated into Mulholland Drive. After Peaks, Fenn starred in a string of independent movies like Boxing Helena (directed by Lynch’s daughter, Jennifer Lynch), but experienced a career slowdown she attributed to a refusal to settle. Fenn found a more welcoming home on TV with a starring role in Showtime’s Rude Awakening, and has also been seen on shows like Friends, Gilmore Girls, and Shameless.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Fenn is set to return as Audrey, which suggests she (probably) didn’t explode. [Sean O’Neal]
The role: Benjamin Horne
The actor: Richard Beymer
Last seen: Twin Peaks’ richest man had managed to overcome his brief delusion that he was Civil War General Robert E. Lee, and he was working toward becoming a philanthropist, a better father to Audrey, and all-around good guy. That quest led him to the Haywards’ home, where he’d hoped to come clean about his affair with Donna’s mother—and most likely, the fact that she was his daughter. Unfortunately, before closure could be achieved, an angry Doc Hayward punched him, knocking Horne into the fireplace and splitting his head open.
Where have they been since? Beymer already had a deep bench of credits to his name prior to the show, arguably none more noteworthy than Tony in West Side Story (opposite his Twin Peaks co-star Russ Tamblyn). After the show, Beymer continued working in guest spots on shows like The X-Files and Murder, She Wrote, as well as big-screen appearances in movies like My Girl 2 and Foxfire, starring a young Angelina Jolie. He hasn’t been seen on screen since 2001, though he published the semi-autobiographical novel Impostor: Or Whatever Happened To Richard Beymer? in 2007.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Yes, Benjamin Horne will be back for more duplicitous machinations. [Alex McLevy]
The role: Donna Hayward
The actor: Lara Flynn Boyle
Last seen: When we last left Laura Palmer’s grief-stricken best friend Donna, played by Lara Flynn Boyle in the series, she was still moping over her doomed romances with James and Harold, learning that her dad might not be her dad, and myriad other reasons for her to break down in tears.
Where have they been since? Due to scheduling conflicts, qualms about nude scenes, or lingering friction with the cast—depending on which account you choose to believe—Boyle was replaced by Moira Kelly in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. While Boyle had a successful movie career throughout the early ’00s, as well as an Emmy-nominated role on The Practice, she’s only been seen sporadically since then. Her last appearance was in the 2014 straight-to-video family film Lucky Dog.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Neither Boyle nor Kelly were invited to return. [Sean O’Neal]
The role: Dr. Will Hayward
The actor: Warren Frost
Last seen: The gregarious, magic-loving Doc Hayward served as the town coroner, a role that became intensely personal when he was called to investigate the murder of his daughter’s friend, Laura Palmer. After a violent confrontation with Ben Horne (believed to be his daughter’s real father), Doc Hayward was last seen tending to Agent Cooper after his return from the Black Lodge.
Where have they been since? A longtime acting teacher and theater director in the Twin Cities, Frost only really seriously started pursuing Hollywood work when his son, Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost, cast him on the show at age 65. He later popped up on Matlock and Seinfeld, and reprised his role in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, although his scenes were cut. Frost died in February 2017 at 91, following a prolonged illness.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Yes. Before his death, Frost had completed filming his scenes. [Marah Eakin]
The role: Eileen Hayward
The actor: Mary Jo Deschanel
Last seen: Though Eileen was mostly a bit player throughout Peaks’ original run, Donna’s mother became a slightly more important figure as Ben Horne came to the Haywards’ home to discuss their long-ago affair—and the fact that he might be Donna’s real father.
Where have they been since? Deschanel stepped back from acting following Peaks, perhaps to take a more active role in raising now-famous daughters Zooey and Emily Deschanel. She did have a role in the Mel Gibson movie The Patriot, though, as well as a small turn in Ruby Sparks.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Deschanel wasn’t among the list of returning cast members, and—with Donna also not part of the new series—it seems unlikely. [Marah Eakin]
The role: James Hurley
The actor: James Marshall
Last seen: The most sensitive bad boy to ever pout astride a motorcycle, James Hurley (played with quiet petulance by James Marshall) was so torn up by his tragic romances with Laura, Donna, and Maddy that he left town to find a newer, even more tragic romance with an older woman. James was last seen motoring off to “see the world” and its vast sea of women he can be unhappy with.
