List of Twin Peaks characters
The following is a list of characters from the television series Twin Peaks.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Concepts
- 3 Law enforcement
- 4 Palmer family
- 5 Hayward family
- 6 Horne family
- 7 Packard family
- 8 Briggs family
- 9 Hurley/Jennings families
- 10 Johnson family
- 11 Renault brothers
- 12 Locals
- 13 Outsiders
- 14 Notes
|The FBI/DEA||Special Agent Dale Cooper||Investigates the murder of Laura Palmer using unorthodox methods, falls in love with Twin Peaks and all its rural life, fascinated with the paranormal. He practices Buddhism.||Kyle MacLachlan|
|Albert Rosenfield||Abrasive forensics expert, whose arrogant façade hides a spiritual nature||Miguel Ferrer|
|Chester Desmond||Investigates murder of Teresa Banks, mysteriously disappears||Chris Isaak|
|Sam Stanley||Forensics specialist, assists Desmond in the investigation of Teresa Banks' murder||Kiefer Sutherland|
|Phillip Jeffries||Long-lost FBI agent, who knows of the Lodges and their inhabitants||David Bowie|
|Roger Hardy||Agent working for Internal Affairs who temporarily suspends Cooper from the FBI.||Clarence Williams III|
|Gordon Cole||Regional Bureau Chief, known to shout because he is hard-of-hearing||David Lynch|
|Dennis/Denise Bryson||Transgender DEA agent who investigates drug allegations against Dale Cooper||David Duchovny|
|Sheriff's Department||Sheriff Harry S. Truman||Lover of Josie Packard and friend of Cooper. Helps him solve the Laura Palmer case.||Michael Ontkean|
|Deputy Andy Brennan||Dorky but brave deputy, on and off relationship with Lucy. Possibly father of her baby. Deciphered the Owl Cave petroglyph as a map.||Harry Goaz|
|Deputy Hawk||Native American, expert tracker||Michael Horse|
|Lucy Moran||Ditzy Receptionist, on and off relationship with Deputy Brennan.||Kimmy Robertson|
|Cappy||Young, male assistant at the police station||Ron Kirk|
|Palmer family||Laura Palmer||Murder victim and the center of the story, linked to almost everyone in Twin Peaks||Sheryl Lee|
|Leland Palmer||Laura's father, vessel for Bob, lawyer by profession and counsel for Ben Horne and the Great Northern Lodge.||Ray Wise|
|Sarah Palmer||Laura's mother,||Grace Zabriskie|
|Maddy Ferguson||Laura's nearly identical cousin||Sheryl Lee|
|Hayward family||Doctor William Hayward||Doctor of Twin Peaks, assists on the autopsy of Laura Palmer||Warren Frost|
|Eileen Hayward||Doctor Hayward's wheelchair-using wife||Mary Jo Deschanel|
|Donna Hayward||Laura's best friend, lover of James Hurley||Lara Flynn Boyle/Moira Kelly|
|Harriet Hayward||Donna's younger sister||Jessica Wallenfels|
|Gersten Hayward||Donna's youngest sister||Alicia Witt|
|Horne family||Ben Horne||Wealthy businessman, owns Great Northern Hotel, Horne's Department Store and a brothel on the Canadian border||Richard Beymer|
|Jerry Horne||Ben's playboy brother and business partner||David Patrick Kelly|
|Sylvia Horne||Ben's constantly angry wife||Jan D'Arcy|
|Audrey Horne||Ben's sultry teenage daughter||Sherilyn Fenn|
|Johnny Horne||Ben's mentally handicapped son, tutored by Laura||Robert Davenport/Robert Bauer|
|Packard/Martell Family||Josie Packard||Widowed sawmill owner with a dark past, lover of Sheriff Truman, tutored by Laura||Joan Chen|
|Andrew Packard||Late owner of the Packard Sawmill and husband of Josie||Dan O'Herlihy|
|Catherine Martell||Sister of Andrew, schemes with secret lover Ben Horne to burn down the sawmill||Piper Laurie|
|Pete Martell||Long-suffering husband of Catherine, fishing and chess enthusiast, found Laura's body||Jack Nance|
|Briggs family||Major Garland Briggs||Intelligent and gifted Air Force officer involved in Project Blue Book, deep-space monitoring, and the woods surrounding Twin Peaks||Don S. Davis|
|Betty Briggs||Unassuming and loving wife and mother||Charlotte Stewart|
|Bobby Briggs||Rebellious teenager, captain of the football team, boyfriend of Laura Palmer, secret lover of Shelly Johnson||Dana Ashbrook|
|Hurley/Jennings triangle||Big Ed Hurley||Owner of Big Ed's Gas Farm, secret lover of Norma Jennings||Everett McGill|
|Nadine Hurley||Ed's one-eyed, super-strong, curtain drape-obsessed wife||Wendy Robie|
|James Hurley||Ed's nephew, secret lover of Laura Palmer, later lover of Donna Hayward||James Marshall|
|Norma Jennings||Double-R Diner owner, lover of Big Ed Hurley, organizer of Meals on Wheels with Laura||Peggy Lipton|
|Hank Jennings||Norma's husband, criminal on parole, conspirator with Josie Packard||Chris Mulkey|
|Annie Blackburn||Younger sister of Norma, an ex-nun with a troubled past||Heather Graham|
|The Johnsons||Leo Johnson||Trucker and drug-runner, had a sexual relationship with Laura Palmer||Eric Da Re|
|Shelly Johnson||Abused young wife of Leo, waitress at Norma's diner, secret lover of Bobby Briggs||Mädchen Amick|
|One Eyed Jack's/ Renault family||Jacques Renault||Canadian croupier, drug-runner, and bartender at the Roadhouse. Had sexual relationship with Laura Palmer||Walter Olkewicz|
|Bernard Renault||Youngest Renault brother, mules drugs over the border||Clay Wilcox|
|Jean Renault||Oldest and most dangerous Renault brother, veteran criminal, insurance agent.||Michael Parks|
|Blacky O'Reilly||The madame of One Eyed Jacks||Victoria Catlin|
|Nancy O'Reilly||Blackie's sister, lover of Jean Renault||Galyn Görg|
|Other locals||Ronette Pulaski||former employee of Horne's Department Store and One Eyed Jacks, was with Laura the night she died||Phoebe Augustine|
|Dr. Lawrence Jacoby||Eccentric former psychiatrist of Laura with an obsession for Hawaii||Russ Tamblyn|
|Mike Nelson||Bobby's best friend, high school wrestling champ, ex-boyfriend of Donna.||Gary Hershberger|
a.k.a. "The Log Lady")
|Mystic, widow who divines through a log she carries with her everywhere||Catherine E. Coulson|
|Harold Smith||Agoraphobic horticulturist, Laura's Meals on Wheels friend||Lenny Von Dohlen|
|Emory Battis||Store manager of Horne's Department Store, recruits girls from the perfume counter to work at One Eyed Jack's||Don Amendolia|
|Dick Tremayne||Pretentious employee of Men's Department at Horne's, ex-lover of Lucy||Ian Buchanan|
|The Elderly Room Service Waiter||Elderly bellhop at the Great Northern with a link to the Lodges and the Giant in particular||Hank Worden|
|Roadhouse Singer||Angelic singer at the Roadhouse, known for her dream-like voice||Julee Cruise|
|Mayor Dwayne Milford||Long-time mayor of Twin Peaks, has an ongoing feud with his brother Dougie||John Boylan|
|Dougie Milford||Publisher of the Twin Peaks Gazette local newspaper, known to marry often||Tony Jay|
|Lana Budding Milford||Seductive fiancée of Dwayne, and widow of Dougie, known to charm almost any man that's around her||Robyn Lively|
|Outsiders||Evelyn Marsh||Rich woman who James Hurley runs into, and who is beaten by her husband||Annette McCarthy|
|Thomas Eckhardt||Former business partner of Andrew Packard, obsessively in love with Josie Packard||David Warner|
|Jones||Thomas Eckhardt's assistant||Brenda Strong|
|Teresa Banks||First victim, found almost exactly one year before the murder of Laura Palmer||Pamela Gidley|
|Windom Earle||Psychotic but brilliant ex-partner of Cooper, desires the powers of the Lodges||Kenneth Welsh|
|John Justice Wheeler||Friend of Ben Horne and later falls in love with Audrey Horne||Billy Zane|
|Judy Swain||Foster care aid for orphan child||Molly Shannon|
|Lodge Inhabitants||The Man from Another Place||Enigmatic dwarf, inhabitant of the Red Room.||Michael J. Anderson|
|MIKE||Spirit, former associate and now opponent of BOB, inhabits shoe salesman Phillip Gerard, "The One-Armed Man"||Al Strobel|
|BOB||Malevolent spirit, haunts the woods and inhabits humans, killer of Laura.||Frank Silva|
|The Giant||A supernatural giant who appears at key moments and provides Cooper with cryptic clues.||Carel Struycken|
|Mrs Tremond/Chalfont||Link to the Lodges and intentions unclear||Frances Bay|
|Pierre Tremond/Chalfont||Mrs Tremond/Chalfont's grandson, link to the Lodges and intentions unclear||Austin Jack Lynch/Jonathan J. Leppell|
Creation of BOB
Frank Silva was a set decorator who worked on the pilot episode. One day, when he was moving furniture in Laura Palmer's bedroom, a woman warned Silva not to get locked in the room. The image of Silva trapped in the room sparked something in Lynch, who then asked Silva if he was an actor. Silva said yes, and Lynch told him that he had a role in mind for him on the series. Silva accepted, and Lynch shot footage of him behind Laura's bed with no real idea of what he would do with it.
