Catherine E. Coulson

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Catherine E. Coulson
Born Catherine Elizabeth Coulson
(1943-10-22)October 22, 1943
Elmhurst, Illinois, U.S.
Died September 28, 2015(2015-09-28) (aged 71)
Ashland, Oregon, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Notable work Twin Peaks
Spouse(s) Jack Nance (1968–1976)

Catherine Elizabeth Coulson (October 22, 1943 – September 28, 2015) was an American stage and screen actress who worked behind the scenes on various studio features, magazine shows and independent films as well as acting in theater and film since the age of 15. She is best known for her role as Margaret Lanterman, the enigmatic Log Lady, in the David Lynch TV series Twin Peaks.[1][2]

Early years[edit]

Coulson was born in Elmhurst, Illinois and grew up in Southern California, the daughter of ballet dancer Elizabeth Fellegi; her father was a radio and television producer and public relations executive.[1][3] She earned a BA degree at Scripps College and a MFA at San Francisco State University.[3]


Coulson met Lynch in the 1970s and performed various behind the scenes functions during the four-year filming of his low-budget classic Eraserhead (1977). Lynch reports that she began meditating at the same time as him during this period.[4] She also appeared in Lynch's short film The Amputee (1974), in which she played a woman with no legs. During the filming of Eraserhead, Lynch told Coulson that he had an image in his head of her holding a large log. Fifteen years later, he created such a role for her in Twin Peaks, on which she guest starred for 12 episodes through seasons 1 and 2. Coulson went on to reprise her role in the film prequel, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and in "Dual Spires" (2010), an episode of Psych.[5]

Coulson was a theatre actor and worked with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon where she continued to be part of the acting company. She appeared in Calvin Marshall directed by Gary Lundgren. Coulson played the role of Susie in Lundgren's film Redwood Highway with Shirley Knight and, Tom Skerritt and James LeGros.

She was also in the second season of Portlandia.

Personal life[edit]

Coulson was married to actor Jack Nance (who played Henry Spencer in Eraserhead, and Pete Martell in the Twin Peaks saga) in 1968; they divorced in 1976. Her second husband, Marc Sirinsky, with whom she had a daughter, Zoey (born 1987), is a rabbi, at one point resident at Temple Emek-Shalom in Ashland, Oregon.[6]

On September 28, 2015, it was confirmed that Coulson had died of complications from cancer at her home in Ashland, Oregon.[1][7]



  1. ^ a b c Rogers, Katie (September 29, 2015). "Catherine Coulson, Log Lady of ‘Twin Peaks,’ Dies at 71". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ "Twin Peaks' Log Lady Catherine Coulson dies at 71". BBC News. Retrieved September 29, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "OSF Actor Catherine E. Coulson Dies". News Release. Oregon Shakespeare Festival. September 28, 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-29. 
  4. ^ Schneier, Matthew. "The Transcendentalists". Retrieved 21 July 2014. The log lady from Twin Peaks, she and I started meditating together, and she was always worried about keeping me happy. 
  5. ^ a b TV Guide, p. 64, 2010-11-22 
  6. ^ Strasser, Teresa (March 10, 1995). "Twin Peaks Log Lady takes root in San Jose Rep's Elephant Man". Northern California Jewish Bulletin. 
  7. ^ Saperstein, Pat (September 28, 2015). "Catherine Coulson, Log Lady on ‘Twin Peaks,’ Dies at 71". Variety. 

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