Where have they been since? Although Marshall had a memorable appearance in A Few Good Men immediately after Twin Peaks, and he returned for Fire Walk With Me, his career has mostly involved a lot of straight-to-video thrillers. In 2010, Marshall sued the makers of acne medication Accutane, claiming its side effects had led to a four-month hospital stay and the surgical removal of his colon, effectively ruining his acting career. More recently, Marshall—who memorably whisper-sang “Just You And I”—has been focused on making music.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Both Jameses will be back, presumably to sing in a tender-yet-tough falsetto and weep manfully anew. [Sean O’Neal]
The role: Shelly Johnson
The actor: Mädchen Amick
Last seen: As the abused wife of monstrous criminal Leo Johnson, Double R Diner waitress Shelly was granted the show’s rare, almost-happy ending, with Leo disappeared and Shelly’s newly attentive, no-longer-secret boyfriend Bobby Briggs finally asking her to marry him—even though she’s still technically married to Leo.
Where have they been since? Amick had just two credited film roles to her name before she was cast in Twin Peaks, but her popularity there helped kick off a small-screen career that’s included recurring roles on Gossip Girl, Californication, American Horror Story, and the Lynch homage that is Riverdale, where she currently plays the increasingly unhinged matriarch Alice Cooper. Amick reprised her role in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Yes, Amick will be there, presumably serving up some damn fine coffee. [Danette Chavez]
The role: Bobby Briggs
The actor: Dana Ashbrook
Last seen: Ignoble lunkhead that he so often was, Bobby Briggs underwent something of a redemption over the course of the series, going from seedy drug dealer to slightly less seedy legitimate businessman working for Benjamin Horne, then spending his final onscreen minutes proposing to his longtime girlfriend, Shelly Johnson. Unfortunately for the dimwitted Bobby, Shelly had to remind him that she’s still married to Leo.
Where have they been since? In addition to getting a plum role in Fire Walk With Me, Ashbrook landed some other meaty TV parts, including the title role of Clyde in Bonnie & Clyde: The True Story, and has since settled smoothly into a sturdy career, alternating between TV stints (Dawson’s Creek, Crash) and indie films (The Last Place On Earth, sharp dark thriller The Aggression Scale).
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Bobby Briggs is back, baby. [Alex McLevy]
The role: Leo Johnson
The actor: Eric DaRe
Last seen: Menacing bruiser Leo Johnson was a narcotics trafficker, creepy thug, and wife beater, which means no one was that sad when—after spending a good chunk of season two in a vegetative state—he was captured by former FBI agent (and escaped mental patient) Windom Earle. The last time we saw Leo, he’d made a single step toward redemption by freeing Major Briggs to go save Shelly, though he was still booby-trapped in Earle’s cabin beneath a looming nest of tarantulas.
Where have they been since? After the series ended, DaRe, who landed his role thanks to his mother, longtime Lynch casting director Johanna Ray, went on to appear in small roles in a dozen or so projects—mostly in credits like “Bartender,” “Bouncer,” or “Doctor,” with his second highest-profile appearance being a medic in 1997’s Starship Troopers. However, he continued working with Lynch (and his mom) off-screen, serving as a casting assistant on Wild At Heart and as a property buyer on Lost Highway. He hasn’t appeared onscreen since 2002, and other than a brief, unfortunate incident wherein he was mistaken for a real-life arsonist, DaRe has mostly been out of the public eye.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Leo is not returning, so the tarantulas presumably did their worst. [Alex McLevy]
The role: Major Garland Briggs
The actor: Don S. Davis
Last seen: Bobby Briggs’ military father had a rough time of it as Twin Peaks wound to a close, first getting abducted (possibly by those perfidious owls), then ending up in the clutches of horse-costumed psychopath Windom Earle. Still, he ended the series doing what he did best: receiving yet another mysterious communication—this time it’s “I’m in the Black Lodge with Dale Cooper.”
Where have they been since? Davis’ most prominent post-Peaks role could be seen as a winking continuation of his work as Maj. Briggs. As General George Hammond of the Stargate SG-1 universe, Davis served for 10 years as the commander of a shadowy government installation obsessed with alternate dimensions and extraterrestrial life. Go figure.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Unfortunately, no; Davis died of a heart attack in 2008. [William Hughes]
The role: Sheriff Harry S. Truman
The actor: Michael Ontkean
Last seen: As the self-proclaimed Dr. Watson to Cooper’s Sherlock Holmes, Sheriff Truman was the grounding force in the investigation into Laura Palmer’s murder, as well as the bigger mysteries that unraveled in its wake. The last we saw of the always-loyal Truman, he was tending to Cooper after his return from the Black Lodge.
Where have they been since? Like many others, Ontkean’s scenes were cut from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. He landed a few TV movies after the series’ end, as well as a couple of recurring roles in the short-lived series North Shore and Sophie. His last on-screen appearance was in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants in 2011.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? After The Descendants, Ontkean retired from acting, meaning he turned down offers to return. Robert Forster (whom Lynch originally wanted for the Truman role) is rumored to be more or less taking his place by playing his brother, Frank. [Sean O’Neal]
The role: Deputy Tommy “Hawk” Hill
The actor: Michael Horse
Last seen: The steadfast, spiritual Hawk was last seen bringing Ronette Pulaski into the Sheriff’s Department conference room, where—as the department’s tracking expert and only competent officer (other than Sheriff Truman himself)—he keeps the only witness to Laura Palmer’s murder on her feet after she smells the “scorched engine oil” that serves as the gateway to the The Black Lodge.