Silva's reflection was accidentally caught in the footage of Sarah Palmer's frightening vision at the end of the pilot. Sarah sees a hand uncovering Laura's heart necklace from the ground, and Silva can be seen in the mirror behind her head. Lynch was made aware of this accident and decided to keep Silva in the scene.
To save on money, Lynch intended to cast a local girl from Seattle "just to play a dead girl". The local girl ended up being Sheryl Lee. "But no one — not Mark, me, anyone — had any idea that she could act, or that she was going to be so powerful just being dead." Indeed, the image of Lee wrapped in plastic became one of the show's most enduring and memorable images. When Lynch shot the home movie that James takes of Donna and Laura, he realized that Lee had something special. "She did do another scene — the video with Donna on the picnic — and it was that scene that did it." As a result, Sheryl Lee became a semi-regular addition to the cast, appearing in flashbacks as Laura, and becoming a recurring character—Maddy, Laura's cousin who also becomes another victim of BOB.
MIKE, the One-Armed Man
MIKE made his appearance in the pilot episode which was only originally intended to be a "kind of homage to The Fugitive. The only thing he was gonna do was be in this elevator and walk out." However, when Lynch wrote the "Fire walk with me" speech, he imagined MIKE saying it in the basement of the Twin Peaks hospital – a scene that would appear in an alternative version of the pilot episode, and surface later in Agent Cooper's dream sequence. MIKE's full name, Phillip Michael Gerard, is also a reference to Lieutenant Philip Gerard, a character in The Fugitive.
The Man from Another Place
Lynch met Michael J. Anderson in 1987. After seeing him in a short film, Lynch wanted to cast the actor in the title role in Ronnie Rocket, but the project ultimately fell through. While editing the alternate ending of the foreign version of the pilot episode, an idea occurred to Lynch on his way home one day: "I was leaning against a car — the front of me was leaning against this very warm car. My hands were on the roof and the metal was very hot. The Red Room scene leapt into my mind. 'Little Mike' was there, and he was speaking backwards... For the rest of the night I thought only about The Red Room."
Special Agent Dale Cooper
Special Agent Dale Cooper, played by Kyle MacLachlan, is the protagonist of the series. Dale Cooper is an FBI agent who arrives in Twin Peaks in 1989 to investigate the brutal murder of popular high-school student Laura Palmer. He falls in love with the town and gains a great deal of acceptance within the tightly knit community. Cooper displays an array of quirky, sometimes almost childlike mannerisms, such as giving a "thumbs up" when satisfied, sage-like sayings (often inspired by his fascination with the nation of Tibet), and a distinctive sense of humor, along with his love for cherry pie and "a damn fine cup of coffee." One of his most popular habits is recording spoken-word tapes to a mysterious woman called "Diane" into a microcassette recorder he always carries with him, which often contains everyday observations and abstract thoughts on his current case. His investigative techniques go far beyond the usual ones employed by the FBI, including intuitive exercises and analysis of his dreams. He becomes deeply involved with the inhabitants of Twin Peaks, and remains in town after the resolution of the Laura Palmer case, especially once his nemesis and former partner Windom Earle starts menacing the town in order to exploit its supernatural properties.
Albert Rosenfield, played by Miguel Ferrer, is a talented forensic analyst Dale Cooper calls in to assist on the Laura Palmer case. Rosenfield's abrasive and mocking personality alienates the Twin Peaks sheriff's department relatively quickly; he compares Andy to a dog and repeatedly insults Sheriff Harry S. Truman to the point where Truman punches him. He also fights with Doc Hayward, and is very disparaging about the capabilities of the local police and medical facilities, showing respect only to his FBI colleagues, at least at first. He warms up to the townsfolk as the series progresses, going so far as to hug Truman when returning to the town to help with their hunt for Windom Earle, but does not lose his sharp and ironic manner.
A later appearance, and another conflict with Truman, lead to an emotional moment where Rosenfield exposes a pacifist nature seemingly at odds with his acerbic surface persona, to the sheriff's shock.
He also appears briefly in The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes, under the entry recorded on 4 February 1977. It is implied that this is Dale Cooper's and his first meeting. This makes Albert 21 when the two first meet, according to the My Life, My Tapes canon.
Chester Desmond, played by Chris Isaak, is a taciturn Special Agent with the FBI who is called out by his boss, Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole, to investigate the murder of a 17-year-old girl named Teresa Banks, who was found wrapped in plastic. Desmond is introduced to his new partner, Special Agent Sam Stanley, and receives coded clues in the form of Lil the Dancer. Desmond and Stanley then begin their investigation by driving to a rural town called Deer Meadow.
A few days into the investigation, Desmond mysteriously disappears after picking up a ring later seen to be owned by the Man from Another Place. His disappearance is reported to Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole, who then dispatches Special Agent Dale Cooper to pick up where Desmond left off. Desmond's disappearance is never explained, although Cooper discovers that Desmond's car has been vandalized with the words "LET'S ROCK," the same words spoken by the Man from Another Place when he introduces himself, implying that he was taken to the Black Lodge.
FBI Special Agent Sam Stanley
FBI Special Agent Sam Stanley, played by Kiefer Sutherland, assists Special Agent Desmond in the investigation of the murder of Teresa Banks. Gordon Cole mentions that he cracked the Whitman case. He is portrayed as being somewhat stiff and inflexible, in contrast to the laid-back demeanor of Desmond; at one point Desmond manages to make Stanley spill coffee on himself when he asks what time it is (noticing that Stanley is holding his cup with his watch hand).
Stanley was mentioned in the series pilot, during the scene in which Agent Cooper is examining Laura Palmer's body. He speaks into his dictaphone: "Give this to Albert and his team; don't go to Sam; Albert seems to have a little more on the ball."
In Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, Phillip Jeffries, played by David Bowie, suddenly exits an elevator in the Philadelphia FBI office, two years after his disappearance. He hurries to the office of his former superior, Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole and starts raving in a loud and disturbed manner, referring at one stage to Special Agent Cooper and yelling “Who do you think this is, there?”
Jeffries goes on to narrate where he has been since his disappearance. He mentions names and incidents that are unfamiliar to those listening. His words are illustrated by the intrusion of a ghost transmission showing a small group of characters, including The Man From Another Place and BOB, in a series of strange rooms.
He disappears into thin air once again after announcing “I found something... and then there they were!”
Gordon Cole (played by David Lynch, and also named for a minor character in Sunset Boulevard) is a Regional Bureau Chief in the FBI and Agent Cooper's immediate superior. He is very hard of hearing (wearing large hearing aids) and thus speaks very loudly. He often misunderstands what is said to him and replies with comically inappropriate responses. Cole’s coded messages sometimes baffle even his closest colleagues. In the first episode in which he appears, he says, “Cooper, you remind me today of a small Mexican chihuahua.” (which he pronounces "chee-WOW-wow") The conversation continues as normal, with the issue remaining unsolved.
While in Twin Peaks, Cooper and Cole go to the Double R Diner where he is smitten by waitress Shelly Johnson, whom to his surprise he can hear perfectly well. Shelly, being ignored by her boyfriend Bobby Briggs at the time, is shocked yet pleased by his attention, and upon his imminent departure they share a kiss, to the chagrin of Bobby, who happens to show up at that moment.
At the beginning of Fire Walk With Me, Cole briefs agents Chester Desmond and Sam Stanley on their assignment to investigate the murder of Teresa Banks. Cole uses a coded language, in the attire and gestures of Lil the Dancer, to inform the agents of what to expect in their investigation. Cole describes the Teresa Banks murder case as one of his “blue rose” cases. The exact meaning of this is never given, but fans have speculated that a “blue rose” case is one involving the supernatural.
Denise or Dennis Bryson was played by David Duchovny, who would later go on to play another more famous agent: Special Agent Fox Mulder of the FBI in The X-Files. The character’s binary identity reflects the dualistic leitmotif of the series.
Bryson began wearing women's clothing during a DEA undercover operation and found that it relaxed him. Bryson identifies as "Denise," wears women's clothing and presents female behavior during working hours and otherwise. When required for a sting operation, Bryson dons a man's suit and goes by "Dennis."
Bryson comes to Twin Peaks when Dale Cooper is accused by the Mounties and the FBI of misfeasance for his handling of the rescue of Audrey Horne from One Eyed Jacks and the alleged theft of cocaine from an RCMP stakeout. Cooper quickly determines that the "Mountie" accusing him is himself involved in drug dealing with Jean Renault and Hank Jennings. This leads to the standoff at Dead Dog Farm, in which Bryson's "feminine side" allows her to affect the rescue of Agent Cooper.
