Lenny von Dohlen, the actor best known for his role as Harold Smith in the David Lynch series Twin Peaks has passed away at the age of 63.
Making his film debut in 1983 in the Oscar-winning movie Tender Mercies, starring Robert Duval, von Dohlen went on to appear in the cult movie Electric Dreams in 1984 alongside such films as Under the Biltmore Clock in 1985 and Dracula’s Widow in 1987 before his appearance in the iconic TV show.
Though only a small supporting character, von Dohlen won the hearts of fans when he appeared as the agoraphobic orchid lover Harold Smith in the David Lynch and Mark Frost TV series Twin Peaks. He would also later reprise his role in the celebrated prequel movie, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me in 1992, a movie that has only been appreciated in recent years after being critically panned upon its original release.
His death follows that of fellow Twin Peaks actor Kenneth Welsh as well as Julee Cruise, whose collaboration with David Lynch made the series as ethereal and as iconic as it was.
To discuss the plot of Twin Peaks is to sidetrack its true appeal, however, with much of the series’ majesty coming from the idiosyncratic style of David Lynch and his careful collaboration with musician Julee Cruise. Working together throughout the series, the two creatives formed a symbiotic creative partnership, with the music of Cruise quickly becoming an indelible part of the Twin Peaks puzzle, her ethereal sounds weaved into the very fabric of the show to become an omniscient hymn to the ongoing mystery.
Take a look at a classic clip from the 1990s TV show, below, showing Lenny von Dohlen in action.