Where have they been since? Horse has been splitting time between acting gigs—helping The X-Files pay its Twin Peaks debts in an early monster of the week episode, briefly becoming a “national heartthrob” as part of the Canadian drama North Of 60—and his original creative outlet as a sculptor and visual artist.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Not only is Hawk still working the beat, he’s the only character we’ve heard speak so far in new promotional footage. As the Bookhouse Boy says himself, “Really.” [Erik Adams]
The role: Deputy Andy Brennan
The actor: Harry Goaz
Last seen: The lovable yet dimwitted Deputy Andy had scored wins both personally and professionally, finally cementing his romance with Lucy and proving his worth by deciphering a mysterious symbol discovered in Owl Cave. The last we saw of him, the ever-loyal Andy was by Sheriff Truman’s side at Glastonbury Grove, waiting for Agent Cooper to return from The Black Lodge, and had gone to fetch Truman some breakfast.
Where have they been since? Immediately after Twin Peaks finished, Goaz played Sgt. Knight in another cult TV series, Joe Dante’s Eerie, Indiana. Since then, he’s popped up in the occasional small-budget film, including Steven Soderbergh’s The Underneath.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Doofy Deputy Andy is back, popping up in trailers for the revived series. [Marah Eakin]
The role: Lucy Moran
The actor: Kimmy Robertson
Last seen: After competing in the Miss Twin Peaks contest, the squeaky-voiced receptionist at the Sheriff’s Department finally announced that she’d picked Deputy Andy to be the father of her unborn baby, spurning nancy-boy Dick. She and Andy later exchanged their first “I love you,” bringing a note of humanity to the show’s whacked-out second season.
Where have they been since? Robertson has done some voice acting since Twin Peaks, portraying Samantha Stanky on The Simpsons and appearing on shows like Batman: The Animated Series and Pepper Ann. Her last on-screen role was as a police dispatcher in a 2014 episode of Psych.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Yep, both she and Deputy Andy are back. [Marah Eakin]
The role: Norma Jennings
The actor: Peggy Lipton
Last seen: The sweet, strong-willed Norma finally seemed on the verge of overcoming years of being unlucky in love, spurning her no-good husband Hank and getting engaged to her high-school sweetheart Big Ed. Unfortunately, Nadine’s sudden recovery once more laid waste to all Norma’s plans.
Where have they been since? Lipton was a ’60s icon thanks to her years spent as cool cop Julie Barnes on Mod Squad, as well as her brief singing career, but her acting pursuits had more or less stalled by the time Lynch cast her. In the years since the show ended, she’s been a familiar presence through recurring roles on Popular, Alias, and the Crash TV series (with Dana Ashbrook), and she was one of the lucky original cast members not to be cut out of Fire Walk With Me. Most recently, Lipton guest-starred as the mother of Angie Tribeca, who’s played by her real-life daughter, Rashida Jones.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Yes, Lipton will be back, presumably serving up more pie and pining for something better. [Esther Zuckerman]
The role: Big Ed Hurley
The actor: Everett McGill
Last seen: The uncle to James, husband to Nadine, and frustrated secret lover to Norma, Ed was this close to finally achieving happiness, when an accident at the Miss Twin Peaks Contest led to Nadine regaining her memory and dashing all hopes of his marrying Norma.
Where have they been since? Everett McGill worked only sporadically before Twin Peaks, appearing in movies like Brubaker, Quest For Fire, Lynch’s Dune, and Licence To Kill. After the show ended, he continued to show only moderate interest in acting, though he turned up in Under Siege 2 and reconnected with Lynch on The Straight Story. By the time the new series was announced, McGill was so off the grid, Lynch had to put out an open call on Twitter for help tracking him down.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Luckily, a fan managed to help Lynch reconnect, meaning McGill—and Ed—will be back. [Sean O’Neal]
The role: Nadine Hurley
The actor: Wendy Robie
Last seen: After a bout of amnesia that led her to believing she was a teenager, spurning long-suffering husband Big Ed for high school stud Mike, and somehow gaining superhuman strength, Nadine entered the Miss Twin Peaks pageant, where in the ensuing chaos she was knocked out by a sandbag. After she regained consciousness, Nadine returned to her old, adult, mentally unstable self.