Harry S. Truman (played by Michael Ontkean) is Twin Peaks' sheriff, who assists Special Agent Dale Cooper in the investigation of the murder of Laura Palmer. Harry is in love with the fragile Josie Packard, and is also one of the Bookhouse Boys.
Harry and Cooper hit it off almost from the start. Harry is down-to-earth and plain-spoken, which often sharply contrasts with the eccentric Cooper and his unconventional methods of policing, fascination with Tibet, dreams, etc. Harry regards Cooper as somewhat eccentric but well-meaning. In early episodes, Harry serves to introduce Cooper (and hence the viewer) to the more prominent residents of Twin Peaks. Harry states that he begins to feel that he is Dr. Watson to Cooper's Sherlock Holmes. Despite their differences, Truman represents a literary alternate to Cooper: they approach the same goal through different means.
As the case progress, Harry's respect for Cooper (and vice versa) grows and the two become close friends. He regards Coop as "the finest lawman he has ever known". He vehemently defends Cooper to the FBI when Cooper is suspended for allegedly trafficking drugs across the Canadian border, and assists him in rescuing Audrey Horne from One-Eyed Jacks.
Harry shares his name with Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States. A picture of President Truman appears in his office. Additionally, a stuffed and mounted buck's head on his office wall has a placard reading "The Buck Stopped Here" hanging from it, a reference to the famous "The buck stops here" sign President Truman put on his desk.
Harry's passionate love for Josie Packard is such that it blinds him to the fact that she is merely using him, as she has used many other people. When she dies suddenly after murdering Thomas Eckhardt, Harry falls into a deep depression and takes to drinking. He manages to turn himself around when Eckhardt's personal assistant Jones makes an attempt to murder him, which he thwarts.
Following this, Harry resumes being the dedicated partner to Cooper he was before. When Cooper disappears into the Black Lodge Harry tirelessly waits for hours, until his sudden reappearance.
Andy Brennan, played by Harry Goaz, is a deputy for the Twin Peaks sheriff's department. Andy is a bit slow, even "dimwitted", and very sensitive, tending to cry at murder scenes. He is also very loyal and trustworthy, prompting a disparaging comparison to a dog by Albert Rosenfield. Andy has been seeing the secretary of sheriff's department, Lucy Moran. She, however, has grown tired of him, and seeks adventure by seeing Dick Tremayne. Andy is initially jealous of Dick's relationship with his former girlfriend; however the two later bond over Dick's temporary foster son Nicky. Not much is revealed of Andy during the show, except through physical comedy, such as his inadequacy at handling guns and sticky tape. However, Andy improves his gun skills at the range, later shooting Jacques Renault when he tries to go for Sheriff Truman.
Andy was the one who (in Season Two) realized that the drawing was a map, and he therefore played a big part in FBI agent Dale Cooper's finding his way to the Black Lodge.
In the pilot, he is revealed as a trumpeter, albeit not a very good one. And he has a talent at drawing which is demonstrated when he sketches Bob from Sarah Palmer's vision, and again during the trial of Leland Palmer when he sketches the back of Leland's head.
Deputy Tommy "Hawk" Hill
Deputy Tommy "Hawk" Hill is played by Michael Horse. Born in 1951, he works at the Twin Peaks sheriff's department under Sheriff Harry S. Truman. He is a Native American, but it is not made clear to which tribe he belongs, although during a discussion as to whether or not Tommy believes in the soul he references Blackfoot Indian mysticism to Special Agent Dale Cooper. He is usually referred to as "Hawk" because of his excellent tracking skills, which extend beyond animal and human tracks to those of cars and trucks. Hawk is also at one point shown to be a skilled knife-thrower. He is clearly aware of the supernatural presence in woods of Twin Peaks and also discusses with Cooper his belief in a direct connection to Native American spirituality. He is also the first person to verbally express to the viewers (as well as to Cooper) what the White Lodge and Black Lodge are.
One of the Bookhouse Boys and an all-around dependable guy, he saves the lives of both Truman and Cooper on more than one occasion. He has an unseen girlfriend who is a local veterinarian with a PhD from Brandeis.
Lucy Moran, played by Kimmy Robertson, is a high-voiced, childlike blonde receptionist at the Twin Peaks' sheriff's department. She is seeing deputy sheriff Andy Brennan, until they have an argument. She reveals later that she was also seeing Dick Tremayne, who works at Horne's Department Store, after feeling frustrated with Andy. Lucy gets pregnant, which turns out to be the reason why she and Andy have been fighting. The paternity of the child is called into question when Andy reveals that he cannot be the father of the baby, due to low sperm count. He gets retested and finds out that he in fact could have been the father. This sparks off a competition between Andy and Dick Tremayne, both vying for Lucy's affection and the role of father to her child. This includes adopting "Little Nicky" through the Big Brothers program. After some particularly rude behavior from Dick, Lucy decides not to wait for the baby to be born in order to determine paternity and chooses Andy as the father of her child.
In 1990, Simon & Schuster Audio released a cassette entitled "Diane ...": The Twin Peaks Tapes of Agent Cooper which compiled many of the recorded diary entries of Cooper that had been featured in the first season and the beginning of the second, along with specially recorded entries including several taking place prior to the pilot episode. One of the specially recorded entries takes place the night of Cooper's arrival in Twin Peaks and has Lucy giving Cooper directions to the Great Northern Hotel.
Lil the dancer
Lil the Dancer is a fictional character in the David Lynch movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. The dancer's movements are code; this is an FBI method, devised by Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole, to quickly and covertly brief Special Agent Chester Desmond on what to expect during his investigation into the death of Teresa Banks. Lil the Dancer is portrayed by the actress Kimberly Anne Cole.
Laura Palmer, played by Sheryl Lee, was the town's favorite daughter; she volunteered at Meals on Wheels, was the high school Homecoming queen, and was (apparently) the darling of her parents, Sarah and Leland. But Laura led a deeply troubled double life. She was a cocaine addict, a victim of incest, and a teenage prostitute. It is also revealed that she was manipulative and promiscuous, having had affairs with several men in Twin Peaks and having convinced her high school classmates to get involved in drug trafficking. She had briefly worked at One Eyed Jacks, a casino/brothel just north of the Canadian border, until she was apparently fired for gratuitous cocaine usage.
The discovery of Laura's body in the pilot episode of Twin Peaks brought Special Agent Dale Cooper to town to investigate her death, and the effects it had on those around her propelled the first season and the first nine 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's diary was uncovered in the first episode, but her secret diary was not recovered until much later, and it contained passages suggesting that she had long been the sometimes willing victim of abuse by a malevolent entity named BOB, who wanted to be close to her, or even be her.
Leland Palmer, played by Ray Wise, is an attorney whose primary client is local businessman Ben Horne. He is well-known and respected in Twin Peaks. Together with his wife Sarah and his daughter Laura, his family is seemingly perfect. When Laura is murdered, Leland’s psychological foundations begin to crumble. He suffers multiple nervous breakdowns and during Laura's funeral flings himself into her grave and must be pulled out. He remains unstable for some time. Later it becomes apparent that Leland has actually been troubled for some time. It is revealed that he is possessed by the evil spirit BOB (who may have been occupying Leland since childhood, when "Bob" was a neighbor of Leland's who often taunted him in passing) and has been influenced to commit multiple crimes (including repeatedly raping and ultimately killing his own daughter). It is never clear to what extent Leland is aware of his evil actions. Leland is caught by Cooper and the police, but after cigarette smoke activates the sprinkler system, the BOB inside him explodes into madness and Leland kills himself by bashing his head repeatedly against his cell's iron door, freeing himself from BOB. Leland says he regrets his actions, and tells Cooper he did not want to harm Laura, but that BOB made him do it. He then apparently "sees" Laura, and apologizes to her, before dying.
Sarah Palmer, played by Grace Zabriskie, is the mother of Laura Palmer and the wife of Leland Palmer. Laura is found murdered in the pilot episode of Twin Peaks. Sarah's husband Leland becomes unstable since the murder, and Sarah doesn't know what's going on. When Leland falls onto Laura's coffin at the funeral, Sarah tells him "Don't ruin this, too!" During the second season it is revealed that Leland killed Laura under the influence of evil spirit BOB. It is implied in the series, and confirmed in the prequel film, that Leland/BOB have been drugging Sarah in order to sexually abuse Laura.
Sarah, a chain-smoker who gradually develops a complete nervous breakdown over the violent deaths and other bizarre events in her family, is shown to have some paranormal powers, and she is known for (on some occasions) predicting the future or seeing people (Bob) no one else sees. In the Pilot, she has a vision of the other half of Laura's necklace (buried by James Hurley) being dug up and in a later episode sees BOB at the foot of Laura's bed. Prior to Maddy's murder, Sarah has a vision of a white horse in her living room. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me reveals that she had a similar vision just before Laura's murder. In the series finale Windom Earle speaks to Garland Briggs through Sarah, daring him to come to The Black Lodge to rescue Dale Cooper.
