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Kenneth Welsh, the ‘Twin Peaks’ actor, dies aged 80

Kenneth Welsh, the Canadian acting great, who was known for his portrayal of Windom Earle on David Lynch’s series Twin Peaks, has passed away at the age of 80.

It was Welsh’s son, the musician Devon Welsh of electropop duo Majical Cloudz, who broke the news on Twitter. He said: “My dad passed away on Thursday peacefully at home,” he wrote. “I will always love him beyond words. He lived a wonderful life, he was the best father I could have asked for, and he touched so many lives.”

Windom Earle is one of the most memorable characters from Twin Peaks. The chess-loving antagonist is the one-time mentor and FBI partner of protagonist Dale Cooper who gradually loses his mind. His ten-episode arc is fantastic, and notably, he attempts to set up Cooper with his wife Caroline and then attacks them both, killing Caroline and injuring Cooper. 

Earle then gets locked up, before making his escape and heading over to the town of Twin Peaks, where he taunts Cooper by mailing him chess pieces. While in the town, Earle also attempts to uncover the Black Lodge and wears a host of disguises to his hide his identity. It is in the Black Lodge where Earle eventually meets his fate by facing off against his old partner. 

Kenneth Welsh was an incredibly accomplished actor. He appeared in other TV shows such as The X-FilesLaw & OrderThe Outer LimitsSmallville, and Star Trek: Discovery, and in blockbusters such as The Aviator and The Day After Tomorrow. He was credited with over 200 roles over his long career. Back in 2013, he also starred in the video Majical Cloudz’s single ‘Childhood’s End’. 

Concluding the announcement of his father’s death, Devon Welsh asked fans to “please make a toast, watch a film/TV show he was in, celebrate a giant of acting.”

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