Where have they been since? Robie has played a number of equally eccentric characters since, including the mother in Wes Craven’s The People Under The Stairs. Her most recent non-Peaks role was in the indie musical Were The World Mine, a take on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Nadine is back, eyepatch and all. [Marah Eakin]
The role: Hank Jennings
The actor: Chris Mulkey
Last seen: Norma’s meddling ex-con husband had finally been returned to jail at the series’ end, arrested on numerous parole violations—including the attempted murder of Leo Johnson. When we last left him on the show, Norma had left Hank to rot in jail after he’d refused to grant her a divorce so she might marry Ed, memorably declaring, “I’d rather be his whore than your wife.” Hank, understandably, was none too pleased with that.
Where have they been since? The everyman actor has appeared in movies like The Purge, Whiplash, Cloverfield, and Captain Phillips. He also popped up on beloved TV dramas like Boardwalk Empire, Halt And Catch Fire, and Friday Night Lights. According to IMDB, he currently has 12 projects in either pre- or post-production, including the Emilia Clarke/Jack Huston vehicle Above Suspicion.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? According to Mark Frost’s Secret History Of Twin Peaks, Hank was sentenced to 25 years in prison, where he was fatally stabbed by a cousin of the Renault family. So, seeing as he’s dead, probably not. [Marah Eakin]
The role: Pete Martell
The actor: Jack Nance
Last seen: The kindhearted foreman of the Packard Sawmill (and unfortunate discoverer of Laura Palmer’s body) was last seen putting his considerable puzzle-solving skills to work helping his wife, Catherine, and her recently revived brother Andrew unravel a mystery laid out by the scheming Thomas Eckhardt. This led them to the Twin Peaks Savings And Loan—where they stumbled across a bomb Eckhardt had left waiting for them.
Where have they been since? Jack Nance was Lynch’s most lasting muse from his starring role in Eraserhead, and he continued to work with the director on Wild At Heart, Fire Walk With Me (though his scenes were deleted), and Lost Highway. Sadly, Nance’s later years were marked by despondency stemming from the suicide of his wife and a descent into alcoholism, which led to a drunken brawl in 1996 that left him dead of a subdural hematoma.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Though Nance won’t be able to return, Mark Frost gave Pete an appropriate hero’s ending in his book, The Secret History Of Twin Peaks, revealing he’d died saving Audrey Horne in the bank. [Sean O’Neal]
The role: Catherine Martell
The actor: Piper Laurie
Last seen: The manager of the Packard Sawmill had survived a fire, returned by masquerading as a Japanese businessman, been reunited with her brother Andrew, finally outlived her rival sister-in-law Josie, and seen the scheming Thomas Eckhardt vanquished. Nevertheless, the ever-restless Catherine was still caught up in intrigue, last seen sending Pete and Andrew to the Twin Peaks Savings And Loan to solve the final piece of Eckhardt’s puzzle.
Where have they been since? Almost 60 when Twin Peaks drew to a close, the three-time-Oscar nominee has kept plenty busy since on TV shows like Will & Grace and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as well as in movies like The Faculty. She also wrote a memoir about her fascinating life, Learning To Live Out Loud: A Memoir, in which she talks about her long acting career, as well as her affairs with both Ronald Reagan and Mel Gibson.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Although the 85-year-old Laurie was willing, Entertainment Weekly reported that Lynch couldn’t find a storyline for her “that would make sense.” In Frost’s Secret History Of Twin Peaks, Catherine, devastated by losing her husband and brother in the bank explosion, sells the sawmill and becomes a recluse. [Gwen Ihnat]
The role: Jocelyn Packard
The actor: Joan Chen
Last seen: The beautiful, cunning, and deeply mysterious Josie Packard was—as always—in the midst of several different pasts coming back to haunt her when her lover, Sheriff Truman, caught her shortly after she’d murdered Thomas Eckhardt. Making matters even more complicated, Josie immediately died and her spirit ended up trapped in some wood.
Where have they been since? Joan Chen grew tired of being cast as the “exotic” beauty in Hollywood, a role she fulfilled in post-Peaks films like On Deadly Ground and Judge Dredd, and she turned her focus toward smaller indies and on directing. She’s continued to work steadily in both Chinese and English-language productions, and was most recently seen in Netflix’s Marco Polo.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Both Lynch and Frost reportedly tried to devise a way for Josie to return, but couldn’t figure out a way that would make sense. With Piper Laurie’s Catherine also not coming back, it suggests the Packard Sawmill storyline is more or less concluded—and that Josie will spend the rest of her afterlife floating inside furniture. [Sean O’Neal]
The role: Andrew Packard
The actor: Dan O’Herlihy
Last seen: He was dead—and then he wasn’t. And then he was—or was he? Lumber baron Andrew Packard starred in one of the Twin Peaks storylines that would be easiest to confuse with something from the soap-within-the-show, Invitation To Love. Its nuts and bolts are pretty simple, though: Andrew was assumed dead after his boat—named for his wife, Josie—exploded under mysterious circumstances. But those Packards love playing dead, and Andrew rose from the grave to exact revenge on Thomas Eckhardt, the business partner who’d arranged his murder. Of course, Eckhardt had one last surprise in store for Andrew, which was waiting for him and Pete inside the ill-fated Twin Peaks Savings And Loan.