Madeleine "Maddy" Ferguson (Sheryl Lee) first appears midway through the first season, when she travels to Twin Peaks from her hometown of Missoula, Montana (which happens to be David Lynch's real-life birthplace). She comes to help her uncle and aunt, Leland and Sarah Palmer, overcome the loss of Laura. Maddy seems to be a few years older than Laura, but otherwise looks identical, excluding Maddy's dark hair and bookish glasses. Maddy even remarks that she and Laura used to pretend they were sisters. Despite the visual similarity, the innocent and sweet Maddy stands in stark contrast to Laura, whose personal life is steeped in sex and deception. Like Laura's mother and Laura herself, Maddy has premonitions, including one of a bloodstain on the floor of the Palmers' living room and another of 'Bob', a demonic entity plaguing the town.
Maddy quickly befriends Donna Hayward and James Hurley, Laura's closest friends, and helps them in their investigation into Laura's death. At one point, Maddy even appears wearing a blonde wig in order to lure out one of Laura's acquaintances.
During the second season, Maddy begins to resemble her cousin more and more: her hair (though still dark) straightens, she stops wearing her glasses, and in her carriage and demeanor she behaves more like the character of Laura seen in the prequel movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me than the Maddy shown in the first season. This causes conflict with Donna and James when James becomes attracted to her, and she begins to return his feelings in spite of herself.
Eventually, she is murdered by Leland Palmer, who is possessed by 'Bob', in a violent recreation of Laura's murder. Maddy's death quickly leads to Leland's arrest. Resemblance to Laura may have been key to Maddy's murder, as it is revealed in Fire Walk With Me that Teresa Banks, the first of Leland's victims, was selected because "you look just like my Laura" (although the fact that she was planning to blackmail Leland also constitutes a valid motive). Additionally, in the episode where Leland is caught, Donna might have become victim #4 when Leland/Bob sees that Donna is wearing Laura's sunglasses, given to her earlier by Maddy.
The character is an elaborate reference to Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 film Vertigo, in which Kim Novak plays a blonde/brunette dual role, much like Lee plays Laura and Maddy. Madeleine is the name of Novak's blonde alter ego, while Ferguson is the surname of James Stewart's character in the same film. In the Twin Peaks prequel Fire Walk With Me several mentions are made of a "Judy" who never materializes. Judy is the name of Novak's brunette persona. Judy may possibly be the third character Lee claims that Lynch intended her to play had the show not been cancelled.
The notion of pairing similar or identical women with contrasting hair colors and personalities is one that arises frequently in Lynch's work, especially when it pertains to another individual obsessing over their shifting identities. Other pairs in this trend include Patricia Arquette's characters in Lost Highway and Naomi Watts and Laura Elena Harring's in Mulholland Drive. Duality is a strong feature in Twin Peaks, as implied by the name, not to mention the doppelgangers in the black lodge.
Doctor William Hayward (played by Warren Frost) is a physician and coroner who, due to his close relationship with her, refuses to perform Laura Palmer's autopsy. His first name is not generally used, but because he is called "Will" in several episodes, it can be presumed to be "William"; he is normally just called "Doc".
He is the husband of Eileen and father of three daughters: Donna (who has by far the biggest role of the family), Harriet, and Gersten. The Doc is generally a balanced, fair man, but he is especially upset by Laura's murder, as he is a friend of the Palmers and his daughters knew her well.
Hayward also has an altercation with the abrasive Albert Rosenfield, who calls his work "amateur" and wishes to do more work on Laura's corpse. Unlike most of the characters on Twin Peaks he appears to have no major nasty secrets, or eccentricities. But toward the end of the second season it is revealed that he may have been cuckolded by Benjamin Horne, who might in fact be Donna's real father - a question never resolved. In the final episode Hayward attacks Ben and although it seems Ben has been seriously injured (possibly killed), Hayward shows up at the end of the episode apparently with his normal temperament.
Eileen Hayward, played by Mary Jo Deschanel, is the wheelchair-bound wife of Doc Hayward and mother of Donna. Why she is disabled is never revealed during the series. Highly tolerant and decent in every sense, she seems to have a murky past concerning Benjamin Horne.
Donna, played by Lara Flynn Boyle in the series and by Moira Kelly in the prequel, was the best friend of Laura Palmer. After her death, she became obsessed with finding out who killed her and why, with the help of James Hurley (Laura's secret boyfriend and Donna's new love interest) and Madeleine Ferguson, the lookalike cousin of Laura.
At the end of season two, it is strongly suggested that Doc Hayward might not be Donna's biological father after all, and that she is in fact the daughter of Benjamin Horne and half-sister to Audrey Horne. However, due to the series' cancellation, this idea has not been elaborated upon.
Harriet, played by Jessica Wallenfels, is the middle child in Hayward family. Harriet is shown to be a poet. She appears twice in the series, and both times feature her reading poetry she has written. In the show's pilot, Donna asks Harriet to lie to their father while she sneaks out the bedroom window to meet James Hurley to discuss the death of Laura Palmer. Harriet, who is busy writing a poem, fails to adequately cover for her sister, however. Harriet's other appearance—the first episode of the second season, "May the Giant Be With You"—features her reading a rather eerie poem she wrote about Laura.
Gersten, played by Alicia Witt, is the youngest of three Hayward sisters. Unlike her sisters and her mother, Gersten is a redhead. She is a skilled pianist.
While she is a minor character, the episode "May the Giant Be With You" ends with the credits rolling over footage of Gersten playing the piano. Few episodes end with credits rolling over anything other than a static image, most often a photo of Laura Palmer. While some fans have passed off the footage as merely Lynch's way of showcasing Witt's talent, others have attempted to read more into it, much in the manner that fans read into countless other strange aspects of the series.
Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) is one of the two richest and most powerful individuals of Twin Peaks; according to Sheriff Truman, Horne "owns half the town", including the Great Northern Hotel, the town's only apparent travel lodgings; the Great Northern also acts, on occasion, as a de facto town hall, and the only place in Twin Peaks suitable for a wedding reception, making it one of the hubs of the community. In addition to the Great Northern, Ben owns and runs Horne's, the town's only department store, and One Eyed Jacks, a casino/brothel just over the Canadian border. He is a highly devious figure involved in drug and prostitution rings and even orders and orchestrates murders. His would-be monopoly on the town's economy is challenged only by Josie Packard, the owner of the Packard Saw Mill, one of the few major businesses in town which Horne doesn't own. At the outset of the series, Horne has been involved in an affair for some time with Catherine Martell, as part of an intricate plot to kill her, destroy the mill, become the beneficiary of her life insurance, and take sole ownership of the land on which the mill sits, which he intends to turn into a luxury country club. There is also speculation about Horne's previous involvement with Eileen Hayward, which leads to the suspicion as to whether he is Donna Hayward's biological father. During the second season he is briefly arrested on the suspicion of being Laura Palmer's murderer. Due to the collapse of his business endeavours during his arrest, he suffers a nervous breakdown, falling into a delusional state for much of the season during which he imagines himself a Civil War general. When he recovers from his mental breakdown, he attempts somewhat to right some of his prior wrongs but does not completely keep himself out of trouble.
Jeremy "Jerry" Horne (David Patrick Kelly) is the playboy brother of Ben Horne and the uncle of Audrey and Johnny. He was his brother's right-hand-man and emissary, traveling around the world to act in Ben's place for his international business dealings. Although he and Ben shared similar interests and characteristics — womanizing and cut-throat business dealings — Jerry publicly demonstrated all the negative traits which his brother hid beneath a veneer of sophistication and class. The brothers' contrasts were reflected in their attire: Ben wore tailored, neutral-coloured business suits, but Jerry dressed in a variety of bizarre, multi-colored outfits, seemingly culled from his trips around the world, and had a strange hairdo incorporating both the buzz cut and hi-top fade.
Jerry was a supporting character in the series, who did not receive his own plotline; he primarily served to give Ben an intellectually equal associate, because Ben was otherwise surrounded by low-level thugs such as Leo Johnson and Hank Jennings. Although not intelligent as his brother, Jerry demonstrated world-awareness beyond that of most of the town's population.
Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) fits the image of a poor little rich girl, able to have anything she wants except for her father's love. She eventually discovers that Benjamin, the town's business magnate, gave his love to the deceased Laura Palmer, both physically and emotionally.
Audrey is labelled a troublemaker and she initially lives up to that expectation. In a memorable scene in the Twin Peaks pilot, she derails one of her father's business deals, worth millions of dollars, by interrupting a meeting of Norwegian investors and telling them about Laura's murder. However, Audrey ultimately reveals herself to be a shrewd and sympathetic figure who goes out of her way for others. Although Audrey and Laura were not friends, Audrey says she "kind of loved Laura" because Laura tutored Audrey's brother Johnny.
Audrey's older, intellectually disabled brother Johnny is a peripheral character in the series. He is played by Robert Davenport in the pilot episode, and later by Robert Bauer—twice in the first season and once in the second season, as well as in the film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.
At the Twin Peaks Festival 2011 in North Bend Washington, Jan D'Arcy (who plays Johnny's mother Sylvia) told the assembled crowd that there was a deleted scene from the second season of Twin Peaks, in which Sylvia confesses to Dr. Jacoby that as a girl, Audrey pushed her brother Johnny down a flight of stairs—resulting in his brain damage. In return, Dr. Jacoby reminds Sylvia that there is no physical trauma in Johnny's brain; he remains in a child-like state because he wants to.
