“I am known as the Log Lady. There is a story behind that.”
September 28, 2015 5:38 PM   Subscribe

Catherine Coulson, Log Lady on ‘Twin Peaks,’ Dies at 71 [Variety]
Catherine Coulson, who played the Log Lady on David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” and was set to return to the new Showtime version, has died. She was 71. She died Monday of cancer, according to KOBI-TV NBC 5 in Oregon. She reprised the Log Lady role in the feature “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” and more recently, she appeared on an episode of “Portlandia” and in the film “Redwood Highway.”

Related:
- Catherine Coulson at Twin Peaks Festival 1993 [YouTube]
- Catherine E. Coulson (Twin Peaks) interview Antwerp convention 3 [YouTube]
- Obnoxious and Anonymous: Talkin' with Catherine E. Coulson [YouTube]
- Twin Peaks UK Festival Q&A: Catherine E. Coulson, Lenny Von Dohlen & Phoebe Augustine [YouTube]
posted by Fizz (71 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
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posted by librosegretti at 5:42 PM on September 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by Fizz at 5:42 PM on September 28, 2015


Dammit.

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posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:44 PM on September 28, 2015


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posted by infinitewindow at 5:44 PM on September 28, 2015


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posted by Halloween Jack at 5:48 PM on September 28, 2015


aw, no...
posted by Huck500 at 5:52 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]




That's supposed to be a log.
posted by ryanshepard at 5:52 PM on September 28, 2015 [19 favorites]


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posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:53 PM on September 28, 2015


Here’s How the Log Lady Returns to ‘Twin Peaks’ [Wall Street Journal]
“As to the whereabouts of her inanimate co-star, Ms. Coulson said that after Twin Peaks ended, David Lynch asked her to take care of the log. Asked where the log is, she said, “It’s in a secure undisclosed location,” and “there is a humidifier.” Ms. Coulson also pointed out that while she’s never had a facelift, the log has. As the first season of Twin Peaks progressed the log was losing bark so Ms. Coulson sent it to Mr. Lynch’s father, who worked for the Forest Service, to transplant and repair the bark.”
posted by Fizz at 5:58 PM on September 28, 2015 [27 favorites]


Aw, sad.

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posted by drinkyclown at 5:58 PM on September 28, 2015


Cancer is the devil, hiding like a coward in the pain.
posted by infinitewindow at 6:01 PM on September 28, 2015


🌲
posted by ardgedee at 6:03 PM on September 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


"And now, an ending. Where there was once one, there are now two. Or were there always two? What is a reflection? A chance to see two? When there are chances for reflections, there can always be two — or more. Only when we are everywhere will there be just one. It has been a pleasure speaking to you."

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posted by stevis23 at 6:03 PM on September 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


so............

what was up with the log

asking for a friend
posted by Sebmojo at 6:04 PM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


About 7 Halloweens ago, I saw someone turn up in a DIY Log Lady costume. He had on a house dress and a wig, and for the "log," he'd taken a big fat cardboard tube and covered it with fake bark - and then stuck a Magic 8-ball in one end, so the log could "talk" to people (if he shook that end first, of course).

I like to think Catherine is now finding out about that and is laughing with delight.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:06 PM on September 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


so............

what was up with the log

asking for a friend
posted by Sebmojo


*spits gum at wall*
posted by Fizz at 6:08 PM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Goddammit.
posted by unknowncommand at 6:10 PM on September 28, 2015


David got this idea for a TV series that would be called "I'll Test My Log with Every Branch of Knowledge." He said I would be a girl who would carry a log with her; it would be Ponderosa Pine because that's what this dad did his thesis on. She would carry the log from expert to expert, and that expert would talk about the wood and we would then learn about the wood and learn about what those people did.

So the idea was, for example: I would go to a dentist, and he'd clip a little blue towel on the log and the dentist would probe the rings and talk about dentistry as well as the wood. There would be a different expert every week and that was the idea for the series. It was one of those ideas that he floated in the middle of the night. Once in a while we would revisit the idea.

So time passed and David and Mark Frost got the pilot. David called me up and said, "Are you ready to do the Log Girl for this pilot?" and I said, "Yeah, I'd really like to - it would be fun but I don't think she's a Log Girl anymore!' [laughs] In fact, I think it was fourteen or fifteen years later after Eraserhead when he called, so we decided we'd call her the Log Lady.
- Catherine E. Coulson in Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks
posted by dfan at 6:12 PM on September 28, 2015 [27 favorites]


Sebmojo: The log was supposed to be a conduit for premonitions, and was rumored to contain the spirit of the Log Lady's dead husband.