Where have they been since? The highlights of O’Herlihy’s career are bookended by his work with legendary surrealists: Before showing up in Twin Peaks’ largely Lynch-less second season, O’Herlihy was nominated for an Oscar for playing the lead in Luis Buñuel’s Robinson Crusoe. In his twilight years, he excelled at playing malevolent captains of industry in the Packard mold, following his time as the head of Halloween III’s Silver Shamrock Novelties and RoboCop’s Omni Consumer Products by playing a Walt Disney stand-in on Batman: The Animated Series and Joe Kennedy in the TV movie The Rat Pack.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? The Rat Pack would be O’Herlihy’s final screen role—he died in 2005. [Erik Adams]
The role: Dr. Lawrence Jacoby
The actor: Russ Tamblyn
Last seen: Laura Palmer’s highly eccentric, Hawaii-obsessed therapist had a habit of getting unusually personally involved in the lives of his patients, who—in the wake of Laura’s death—included Ben Horne and Nadine Hurley. In addition to working his unconventional methods on them, Jacoby was last seen bringing Sarah Palmer to deliver an ominous message to Major Briggs.
Where have they been since? Although Tamblyn had a prolific pre-Twin Peaks career as the singing, dancing star of musicals like Seven Brides For Seven Brothers and West Side Story, after the show, Tamblyn’s career took something of a backseat to his daughter Amber’s. Tamblyn reprised the role of Dr. Jacoby in Fire Walk With Me (though his scenes were deleted) as well as—weirdly—on Amber’s soap opera, General Hospital. He also appeared on her her breakout TV series, Joan Of Arcadia. More recently, he’s been seen in Drive and opposite Amber again in Django Unchained, and he kept things familial with a part on The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret, starring his son-in-law, David Cross.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Yes, Dr. Jacoby returns in a storyline that Amber Tamblyn has called “incredible.” [Esther Zuckerman]
The role: Albert Rosenfield
The actor: Miguel Ferrer
Last seen: The sardonic, abrasive, yet lovingly pacifist FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield was an integral part of the Laura Palmer investigation when he wasn’t pissing everyone off, and he continued that role by aiding Cooper and Truman in their hunt for Windom Earle. Albert was last seen coming to arrest Truman’s lover, Josie Packard, though that situation resolved itself.
Where have they been since? Prior to Twin Peaks, Ferrer was a reliably sharp-edged presence in movies such as RoboCop, and he continued to enliven projects after the show, turning up in movies like Traffic and The Manchurian Candidate, and landing series regular roles on Crossing Jordan and NCIS: Los Angeles. He also returned as Albert Rosenfield for Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Ferrer died in January 2017 of throat cancer.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Fortunately, Ferrer had completed filming his scenes before his death, meaning Albert’s strange and difficult path will continue. [Sean O’Neal]
The role: Denise Bryson
The actor: David Duchovny
Last seen: Transgender DEA Agent Denise Bryson (a.k.a. Dennis) made a relatively brief, yet memorable appearance on the show, first investigating, then assisting his old friend Agent Cooper. Denise was last seen midway through the second season, rescuing Cooper from Jean Renault.
Where have they been since? Duchovny had just started in the business when he joined Twin Peaks, though he almost immediately found his own cult success playing another federal agent, Fox Mulder, in the Peaks-influenced The X-Files. He’s since enjoyed a prolific career, most notably landing a starring role on the long-running Showtime series Californication. And more recently, he returned to The X-Files, which also got a decades-later revival.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Duchovny is back and, by the looks of things, still rocking a pantsuit. [Sean O’Neal]
The role: Jean Renault
The actor: Michael Parks
Last seen: Think two criminal brothers are intimidating? What about three—and they’re French-Canadian, to boot. The suave wheeler-dealer of the Renault clan, Jean is also the longest-lived of them, having survived the murders of his brother Jacques (smothered by Leland Palmer with a pillow) and Bernard (killed by Leo Johnson after getting pinched by law-enforcements on a cocaine run). That’s a lot of enemies to make and vendettas to accrue, and Jean’s plots get suitably complicated, eventually entangling him in the criminal doings of Norma’s husband and stepfather. He’s eventually shot by Cooper in a standoff, because enough with this already—wasn’t this a show about the murder of Laura Palmer?
