Catherine Coulson, best known for her portrayal of the eccentric Log Lady on Twin Peaks, has died at the age of 71.
The cult show’s creator David Lynch released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter expressing his sadness:
“Today, I lost one of my dearest friends, Catherine 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 a long-time Lynch favourite, having also appeared in his 1974 short film The Amputee and working as a crew member on his breakthrough film, Eraserhead, in 1977.
But it was her turn as the mysterious, log-clutching town ‘character’ on Twin Peaks in the early 1990s and its movie spin-off Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me that she’ll be remembered for.
As well as turning up at the diner and around the town of Twin Peaks, the Log Lady also introduced the episodes with her strange, prescient monologues.
It’s expected that Twin Peaks will still return to the small screen next year, with Lynch back on board to direct the comeback.
Here are some of her most memorable lines:
From series one, episode one:
“Welcome to Twin Peaks. My name is Margaret Lanterman. I live in Twin Peaks. I am known as the Log Lady. There is a story behind that. There are many stories in Twin Peaks – some of them are sad, some funny. Some of them are stories of madness, of violence. Some are ordinary. Yet they all have about them a sense of mystery – the mystery of life. Sometimes, the mystery of death. The mystery of the woods. The woods surrounding Twin Peaks. To introduce this story, let me just say it encompasses the all – it is beyond the “fire”, though few would know that meaning. It is a story of many, but begins with one – and I knew her. The one leading to the many is Laura Palmer. Laura is the one.”
From series one, episode one:
“One day my log will have something to say about this. My log saw something that night.”
From series one, episode two:
“I carry a log – yes. Is it funny to you? It is not to me. Behind all things are reasons. Reasons can even explain the absurd. Do we have the time to learn the reasons behind the human being’s varied behavior? I think not. Some take the time. Are they called detectives? Watch – and see what life teaches.”
From series one, episode four:
“Even the ones who laugh are sometimes caught without an answer: these creatures who introduce themselves but we swear we have met them somewhere before. Yes, look in the mirror. What do you see? Is it a dream, or a nightmare? Are we being introduced against our will? Are they mirrors? I can see the smoke. I can smell the fire. The battle is drawing nigh.”
From series one, episode six:
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Yet there are those who open many eyes. ‘Eyes are the mirror of the soul,’ someone has said. So we look closely at the eyes to see the nature of the soul. Sometimes when we see the eyes – those horrible times when we see the eyes, eyes that… that have no soul – then we know a darkness, then we wonder: where is the beauty? There is none if the eyes are soulless.”
From Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me:
“When this kind of fire starts, it is very hard to put out. The tender boughs of innocence burn first, and the wind rises, and then all goodness is in jeopardy.”
From series two, episode two:
“Where does creamed corn figure into the workings of the universe? What really is creamed corn? Is it a symbol for something else?”
From series two, episode six:
“Sometimes we want to hide from ourselves — we do not want to be us — it is too difficult to be us. It is at these times that we turn to drugs or alcohol or behavior to help us forget that we are ourselves. This of course is only a temporary solution to a problem which is going to keep returning, and sometimes these temporary solutions are worse for us than the original problem. Yes, it is a dilemma. Is there an answer? Of course there is: as a wise person said with a smile: “The answer is within the question.”
From series two, episode 12:
“Is a dog man’s best friend? I had a dog. The dog was large. It ate my garden, all the plants, and much earth. The dog ate so much earth it died. Its body went back to the earth. I have a memory of this dog. The memory is all that I have left of my dog. He was black — and white.”
From series two, episode 14:
“The heart — it is a physical organ, we all know. But how much more an emotional organ — this we also know. Love, like blood, flows from the heart. Are blood and love related? Does a heart pump blood as it pumps love? Is love the blood of the universe?”