Josie Packard (Joan Chen) is from Hong Kong, and is ethnic Chinese. Josie meets and marries Andrew Packard, owner of the Packard Mill, in Hong Kong and accompanies him to Twin Peaks. After Andrew's death in a boating accident, Josie inherits the mill, which is run by her sister-in-law Catherine. Catherine resents Josie for taking over the mill and suspects that Josie was responsible for Andrew's demise. Catherine's husband Pete Martell, a former woodcutter, is good friends with Josie, seeing her fragile side and striving to protect her. Through most of the first season, Josie seems innocent, an easy mark and potential victim for her more savvy and cunning sister-in-law and Catherine's lover, Ben Horne. It is only later revealled that Josie is, in truth, a classic "femme fatale" whose innocence masks a manipulative and cold-blooded side.
After her husband's death, Josie starts dating the town sheriff Harry S. Truman. Agent Dale Cooper, in town investigating the murder of Laura Palmer, has befriended Truman, and quickly detects Truman's feelings for Josie, but does not himself trust her at all. He tries to warn Truman against getting too close to Josie, but to no avail. At the end of the first season, a mysterious caller shoots Cooper. He survives, thanks to a quick operation, but does not get a look at his assailant, who is later revealed to have been Josie. She ultimately dies of heart failure from "fear" after an encounter with evil spirit BOB after having shot and killed Thomas Eckhardt, a long-time tormentor of hers due to his obsession with Josie.
Andrew Packard (Dan O'Herlihy), a sprightly and high-spirited man in spite of his old age, was formerly the owner of the Packard Sawmill. He was supposedly killed in a boating accident brought about by Hank Jennings, working on behalf of Andrew's wife, Josie, and his former business partner, Thomas Eckhardt, a sinister businessman operating in the Far East. Later it is revealed that Andrew anticipated the attempt and went into hiding.
Before he is killed, Eckhardt leaves a mysterious puzzle to Andrew and Catherine. It is a box, with an astrological code on it, which in Russian doll fashion contains several other boxes within it. Andrew and Pete finally discover a key to a safety deposit for the local bank after Andrew shoots the smallest one with the large revolver he carries beneath his jacket.
When Andrew and Pete go to the bank and open the deposit, a bomb is triggered. The extent of the damage is unclear, as this happened in the final episode, but Andrew, Pete, and the bank clerk likely all died in the explosion (Audrey, chained to the bank vault door, was slated to have survived).
Catherine Martell (played by Piper Laurie), is the sister of Andrew Packard. She married lumberjack Pete Martell, but their happiness was short-lived. Though they remained married, Catherine holds her more simple and naive husband in contempt. After Andrew's death in a boating accident (actually brought about by his young Chinese wife Josie and Hank Jennings), Catherine runs the Packard Mill, though Josie is the legal owner.
Catherine is having an affair with local businessman and landowner Ben Horne, with whom she is plotting to burn down the mill. Unknown to Catherine, Ben is also in cahoots with Josie, and the two of them are plotting to cut her out of the picture entirely, with the intent to eventually shut down the mill and develop the land for their own profit. A highly devious and narcissistic person, Catherine later cons everyone by posing as a Japanese businessman (Mr Tojamura) who buys the shares of the land and manages to destroy Horne's business.
Pete Martell (played by Jack Nance) is a lumberjack who married his boss' sister Catherine. What started as a "summer's indiscretion" developed into a marriage that from Pete's perspective never should have happened. "Catherine is plain hell to live with", he once admits during the course of the show. Catherine is ruthless, stubborn and determined and doesn't make anything easy for her husband (who she feels is a useless, soft old fool). However, it is also made clear that Catherine was far richer than he, so he has at least a financial consolation. Pete also seems to harbor some genuine, nostalgic affection for his wife, which he expresses to Sheriff Truman when he thinks Catherine has died.
He is a keen angler. While Catherine plots to get back her late brother's business, the Packard mill, from his widow Josie Packard whom she despises, Pete spends his time fishing ("There's a fish in the percolator!") and joking affectionately with Josie. Perhaps too good to be true, Josie is pure balm to Pete after Catherine's constant spite and contempt.
He is also an expert chess player, the best in town (and seemingly in a very large surrounding area), and helps Cooper in his deadly tournament against Windom Earle in season 2.
Major Garland Briggs (Don S. Davis) is a U. S. Air Force officer whose area of expertise appears to be paranormal activity, particularly Project Blue Book. He is an eccentric man given to odd statements. He is the father of Bobby, whose smoking he cannot abide. His work is highly classified; he does not tell even his family about it.
His greatest fear, revealed under torture, is “the possibility that love is not enough.” He is abducted at one point (taken to the White Lodge?), and is told to deliver a message to Special Agent Dale Cooper by the Log Lady. In the second season, Major Briggs and Bobby find some common ground and make up.
Robert "Bobby" Briggs, played by Dana Ashbrook, was Laura Palmer's boyfriend. His father is Major Garland Briggs, a member of the U.S. military, with whom he has an uneasy relationship. Though Bobby was secretly seeing Shelly Johnson before Laura's death, he becomes jealous of James Hurley when he discovers that James was secretly seeing Laura. Laura, it turns out, did not really love Bobby but was merely using him as a source of cocaine.
The prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me shows that just two days before Laura's death, Bobby (accompanied by Laura) had a midnight meeting, arranged by Jacques Renault, with Cliff Howard, deputy in Deer Meadow, the town in which Teresa Banks was murdered the previous year. Howard was supplying Bobby with cocaine to be sold in Twin Peaks; when an inebriated Laura yanked the drugs out of his hands, Howard pulled a gun and Bobby shot him. This scene explains what James Hurley reported to Donna Hayward in the series pilot — that Laura, the night she was murdered, had mentioned to him that someone had been killed.
Bobby and Shelly eventually move in together when Leo Johnson becomes comatose. He tries to become an assistant to Ben Horne but falls in with Horne at the point of Horne's nervous breakdown and finds little success.
His marriage to Nadine, who is constantly seesawing between being overbearing and highly depressed, ceased to be loving long ago, and seems driven primarily by his guilt over the hunting accident on their honeymoon where she lost her eye. Due to a misunderstanding he married her over his high-school sweetheart Norma Jennings. He has been carrying on an affair with Norma, but his guilt, along with the imminent release of Norma's violent husband Hank, causes them to break things off. They resume their affair after Nadine regresses into childhood and starts dating Mike, a teenager. Nadine even hospitalizes Hank while defending Ed from him. By the end of the season, Ed and Norma announce their intention to be married, but Nadine's sudden recovery throws things into doubt.
He is also one of the Bookhouse Boys and as such serves as "unofficial deputy" to Sheriff Truman.
Nadine Hurley, played by Wendy Robie, is married to Big Ed and is well known in the town for her ferocity and eccentricity. Nadine wears a patch over her left eye, having lost it in a hunting accident on their honeymoon. Ed's guilt over the accident (and other things) is perhaps all that holds together their mostly unhappy marriage, as he would rather have married Norma Jennings, his high-school sweetheart.
Nadine spends the first few episodes of the series in a state of obsession with trying to create the world's first completely silent drape-runners. She is successful when her husband, Ed, accidentally spills mechanical grease on the cotton balls she is fixing to the runners. Nadine initially thinks this will make them both very rich, but alas it does not, because she was refused a patent, and she gives up hope that it could ever sell. She subsequently attempts suicide by overdosing on pills.
After falling into a coma instead, Nadine awakes believing herself to be a teenager in high school and, incidentally, just dating her husband. Her superhuman strength (already present in season one) allows her to enter the school's wrestling team—the first female to do so. Though the cause of her memory loss is left largely to the viewer's imagination, adrenaline is circuitously mentioned at one point by Dr. Hayward, as well as Dr. Jacoby's comment that "that tissue's packed in there pretty hard".
As season two progresses, Nadine and Ed decide to "break up", and she begins pursuit of teenage Mike Nelson (captain of the Twin Peaks wrestling team). This in turn leaves Ed free to pursue his true love, Norma.
In the final episode, Nadine suffers a blow to the head that results in the loss of her delusions of teenhood. Apparently, she has no memory of anything that has occurred since her suicide attempt. The full repercussions of her recovery, including the potential scuppering of Big Ed's and Norma's newly announced marriage plans, were left to be addressed in a third season that was never to be.
James Hurley, played by James Marshall, lives with his uncle Ed and his aunt Nadine due to his troubled family situation: his father (probably Ed's brother), a musician, left mother and child behind when James was very young, while his mother, a writer, is an alcoholic who frequently sleeps with total strangers.
James is a keen motorcycle rider. He is only quiet on the outside. James frequently has problems with women. He was Laura Palmer's secret boyfriend. Bobby Briggs, Laura's boyfriend, resents James because of their relationship. After her death, he falls in love with his and Laura's best friend Donna Hayward. Later he is also attracted to Laura's look-alike cousin Maddy Ferguson, leading to disputes with Donna, who is similarly confused about her feelings for him. After Maddy's death, he leaves Twin Peaks and gets into trouble with Evelyn Marsh, who manipulates him for her own ends at first but then regrets it. After he is entangled in the conspiracy to murder her husband and exonerated, he decides he needs to get away from Twin Peaks and heads off to see the world. He is not seen again for the remainder of the series, but he professes his love for Donna and promises to come back for her.