Where have they been since? Parks’ story has a much happier ending than Jean’s. An actor whose fortunes had waxed (a starring role in Then Came Bronson) and waned (Then Came Bronson’s swift cancellation) throughout the ’70s and ’80s, Twin Peaks was a major profile boost for Parks. He became a favorite of the arthouse iconoclasts for whom Lynch opened the door, playing Texas lawman Earl McGraw in multiple Quentin Tarantino films and the villain in two latter-day Kevin Smith pictures.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? As the Quebecois would say, “non.” Parks, who was not listed among returning cast, died May 10, 2017 at the age of 77. [Erik Adams]
The role: Blackie O’Reilly
The actor: Victoria Catlin
Last seen: The polished madame of the best little whorehouse-and-casino across the Canadian border, Blackie O’Reilly ran One Eyed Jacks as a front for its true owners, the Horne brothers. But while she appeared to be the one in control, Blackie was just another Twin Peaks character under the Hornes’ thumb—the brothers are her employers and her heroin connection. After plotting an elaborate revenge that could’ve taken out Ben, Jerry, Audrey, and Agent Cooper, Blackie is herself dispatched, at the end of Jean Renault’s knife.
Where have they been since? That’s a good question. Catlin’s IMDB page lists only one subsequent performance, a guest spot on a different age’s TV revival: The New Adam-12. The book Twin Peaks: Behind The Scenes quotes Catlin (by way of director Todd Holland) as asking “I don’t die, do I?” shortly before Blackie was killed off. Perhaps she got out of the game because she was sick of dying onscreen: Before Twin Peaks, she’d already been the victim of ghoulies, a maniac cop, and werewolves.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Seems unlikely. [Erik Adams]
The role: Jerry Horne
The actor: David Patrick Kelly
Last seen: No figure in Twin Peaks is without its shadow, and for scheming, philandering, backstabbing local tycoon Ben Horne, that shadow is his brother Jerry. Epicurean Jerry is the Horne id untethered, his world travels on behalf of the family business freeing him from the buttoned-down image Ben must project from behind his desk at The Great Northern. Among the many letdowns of season two was Jerry’s retreat to the background amid his brother’s Civil War meltdown and subsequent rebirth as the last guardian of the pine weasel, though Jerry was still there to offer his sycophantic support to Ben’s plan to stall the resurgent Ghostwood Development—voiced, as ever, through a mouthful of some rich foodstuff or other.
Where have they been since? Twin Peaks was a brief pitstop for the character actor who’d made art out of weaselly supporting players in The Warriors (as the guy who says “Warriors, come out to play-ay!”) and Commando (as the guy Arnold Schwarzenegger promised to kill last—he lied). Following recurring roles on The Blacklist and Feed The Beast, Kelly has reconnected with the seedy underbelly as Charlie, trusted cleaner to Keanu Reeves’ hitman in the John Wick films.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? As he says at the top of “Zen, Or The Skill To Catch A Killer”: Uncle Jerry’s back. [Erik Adams]
The role: Johnny Horne
The actor: Robert Davenport/Robert Bauer
Last seen: The developmentally disabled elder Horne child—played by Davenport in the pilot, Bauer for the rest of the series—is a background presence within Twin Peaks proper, briefly serving as a red herring in the murder of Laura Palmer (Johnny’s tutor). He was last seen still gallivanting around in a Native American headdress at age 27 while obsessively toting around his favorite book, Peter Pan.
Where have they been since? Bauer went from playing the psychologist’s patient to writing them, working behind the scenes on Head Case, the Starz comedy about a shrink-to-the-not-quite-stars that ran for three seasons in the late 2000s.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? All these hanging threads, returning leads, and well-pedigreed newcomers and you’re worried about Johnny Horne? Fine. He’s not on the cast list, meaning we won’t see him in headwear that wouldn’t fly in 2017. [Erik Adams]
The role: Mike Nelson
The actor: Gary Hershberger
Last seen: Mike—Bobby’s stooge best friend and Donna’s ex—had more or less left behind his criminal dalliances, settled back into his high-school wrestling career, and found unexpected happiness with Nadine after proving initially resistant. However, his love for Nadine was unexpectedly thwarted after she regained her memories.
Where have they been since? Hershberger has made the journeyman rounds in television, playing single-episode roles on shows like The O.C. and Big Love. He also recurred on eight episodes of Six Feet Under, playing the smarmy corporate guy who tries to buy the Fishers out.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Mike is slated to return. Maybe by now he’s become a wrestling coach? [Marah Eakin]
The role: Mayor Dwayne Milford
The actor: John Boylan
Last seen: Twin Peaks’ doddering mayor had been thwarted in his schemes to rig the Miss Twin Peaks Contest for his new fiancee, Lana—the same woman he’d blamed for killing his estranged brother, Dougie.
