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2016 is going to be a magical year for television, as Showtime will be bringing Twin Peaks back to audiences for another batch of new episodes. Unfortunately, one very familiar face in that universe will be missing, as Catherine E. Coulson, who played the beloved Log Lady, passed away on Monday, September 28. She was 71 years old.
Coulson’s death, which occurred on Monday morning, was confirmed by her agent Mary Dangerfield. It was the result of cancer, although the specific details have not been disclosed.
Director David Lynch, with whom Coulson had worked with on several different projects, expressed his grief in a statement, according to Variety
Today I lost one of my dearest friends, Catherin Coulson. Catherine was solid gold. She was always there for her friends – she was filled with love for all people – for her family – for her work. She was a tireless worker. She had a great sense of humor – she loved to laugh and make people laugh. She was a spiritual person – a longtime TM meditator. She was the Log Lady.
Coulson was born in Ashland, Oregon on October 22, 1943, and her rise to cult fame began in the 1970s when she met Lynch and, after appearing in his short film The Amputee, worked with him in a behind-the-scenes capacity on his nightmarish first film, the 1977 classic Eraserhead. From 1968 to 1976, she was married to Eraserhead actor Jack Nance, who went on to play Pete Martell in Twin Peaks. (She later married Marc Sirinsky, and the couple had a child, Zoey, in 1987.)
Because the enigmatic Lynch had a vision of Coulson holding a log at some point, he eventually decided to create the Log Lady character, whose real name is Margaret Lanterman, for Twin Peaks in 1990. She only appeared in a handful of Season 1 episodes, but showed up much more over the course of Season 2, later reprising the role for the prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me in 1992. She was set to take on the role once more for the upcoming Twin Peaks revival series. Take a peek at her in action in segments filmed for the DVD sets in the video below.
Outside of Lynch’s world, Coulson worked on the crew of films such as The Toolbox Murders and Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, and was most recently seen onscreen in a Season 2 episode of Portlandia and in Gary Lundgren’s 2013 drama Redwood Highway. She complimented her work on TV and films with a lengthy career on the stage, taking part in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for many years.
We hear at CinemaBlend are sending our thoughts and condolences to Coulson’s family and friends in their time of mourning. Twin Peaks just won't be the same.