Norma Jennings, played by Peggy Lipton, is the owner of the Double R Diner, where she employs Shelly Johnson, a good friend of hers, and organizes the town's Meals on Wheels program, which Laura Palmer used to operate. She is a former Miss Twin Peaks, and becomes one of the judges at the latest pageant. She is later joined at the Diner by her sister Annie Blackburn, a former nun.
She does not care for her husband Hank, a paroled criminal, and has long regretted that she did not end up with high-school sweetheart Big Ed Hurley, whom she adores and is carrying on an affair with. She finds it difficult to trust Hank, because he is a criminal and has let her down in the past, but eventually gives him a chance by letting him work in the diner. What she would really like to do is to divorce Hank and marry Ed, but events continually prevent this. When Nadine regresses into her teenage years Ed and Norma see an opportunity to get married, but Nadine's sudden recovery throws things into jeopardy.
Norma has a bad relationship with her mother, which has presumably been a long-standing dislike, as Annie Blackburn briefly inquires about this upon coming to Twin Peaks, and doesn't argue when Norma tries to drop the subject. Their ties are broken for good when it turns out her mother is in fact a famous food critic who writes under a pseudonym, and ultimately gives the Double R Diner an unflattering review. Norma, who is appalled at her mother's lack of sympathy for what Norma has dedicated her life to, tells her she never wants to see her again.
Hank Jennings, played by Chris Mulkey, is the criminal (and during the first few episodes imprisoned) husband of Norma Jennings.
He is a career criminal, albeit a more professional one than Leo Johnson. Bad to the bone and a bit of a sociopath, he is nevertheless able to put on a convincing nice-guy facade which manages to fool some people. According to Sheriff Harry S. Truman, Hank once was a member of the Bookhouse Boys, in fact "one of the best", before he was expelled for his criminal activities. In many ways, Hank serves as a moral counterpoint to Sheriff Truman who rightfully does not trust Hank.
Prior to the start of the series, Hank has been hired by Josie Packard to arrange the death of her husband Andrew, owner of the Packard Saw Mill, in a boating accident. (It is revealed later that Andrew anticipated and secretly avoided this attempt on his life.) Hank used his apparent involvement in a drunken driving accident as an alibi for the night of Andrew's death and was convicted of manslaughter. At the beginning of the series, he is due for parole after serving 18 months in the state prison.
Hank has a difficult relationship with his wife Norma, who (rightly) feels lied to and betrayed by him. Norma is really in love with Big Ed Hurley, as she has been since high school, and the two only married other people due to misunderstandings. Hank's imprisonment provides the couple safety to carry on an affair, and hence they are uneasy about his being free and nearby. Nonetheless, Norma gives a restrained but positive testimony in the parole hearing, ensuring his release, and provides him with a job at her Double R diner.
Upon his release, Hank immediately violates parole by committing a large number of crimes and by crossing the Canadian border. He threatens Josie, who had agreed to pay him $90,000 upon his release, and tries to extort more money from her.
Hank is hired for a number of shady dealings by Benjamin Horne. In particular, he is responsible for shooting Leo Johnson, after Leo set fire to the Packard Mill on Hank's orders. The shot does not kill Leo, but sends him into a coma. Unbeknownst to him, this was witnessed by Bobby Briggs, whom Leo had been about to kill with an axe at the time.
After crossing the Canadian border on orders of Benjamin Horne, he is captured by Franco-Canadian criminal Jean Renault and becomes involved in his doings, especially the takeover of One Eyed Jacks and the Dead Dog Farm stake out.
Hank decides to punish Ed for the affair with Norma but runs into Ed's superhumanly strong wife Nadine, who beats him to a pulp. Hank spends the remainder of the series on crutches and is eventually taken back to jail for parole violations. In his last appearance, Hank tries to get an alibi regarding the night of Leo's shooting from his wife, Norma, while she is visiting his cell to ask for a divorce. Hank coldly replies "you give me my alibi, and I'll give you a divorce". When Norma refuses (still not trusting Hank to keep his word), he then reacts violently and calls her Big Ed's "whore", to which she replies that she'd "rather be his whore than your wife." Norma then leaves Hank behind in jail.
Annie Blackburn, played by Heather Graham, is the sister of Norma Jennings, from whom she gets a job in the RR Diner.
She appears in the final six episodes of the series and briefly in the prequel feature film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. A precocious introvert closer to nature than to people, she grew up in Twin Peaks, but after a painful first love that led her to a suicide attempt, she went to live in a convent. She hasn't decided if she wants to remain in the secular world, but is willing to see what it can offer her. Despite her lack of experience outside the convent, Annie is not naive about everyday sorrows and transgressions. She may be seen as a mirror for FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, who falls in love with her, and she with him.
Annie seems to possess an intangible quality to which Cooper is drawn, almost hypnotically. Annie ultimately begins to represent a dark and painful truth from his past. Subsequently, she is cast into Cooper's urgent quest to elude/capture the progenitor of his increasingly nightmarish existence. In the final episode of the series she is trapped in the Black Lodge by Windom Earle who brings her there as his "Queen" after she wins Miss Twin Peaks (Earle was playing a "sick chess game" involving real people prior to this). At the end of the episode, Dale Cooper is himself possessed by the spirit of Bob, and he and Annie depart the Black Lodge. Annie is reported to have been hospitalized by the end of the series.
In Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Annie briefly appears to Laura Palmer in a dream, bruised and bloodied (appearing the same way she did when she exited the Black Lodge), to warn her of her death, but as this has yet to happen Laura does not understand the omen. The clue that Annie says to Laura is: "My name is Annie, and I've been with Laura and Dale. The good Dale is in the Lodge, and he can't leave. Write it in your diary."
Shelly dropped out of high school to marry trucker Leo Johnson, who had swept her off her feet by lavishing her with attention. As soon as they got married, it became clear that Leo just "wanted a maid he didn't have to pay for," in the words of Shelly. Leo is a monstrous home dictator, wife-beater, and dangerous criminal, and he is tangibly connected to Laura Palmer's murder.
Shelly has been having an affair with Laura's boyfriend, Bobby Briggs. Bobby, like Laura, is still in high school, and besides being a jock, he's something of a known hooligan. Although Bobby doesn't quite tread on the right side of the law, he is at least kind to Shelly, unlike Leo. The risk of the affair is great; Bobby deals drugs for Leo and knows just how dangerous Leo is. Leo eventually finds out, and tries to kill Shelly by tying her up inside the Packard Saw Mill and setting it on fire. However Catherine Martell, who was also meant to die in the fire, reluctantly frees Shelly and helps her escape. Catherine, however, vanishes.
During the show's second season, Leo lapses into a catatonic state after being shot by Hank Jennings. Shelly is forced to quit her job at the Double R Diner to take care of Leo at home, where she and Bobby openly flaunt their relationship in front of him, mainly out of frustration that his monthly disability benefits are almost completely used up by the costs of keeping him at home. When Leo awakens from his catatonia and tries to kill Shelly, Bobby comes to Shelly's defense and fights with Leo. Shelly manages to stab Leo in the leg with a knife, and the wounded Leo staggers off into the woods. Shelly later asks Norma for her old job at the Double R Diner, which Norma gladly gives back to her. Shelly - along with Donna Hayward and Audrey Horne - later receives fragments of poetry from former FBI man Windom Earle, as part of Earle's elaborate scheme. At the urging of Bobby, Shelly enters the Miss Twin Peaks contest, which is ultimately won by Annie Blackburn. In Shelly's last appearance Bobby proposes marriage to her, which she would like to accept were it not for the fact that she is still married to Leo.
Leo Johnson, played by Eric Da Re, is a trucker who also moonlights as Twin Peaks' primary source of narcotics (which he obtains from the Renault Brothers and traffics over the Canadian/US border for distribution in Twin Peaks). Because of his criminal versatility, Sheriff Truman has never been able to obtain any evidence of his criminal dealings. Leo is married to Shelly Johnson, one of the waitresses at the town diner. Due to his volatile temper, he regularly beats her for both real and imagined transgressions, ranging from her infidelity with high school football player Bobby Briggs to his dissatisfaction with the way she washes the kitchen floor.
In the course of the series, cumulative evidence leads to Leo becoming one of the primary suspects in the murder of Laura Palmer. As it turns out, Leo was simply present on the night Laura was murdered by Killer Bob. While under investigation for the Palmer murder, Leo is hired for his criminal skills by Ben Horne, who charges him with burning down the Packard Saw Mill with his business rival Catherine Martell inside so that Horne can simultaneously kill his competition and destroy the only obstacle to his obtaining the valuable Mill land. Leo decides to use the situation to solve his own marital discord, abducting Shelly and tying her up inside the mill shortly before setting fire to it with a time bomb. Catherine foils his plans by freeing Shelly and helping her escape the mill. When Leo returns home after setting fire to the mill, he discovers Bobby in his house looking for Shelly. Leo tries to kill him with an axe, but is shot by Hank Jennings, who was hired by Ben Horne to kill Leo in order to cover his own tracks.