Where have they been since? Boylan, who began acting late in life after a long career in the steel industry, followed his Twin Peaks run with small roles in movies like Sleepless In Seattle and American Heart. A lifelong smoker, Boylan died of lung cancer in 1994.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? No. According to Frost’s Secret History Of Twin Peaks, Lana left Mayor Milford after receiving her insurance money for Dougie’s death, and he retired from public life after completing his 14th consecutive term. Presumably Milford, who was 83 at the time of the series, has long since died. [Sean O’Neal]
The role: Lana Budding Milford
The actor: Robyn Lively
Last seen: The black widow of Twin Peaks seems to have a mystical power over the men in town—which certainly has nothing to do with her being a conventionally attractive young woman who’s paying the smallest amount of attention to the likes of Deputy Andy, Dr. Jacoby, and the two elderly brothers seated at the helm of media and government. She marries newspaperman Douglas Milford, and, after his untimely death, announces plans to adopt a child with Mayor Dwayne Milford. With Dwayne’s help, she plots to rig the Miss Twin Peaks pageant in her favor. Unrelated: Have you heard how goofy Twin Peaks gets in its second season?
Where have they been since? As the star of Teen Witch, Lively arrived on the show with one cult favorite under belt. Series roles on Savannah and Gortimer Gibbon’s Life On Normal Street followed, along with the requisite Twin Peaks alum’s stop by The X-Files: the “giant underground mushroom gives Mulder and Scully conflicting hallucinations” installment “Field Trip.”
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? The Secret History Of Twin Peaks might not be canonical, but it does give a good reason for why Lana is no longer in the picture: Once Dougie’s insurance money rolled in, she rolled out of town. [Erik Adams]
The role: Dick Tremayne
The actor: Ian Buchanan
Last seen: Twin Peaks’ most fashionable fop had just finished judging the Miss Twin Peaks Contest, where he cast his vote for Annie Blackburn—a move that preceded the pageant tumbling into chaos. More importantly, he’d graciously accepted defeat in the town’s second- or third-most important love triangle, as Lucy chose Andy to be the father of her child.
Where have they been since? Prior to Peaks, Buchanan had been a regular on General Hospital, where he played the roguish Duke Lavery. He returned to that role in 2012, following stints on All My Children, The Bold And The Beautiful, and Days Of Our Lives.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Given Buchanan’s absence from all the new Peaks cast lists, it seems like Dick Tremayne may have moved on to bigger and better men’s departments. [Marah Eakin]
The role: John Justice Wheeler
The actor: Billy Zane
Last seen: Taking Agent Cooper’s place in Audrey Horne’s heart. Local-boy-done-good John Justice Wheeler—or Jack, as he prefers to be called—was a protege of Audrey’s father, and he returned to Twin Peaks with his private plane and stylish sweaters to help bail Horne Industries out of the tailspin caused by the Palmer murder investigation, the collapse of the original Ghostwood Development Project, and Ben Horne’s extended Civil War delusion. The environmentally conscious bankruptcy expert briefly helped the show duck the dodgy prospect of the teenage Audrey romancing its saintly protagonist, but just as quickly as he whisked into town, Wheeler was gone.
Where have they been since? Zane went on to menace Leonardo DiCaprio on the Titanic, survive the much bigger wreck of The Phantom, and be a cool dude to Derek Zoolander. His TV-hunk hairdo has since gone the way of the pine weasel, but that didn’t stop Zane from participating in KFC’s revolving door of Colonel Sanders impersonators.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Zane isn’t on the cast list, so for all we know, Jack’s still up in the air, completely unaware of what happened to Audrey in that bank vault. [Erik Adams]
The role: Windom Earle
The actor: Kenneth Welsh
Last seen: Agent Cooper’s cunning, insane, chess-playing, serial-killing former partner tore though Twin Peaks with a vengeance in its second season, his last act of mayhem being kidnapping Annie Blackburn at the end of the Miss Twin Peaks Contest and leading her into the Black Lodge. It was there that Earle was last seen, still taunting Cooper—shortly before Bob stole his soul.
Where have they been since? Welsh had been working for decades before Twin Peaks, and to date he’s appeared in more than 220 productions, including The Day After Tomorrow, The Aviator, and Legends Of The Fall. He was most recently seen on The Blacklist.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Given that Welsh wasn’t listed as returning—and Earle was last seen bursting into flames—probably not. [Sean O’Neal]
The role: Annie Blackburn
The actor: Heather Graham
Last seen: After winning the Miss Twin Peaks Contest, Norma’s sister Annie was kidnapped by Windom Earle and taken to the Black Lodge, where—pursued by Agent Cooper—she finally emerges, bloodied and lying in a trance.
