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|Twin Peaks character|
|Last appearance||Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me|
|Created by||Mark Frost
|Portrayed by||Sheryl Lee|
|Occupation||Student, sales assistant, prostitute|
|Significant other(s)||Bobby Briggs
|Relatives||Leland Palmer (father)
Sarah Palmer (mother)
Maddy Ferguson (cousin)
|Date of birth||July 22, 1972|
|Date of death||February 24, 1989|
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 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.
Fictional character biography
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 her school's Homecoming Queen, and was (apparently) the darling of her parents, Sarah and Leland. However, the series gradually revealed that Laura led a double life — she was a cocaine addict, a victim of child abuse and, briefly, a prostitute 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 brings Special Agent Dale Cooper to town to investigate her death. Her murder and its effect on those around her propel the first season and the first 8 episodes of the second season. Laura remains a prominent character afterward, as her death exposes 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 is uncovered in the first episode, but her secret diary is not recovered until later. The latter contains passages suggesting that she had been abused by a malevolent entity named BOB since she was a child, who wanted to be close to her, or even be her. In her diary she sometimes referred to BOB as a friend of her father's.
In the prequel/sequel "Fire Walk With Me", Laura's spirit makes the transition to the afterlife when an angel appears to her, showing that her nightmare was finally over.
During the second season, the identity of her murderer was revealed: her father, Leland, who had sexually abused her for years while being possessed by BOB. Before his death in police custody, Leland tells Cooper and the others that he hadn't been aware of his own actions during the times BOB possessed him. As Leland dies, Laura appears before him in a vision, and it is implied that she forgives him and welcomes him to the afterlife.
In other media
- Jennifer Lynch wrote an official series tie-in, The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer (ISBN 978-1-4516-6207-8), 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 an 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 EP entitled Laura Palmer.
- UK alternative rock band Bastille released a song called "Laura Palmer" on their debut album.
- 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.
- "'Laura Palmer (EP)' on Encyclopedia Metallum". Retrieved 2 October 2010.