Laura Palmer

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This article is about the character from the TV series Twin Peaks. For the Bastille song, see Laura Palmer (song).
Laura Palmer
Twin Peaks character
Laura Palmer.jpg
First appearance "Pilot"
Last appearance Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
Created by Mark Frost
David Lynch
Portrayed by Sheryl Lee
Occupation Student, sales assistant, prostitute
Family Palmer
Significant other(s) Bobby Briggs
James Hurley
Relatives Leland Palmer (father)
Sarah Palmer (mother)
Maddy Ferguson (cousin)
Date of birth July 22, 1972 (1972-07-22)
Date of death February 24, 1989 (1989-02-24)

Laura Palmer is a fictional character from the American television series Twin Peaks on ABC. She is portrayed by Sheryl Lee and was created by the series creators David Lynch and Mark Frost. A high school student whose death is the catalyst for the events of the series, Palmer is the main protagonist in Lynch's prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, which depicts the final week of her life leading up to her murder.

Laura (played by Sheryl Lee, who also played her cousin Maddy Ferguson), was well known and loved in Twin Peaks; she volunteered at Meals on Wheels, was the Queen of her High School Homecoming, and was (apparently) the darling of her parents, Sarah and Leland. However, Laura led a double life — she was a cocaine user, a victim of child abuse and had briefly worked at One Eyed Jacks, a casino/brothel just north of the Canadian border. Officially involved with Bobby Briggs, the high school football team captain, she was also engaged in a secret relationship with James Hurley. She had also had sexual encounters with other Twin Peaks citizens, such as businessman Ben Horne and trucker/drug dealer Leo Johnson.

The discovery of Laura's body in the pilot episode of Twin Peaks brought Special Agent Dale Cooper to town and the investigation of her death, and the effects it had on those around her, propelled the first season and the first 8 episodes of the second season. Laura remained prominent afterward, as her death had exposed many secrets related to her, and also — in some cases — unrelated, such as the Packard mill conspiracy. Laura also appears in Cooper's dreams, offering cryptic clues as to the identity of her killer.

Laura's diary was uncovered in the first episode, but her secret diary was not recovered until later, and it contained passages suggesting that she had long been the victim — sometimes willingly — of abuse from a malevolent entity named BOB, who wanted to be close to her, or even be her.

During the second season, the identity of her murderer was revealed: her father, Leland, who had been possessed by BOB and made to molest, rape, and kill his own daughter. When Leland dies in police custody, it is implied that Laura appears before him in a vision, forgiving him and welcoming him to the afterlife.

Laura appears inside the Black Lodge during the series finale, as both herself and an evil doppelgänger version.


  • Jennifer Lynch wrote an official series tie-in, The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer,[ISBN missing] which was sold from 1990 and was the diary used in the series.
  • Finnish doom metal band Swallow the Sun has a song called "Ghost of Laura Palmer" on their album Ghosts of Loss, released in 2005.
  • Canadian dance-punk band You Say Party released a single in 2010 titled "Laura Palmer's Prom" on the album XXXX. The music video, released in 2011, is a homage to Twin Peaks, with band members appearing as various characters from the series. The video's narrative traces the events leading up to Laura Palmer's murder.
  • In 2010, Floridan black metal band 'Benighted in Sodom' released a 17-minute long EP entitled 'Laura Palmer'.[1]
  • UK alternative rock band Bastille released a song called Laura Palmer on their debut album.
  • The band Action Figures have a song called "Lauraville" which samples Waldo the bird at the beginning of the track
  • Finnish collaborative band Kerkko Koskinen Kollektiivi has a song called 'Laura Palmer' on their debut album, released in 2012.
  • The Amanda Palmer album "Who Killed Amanda Palmer" is an allusion to the series and the character.
  • In 2007, the band Chimaira released a song titled "The Flame" on their album "Resurrection". This is a retelling of the Laura Palmer murder.


  1. ^ "'Laura Palmer (EP)' on Encyclopedia Metallum". Retrieved 2 October 2010. 

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