Leo spends most of the second season in a vegetative state, cared for by Shelly and Bobby, who agree to take him in as part of a scheme to commit insurance fraud. The plan backfires, however, when it turns out that Leo's home care is far more expensive than they had anticipated, and the pair are left destitute. To vent their frustration, they take to abusing Leo whilst simultaneously flaunting their relationship in front of him.
Near the end of the season, Leo regains some of his cognitive abilities and attacks Shelly and Bobby. Wounded during the course of a struggle, he staggers into the woods, where he is abducted by escaped mental patient (and former FBI agent) Windom Earle. Earle enslaves the barely coherent Leo by fitting him with a shock collar and forcing him into submission. Leo spends the remainder of the series as a semi-mute drone, serving Windom Earle as his henchman. In the third to last episode, Leo seems to regain some more functioning ability, as he frees another one of Earle's captives, Major Garland Briggs, believing Shelly's life to be in danger after Earle posts a photo of her on his cabin wall. (Ironically, this gives the impression that Leo truly did love Shelly-in his own cruel way.) In the series finale, Earle leaves Leo for dead, rigging a cage of tarantulas above Leo's head, with a string affixed between Leo's teeth; if Leo lets go of the string, the cage will drop on his face, releasing the agitated tarantulas. His fate is never revealed, though it is rumored that he might have had the cage drop during the third season.
The three Renault brothers—Jacques, Bernard and Jean—are French Canadian and heavily involved in various kinds of crime, primarily drug running. No two of the three brothers are ever shown together on screen during the series. By the end of the series, all three are dead.
Jacques, played by Walter Olkewicz, used to be a woodcutter but had to quit that job because of his considerable weight. He then went to other jobs, working as a bartender at the Roadhouse in Twin Peaks as well as a croupier at One Eyed Jack's, a casino and brothel located across the Canadian border. Together with Leo Johnson, he ran drugs from Canada into Twin Peaks. Both Leo and Jacques had (rough) sex with Laura Palmer the night she was killed.
He flees from the Twin Peaks police into Canada, but is questioned incognito by Agent Cooper at One Eyed Jacks. Cooper tricks him into returning to Twin Peaks, where he is ambushed and arrested on the charge of murdering Laura Palmer. Having been shot and wounded during the arrest, he is taken to hospital, where Laura's father Leland suffocates him with a pillow, getting revenge on the supposed killer of his daughter.
Bernard, played by Clay Wilcox is the youngest of the Renault brothers. He helps Jacques in his drug running and warns him to stay away from the Roadhouse. He is captured and interrogated by the Bookhouse Boys but refuses to answer their questions. He is later murdered by Leo Johnson and left in the woods.
Jean, played by Michael Parks, is the eldest and most ruthless of the three brothers, but hides his ruthlessness behind a soft-spoken, charming appearance. He is described as being involved in gambling, extortion, drug dealing and other crimes in the Northwest before his first appearance in the series.
He first appears during Blackie's attempt to wrest control of One Eyed Jack's from owner Benjamin Horne. He reportedly once sold insurance for the brothel to Horne and is also the lover of Blackie's younger sister Nancy. Now, he acts as a go-between for Blackie, who's holding Horne's daughter Audrey ransom, and Horne, but he also has a personal score to settle: he wants to get revenge on Agent Cooper, who he blames for the death of his younger brothers. His intentions are thwarted as Cooper and Sheriff Truman infiltrate One Eyed Jack's and rescue Audrey.
On the night Audrey is rescued, Jean kills Blackie, takes control of the brothel, and acquires the services of Ben Horne's henchman Hank Jennings. Later, he stages a plot to frame Cooper for drug running, leading to Cooper's temporary suspension. He is eventually killed by Cooper during a hostage standoff at Dead Dog Farm.
Blackie O'Reilly (nicknamed The Black Rose and portrayed by Victoria Catlin) is the madame of One Eyed Jacks, the casino/brothel just north of the Canadian border. She runs Jack's at the behest of its secret owner, Benjamin Horne. In keeping with the "upscale" theme of the establishment, Blackie adorns herself in glamorous black evening gowns and exudes an air of sophistication and being a member of the "upper class." She is the highest authority at Jacks, aside from Ben Horne, eliciting absolute obedience from the cadre of prostitutes in her stable. Whenever a new girl is hired, she oversees a coin-tossing ceremony between Ben and Jerry Horne to see which man will "break her in."
Blackie is a heroin addict; sometime prior to the beginning of the series, she was the mistress of Ben Horne, who intentionally got her addicted to the drug as a means of controlling her. Blackie resents Ben's control over her, and when Ben's daughter infiltrates Jack's to try to collect information on Laura Palmer, Blackie injects her with the drug to seek vengeance on Horne. This proves to be the first step in a war between Horne and Blackie and her drug baron brother-in-law, Jean Renault, who seizes control of One Eyed Jacks in a hostile takeover. Ultimately, Jean stabs Blackie to death, wanting to eliminate any potential competition he might have in the operation of his new business venture.
Ronette Pulaski, portrayed by Phoebe Augustine, is the daughter of Janek Pulaski (an employee of the Packard Saw Mill). She attended Twin Peaks High School.
She worked at the perfume counter at Horne's Department Store, and at One Eyed Jacks, but was fired from both jobs. She and Laura Palmer were both raped and beaten by the serial killer BOB during the crime that drives much of the series. Laura is murdered, but Ronette manages to escape. She is discovered wandering along train tracks in a trance. As she had crossed state lines, the FBI becomes involved in the investigation. She lapses into a coma, emerging only briefly to identify BOB from a drawing.
The character appeared only briefly in the series, with few lines of dialogue, but she proved an integral part of the overall plot, especially as she was with Laura at her end. Her picture, along with that of Leo Johnson's truck, are found in Fleshworld (a swingers magazine) by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, and Sheriff Harry S. Truman, along with a forwarding address which allows them to track down to whom it belonged. She also appears toward the very end of the series when Cooper brings her in to confirm that the smell of engine oil is usually an indicator that BOB is nearby.
A small aspect of her character in relation to Fire Walk With Me is that she was somehow meant to come out of Laura's murder alive. During the final scene in the train car, Laura sees Ronette's "guardian angel" looking over her as she frantically prays for her life. Ronette's ropes are miraculously cut free, allowing Ronette to open the door to the train car and let MIKE throw the green/owl ring into the carriage. Laura then places this ring on one of her fingers, which forces BOB to kill her instantly rather than inhabit her body against her will, as he desired. Earlier, Laura saw what she believed to be her own guardian angel abandoning her when she saw the angel disappear from a picture on her wall. When Ronette is brought in during the last episodes, she appears to have reformed, dressing demurely and co-operating with the police without question.
Prior to her murder, Laura Palmer was Jacoby's patient. Jacoby confesses to FBI agent Dale Cooper he's not a good person, and he really doesn't care about his patients who see him as their friend. Laura changed all that, and Laura changed him. Laura was in pain and the reasons for that were so mysterious that Jacoby couldn't penetrate the walls she had built around it. Because of this, he has an insight into Laura's personality that few others have. The unidentified person in Mrs. Palmer's vision seen digging up James' half of Laura's necklace (at the end of the pilot) is in fact Dr. Jacoby.
James Hurley, Donna Hayward and Maddy Ferguson discover that Laura had made a series of audiotapes to Dr. Jacoby in which she describes some of her dreams and nightmares. Believing he has more of these, they hatch a plan to lure him away from his office by dressing Maddy up to look like Laura and filming her making a similar message. When Jacoby goes to confront Maddy he is attacked and beaten unconscious by a masked figure. After a period of recovery he returns to continue his work, mainly with Benjamin Horne and Nadine Hurley.
Dr. Jacoby is married to a Hawaiian woman who is only seen once in the course of the series. He is known for keeping cocktail umbrellas marked with dates of influential events that affected him. He is also a keen surfer. A recognizable trait are his glasses - one lens of which is blue, the other red. He also can do some conjuring tricks.
Dr. Jacoby's character was inspired by the late ethnobotanist and shamanistic explorer Terence McKenna.
Mike Nelson, portrayed by Gary Hershberger, was close friends with Bobby Briggs and was the boyfriend of Donna Hayward. He was on both the high school football and wrestling teams. On the other hand, he also dealt drugs with Bobby on behalf of Leo Johnson, their supplier.
As Donna grew closer to James Hurley, she broke up with Mike. Mike initially didn't take the breakup well, but soon became involved with an amnesiac Nadine Hurley. Mike fell in love with Nadine and planned to marry her, but was heartbroken when she regained her memory and had no recollection of her affection for him. It is not known if Nadine went back to her husband, Big Ed.
Mike was illustrative of the theme of duality that pervaded Twin Peaks. He was, with Bobby, one of two duos in the series named "Mike" and "Bob," the other being Mike / Philip Gerard the one-armed man and Bob.
Margaret Lanterman (Log Lady)
Margaret Lanterman, better known as the Log Lady, makes semi-regular appearances in both seasons, and is played by Catherine E. Coulson, who also very briefly reprised the role for a single scene in the prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.