Where have they been since? Graham, who was just beginning to break into bigger parts by the time she was cast on the show, briefly reprised Annie for a (confusing) sequence in Fire Walk With Me. After playing Rollergirl in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights, Graham’s career took off with starring roles in blockbusters (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, The Hangover) and indie films (Two Girls And A Guy, Bobby) alike.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Although Graham has said she wishes she were returning, she claims she’s not—meaning the question of “How’s Annie?” may remain forever unanswered. [Sean O’Neal]
The role: Bob
The actor: Frank Silva
Last seen: The demonic entity, owl-and-human-possessing malevolent spirit, and all-around “evil that men do” was last spotted in his home digs the Black Lodge, stealing Windom Earle’s soul before escaping back into the real world—this time as Agent Cooper.
Where have they been since? Silva was working as a set dresser on Twin Peaks when cameras mistakenly caught him in Laura Palmer’s bedroom mirror—a mishap that Lynch, ever open to “happy accidents,” turned into the basis for the show’s villain. He returned as Bob for Fire Walk With Me, but that was it for his acting work.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? No. Sadly, Silva died in 1995 of complications from AIDS. [Sean O’Neal]
The role: Mike/Phillip Michael Gerard
The actor: Al Strobel
Last seen: Bob’s brother-in-tattooed-arms, Mike, inhabits the body of traveling shoe salesman Phillip Michael Gerard in an attempt to prevent his incorporeal ex-partner from killing again. When Gerard is denied the medicine that keeps Mike at bay, the spirit breaks through to provide some crucial clues about Laura’s murder, filling in the gaps in Coop’s dream and leading to the identification of her true killer.
Where have they been since? Retired in the Pacific Northwest, where he’s hopefully avoiding, we think you say, convenience stores.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Yes. All matter of garmonbozia has kept Mike’s colleagues out of the revival, but there’s a seat at the formica table reserved for Strobel. [Erik Adams]
The role: The Man From Another Place
The actor: Michael J. Anderson
Last seen: The enigmatic, dancing mascot for the show’s Lynchian weirdness, The Man pops up in dream sequences throughout its run to offer Cooper cryptic hints and the latest news about breaking trends in gum. He finally shows up in the flesh (or something) when Coop descends into the Black Lodge, although his motives during the show’s finale are murky as ever. Fire Walk With Me seemingly shows his true colors, though, revealing that his conflict with Bob has nothing to do with morals, and everything to do with the evil spirit bogarting all the creamed corn.
Where have they been since? Post-Twin Peaks, Anderson has worked off and on in the business, most notably in Lynch’s later film Mulholland Drive, and as a series regular on HBO’s Peaks-influenced Carnivále.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Nope. Anderson seems to have had a falling out with Lynch at some point, posting a Facebook rant last year that accused Lynch of raping his own daughter and murdering his “best friend.” Nevertheless, Showtime has been using Anderson’s distinctive dancing in some of its promotional clips. [William Hughes]
The role: Margaret Lanterman/The Log Lady
The actor: Catherine E. Coulson
Last seen: Twin Peaks’ resident oracle was last seen at the sheriff’s station, where Pete Martell had accused her of stealing his truck (though it was actually Windom Earle in disguise). There, cryptic as ever, she gave Agent Cooper a little jar of oil from her husband, claiming it was “an opening to a gateway.”
Where have they been since? Coulson, a pal of Lynch’s from his Eraserhead days (and the ex-wife of Jack Nance), had her role in Peaks specifically created for her, but didn’t act on screen much outside of Lynch’s orbit. She reprised her role in Fire Walk With Me, guest-starred on Psych’s Twin Peaks homage episode, and appeared in the second season of Portlandia, but mostly stuck to acting as a member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? Though Coulson died in 2015 after a long battle with cancer, she is listed among the cast members for the Twin Peaks revival. It’s a mystery whether she filmed new scenes before she died or will instead appear in flashbacks; not even her agent knows for sure. [Marah Eakin]
The role: Agent Gordon Cole
The actor: David Lynch
Last seen: The nearly deaf Regional Bureau Chief of the FBI had returned to Twin Peaks to charge Agent Cooper with bringing down Windom Earle, but more importantly he’d just shared a smitten kiss with Shelly Johnson (in front of an incensed Bobby), whom he had the magical ability to hear clear as day.
Where have they been since? Lynch has landed a few TV bit parts since then on series like The Cleveland Show and Louie. But mostly, he’s been concentrating on being one of the most visionary writer-directors of our time—including developing an all-new season of his cult phenomenon, Twin Peaks.
Will they be in the new Twin Peaks? TAKE ANOTHER LOOK, SONNY, IT’S GONNA HAPPEN AGAIN! [Sean O’Neal]