The Log Lady is a fixture in the town of Twin Peaks by the time of Laura Palmer's murder, and most residents in the town regard her as crazy. This is mainly due to her habit of always carrying a small log in her arms, with which she seems to share a psychic connection, often dispensing advice and visions of clairvoyance which she claims come from the log; prior to the murder, she delivers moving and cryptic warnings to Laura Palmer herself. The Log Lady does not interpret the messages transmitted by the log, but instead functions as a medium for the information it conveys.
Harold Smith, portrayed by Lenny Von Dohlen, has agoraphobia and thus does not leave his home. Laura Palmer met him when she delivered him his meals. Laura gave Harold her secret diary for safe-keeping, because BOB didn't know about him. Harold grows and develops new orchid hybrids in his home. He also makes a habit of recording things people tell him, such as their memories and their deepest thoughts.
Donna Hayward, Laura's best friend, befriended him during her investigation into her death. Their relationship ended badly when Donna and Maddy Ferguson attempted to steal Laura's secret diary, believing it held the key to finding her murderer. His faith in human decency shattered, Harold is later discovered to have hanged himself, with scraps of the diary around him. His suicide note reads "J'ai une âme solitaire" (literally, "I have a lonely soul").
Dick Tremayne (Ian Buchanan) is a selfish, pretentious man, whom Lucy Moran saw for a while on the side after becoming bored with Deputy Andy Brennan. He works at the Horne’s Department store, in men's fashion. When he finds out Lucy is pregnant (and isn’t sure who the father of the baby is), he first attempts to have her get an abortion, but then tries (albeit halfheartedly) to prove his capability as a parent by “helping” an orphan boy who needs a father figure. Because of this, he has an ongoing rivalry with Andy, though they bond at a few points. Dick's condescending behavior becomes such that Lucy ultimately decides she doesn't care who the real father is and chooses Andy to help her raise her child.
Dick appears primarily in the latter half of season one and throughout season two.
Unlike most of the other characters, Evelyn Marsh (Annette McCarthy) lives not in Twin Peaks, but in one of the towns nearby, which James Hurley "drifts" to after he flees Twin Peaks in the wake of Maddy Ferguson's murder. Evelyn is very wealthy, and she and her absentee husband, Geoffrey/Jeffrey, own a small fleet of expensive cars, which she initially drafts James to repair.
Evelyn is complex and unpredictable. She attracts James through a combination of her physical attributes and the pity he feels for her when she reveals that Geoffrey frequently beats her. In reality, she is involved with a third man, Malcolm Sloan, who lives with the family under the guise of being her brother and acting as chauffeur, and the two have hatched a plan to kill Geoffrey. She engages James in a kind of boy toy sexual relationship, intending to set him up as the fall guy for her husband's death. When Donna arrives to bring James home, Evelyn taunts her, revealing her and James's relationship.
After her husband's murder, Evelyn appears to soften toward James and show repentance for her actions, giving James enough warning to get out of the house before the police arrive. She gives the police his full name and even indicates where they might find him, but seems to waver. When he comes back to talk to her, she pleads for him to leave. Malcolm knocks James out and tries to persuade Evelyn to shoot him, concocting a story to cover the situation, but in the end Evelyn can't go through with it and she shoots Malcolm dead instead when he tries to attack her, allowing James to go free. After this, all that is heard from Evelyn is that James is to give evidence at her trial.
Thomas Eckhardt (David Warner) is a powerful businessman. He hails from South Africa, but moved to Hong Kong, where he formed a business partnership with American Andrew Packard. The relationship soured as the two competed for the love of Josie, a protégé of Eckhardt. Eventually Josie married Andrew, who took her with him to Twin Peaks. However, it is unclear whether this was in fact part of a plan by Eckhardt, as Josie arranged the assassination of Andrew, covered up by a boating accident.
After Josie has also arranged for the burning of the Packard saw mill and selling the land, Eckhardt expects her to return to Hong Kong. When she refuses and kills Eckhardt's emissary, Eckhardt personally comes for her and insists on a meeting. Josie shoots Eckhardt, but dies only moments later out of intense fear, accompanied by the appearance of "Bob", who mocks the approaching Agent Cooper.
Eckhardt left a puzzle box to Andrew Packard, who was revealed to have eluded his assassination, and Catherine Martell. The box contains several boxes and eventually holds the key to a safe deposit box at the local bank. When Andrew opens the box, a bomb explodes, probably killing Andrew and Pete Martell.
Teresa Banks is a 17-year-old drifter and cocaine addict. Her murder in Deer Meadow, Washington, precedes that of Laura Palmer and is part of the plot of the 1992 Twin Peaks prequel film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. Pamela Gidley portrayed Banks in the film.
Banks lived at the Fat Trout trailer park for a month (where minor characters Mrs. Chalfont and her grandson also lived until they moved away following Teresa's murder). She worked the night shift as a waitress at Hap's Diner.
Her body was found, wrapped in plastic, in Wind River. She died from "repeated blows to the back of the head by a blunt obtuse-angled object," according to FBI Special Agent Sam Stanley. The murderer took her ring, which was adorned with a symbol used late in the series in conjunction with the Black Lodge. Stanley also discovered a small piece of white paper imprinted with the letter "T" beneath the nail of her left ring finger, what would become the calling card of the serial killer who later murdered Laura Palmer and attacked Ronette Pulaski. Stanley and Special Agent Chester Desmond investigated her murder on the orders of FBI Chief Gordon Cole. No one claimed her body after her murder, and she had no known next of kin.
Like Laura and Ronette, Teresa placed personal ads in Fleshworld, a fictional swingers magazine known to be read and utilized by Twin Peaks drug dealer Jacques Renault, who also ran a sort of low-key prostitution ring on the side. It was through such an advertisement that she became acquainted with Laura's father, Leland Palmer, who muses "you look just like my Laura" (a later murder, Laura's cousin Madeleine Ferguson, is also said to have been chosen because she resembled Laura).
One day, Palmer arrives at a motel room having pre-arranged a rendezvous with Banks and "some of [her] girlfriends" and, to his surprise, discovers one of these to be his daughter. Palmer ducks out before Laura sees him, but Banks becomes suspicious of his sudden change of heart. Eventually, she discovers Leland's identity and attempts to blackmail him but is subsequently murdered by him before she can collect.
Windom Earle is a former FBI agent, who was once partner and best friend to Agent Dale Cooper. He is played by Kenneth Welsh and features in the latter half of the second season as the primary antagonist following the conclusion of the Laura Palmer investigation. He is an evil genius and a master of disguise, well-versed in esoterica from all parts of the world. He has extensive knowledge of the “dugpas”, ancient sorcerers from Tibet dedicated to pure evil. Cooper says of Windom Earle: “his mind is like a diamond: cold, hard and brilliant.”
Earle was institutionalized after killing his wife Caroline, the love of Cooper’s life, and trying to kill Cooper as well. He escapes and comes to Twin Peaks, hiding out in the woods, with the announced intention of ruining Cooper's life before killing him. He captures and enslaves Leo Johnson to act as an unwilling henchman, and finally kidnaps Annie Blackburn to lure Cooper into a trap.
He has a fascination with the Black Lodge, whose secrets he is trying to unlock, as well as black magic. Major Garland Briggs states that Earle was involved in Project Blue Book, as was Briggs; however, their investigation in which Earle was involved was directly related to Twin Peaks and not the usual UFO investigations; his growing obsession with the Lodge led to his dismissal from the project.
He is obsessed with chess and this plays a major role in most of his first appearances, when he decides to use real people as the pieces in a game against Cooper. The true intention of this is to make his way into the Black Lodge, whose power he hopes to harness, while also getting revenge on Cooper. By claiming to have control over Annie's survival, Earle attempts to blackmail Cooper into offering Earle his soul and stabs him in the Lodge, but BOB, who says that Earle cannot ask for souls, turns back time to stop this and presumably takes Earle's soul for himself.
Dramatically, Earle represents the dark counterpoint of Cooper: an FBI agent, once pure and following a code representing good, ultimately being corrupted and pursuing evil; the implication being that even a pure soul like Cooper can wind up like Earle, as the Cooper doppelgänger represents.
- Lara Flynn Boyle portrayed Donna in the television series; Moira Kelly took over the role in the film.
- Robert Davenport portrayed Johnny in the pilot; Robert Bauer took over the role in later episodes.
- Austin Jack Lynch, son of David Lynch, portrayed Pierre in the television series, while Jonathan J. Leppell took over the role in the film.
- Rodley, Chris (1997). "Lynch on Lynch". Faber & Faber.
- Potton, Ed (2010-03-20). "David Lynch's Twin Peaks 20 years on". The Times (London). Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- Stewart, Mark Allyn (2007). David Lynch Decoded. AuthorHouse. p. 111. ISBN 1-4343-4985-3. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- YouTube - Twin Peaks - "Damn Boxes!!!"
- Dery, Mark (2000). The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium. Grove Press. p. 227. ISBN 0-8021-3670-2. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- Marcus, Greil (2007). The Shape of Things to Come. Macmillan. pp. 163–164. ISBN 0-312-42642-9. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- Lavery, David (1995). Full of Secrets. Wayne State University Press. pp. 123–124. ISBN 0-8143-2506-8. Retrieved 2008-12-10.