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posted by Smart Dalek at 6:13 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


what was up with the log

I like to answer a question with a question: "Coop, what happened to Josie?"
posted by muddgirl at 6:20 PM on September 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


Incidentally, while being a part of the Eraserhead family, she became Frederick Elmes' assistant, and worked as an assistant director for a number of years afterwards, working in that position on Wrath of Khan (where she got to hire him). Full-ish story
posted by Grangousier at 6:21 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Coulson was married to (and later divorced) actor Jack Nance (who played Henry Spencer in Eraserhead, and Pete Martell in the Twin Peaks saga.

Coulson was primarily a theatre actor and worked with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon for the last two decades.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:25 PM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


She was way more than the log lady, basically serving as the sole PA on Eraserhead and working with Lynch on short films (including starting in The Amputee) and features for many years.

This bums me out to a large degree.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:25 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by bstreep at 6:26 PM on September 28, 2015


CheeseDigestsAll... wow, it turns out I've seen (and enjoyed) Mrs. Coulson's performances in several OSF shows without ever making the association.

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posted by zeypher at 6:30 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by allthinky at 6:31 PM on September 28, 2015


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posted by Sys Rq at 6:37 PM on September 28, 2015


One day the sadness will end
posted by The Hamms Bear at 6:45 PM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, now I don't even want that piece of pie.
posted by briank at 6:48 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by augustimagination at 6:55 PM on September 28, 2015


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posted by Bob Regular at 7:08 PM on September 28, 2015


logdot
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:14 PM on September 28, 2015


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posted by samthemander at 7:16 PM on September 28, 2015


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posted by Cash4Lead at 7:20 PM on September 28, 2015


())))
posted by codacorolla at 7:24 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by DrLickies at 7:33 PM on September 28, 2015


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posted by Elly Vortex at 7:33 PM on September 28, 2015


I wonder how the reboot will handle this. Crown a new Log Lady, I guess.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:37 PM on September 28, 2015


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posted by Lucinda at 7:41 PM on September 28, 2015


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posted by Thorzdad at 7:43 PM on September 28, 2015


There are going to be some big holes in this new show left by actors who have passed away. Coulson will be one of the biggest, though. The Log Lady was so iconic. If the Log Lady is not in the show, I suspect her log will be and someone will hear the call.
posted by crossoverman at 8:13 PM on September 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


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posted by mubba at 8:28 PM on September 28, 2015


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posted by OolooKitty at 8:58 PM on September 28, 2015


This news makes me sad. For more than one reason.

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posted by hippybear at 8:59 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


@))))))
posted by limeonaire at 9:07 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by /\/\/\/ at 9:59 PM on September 28, 2015


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posted by my-username at 10:19 PM on September 28, 2015


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posted by radwolf76 at 10:56 PM on September 28, 2015


My log saw something that night.

She was terrific.

I had no idea she was married to Jack Nance.

I may go buy some pie and watch TP tonight.
posted by persona au gratin at 11:06 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by ead at 11:09 PM on September 28, 2015


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posted by lmfsilva at 11:49 PM on September 28, 2015


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posted by acb at 3:03 AM on September 29, 2015


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posted by buffalo at 4:03 AM on September 29, 2015


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posted by graventy at 4:11 AM on September 29, 2015


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posted by marienbad at 4:33 AM on September 29, 2015


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posted by crocomancer at 4:49 AM on September 29, 2015


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posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:34 AM on September 29, 2015


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posted by grumpybear69 at 7:15 AM on September 29, 2015


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posted by GrapeApiary at 8:26 AM on September 29, 2015


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posted by dnash at 8:27 AM on September 29, 2015


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posted by mumimor at 8:27 AM on September 29, 2015


On Sunday a friend that works at OSF and I were talking about Catherine and how she'd likely had her last show. This saddens me.

The community coalesced around her. making her a wig, walking her dog, supporting acting *during* her treatment while still possible, and I'm sure more. She was deeply loved not just for her role as Log Lady but for more.

My thoughts go out to her daughter.
posted by EsotericAlgorithm at 8:33 AM on September 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


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I saw the news earlier whilst, most suitably, I was drinking a damn fine cup of coffee.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:48 AM on September 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by darchildre at 12:31 PM on September 29, 2015


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posted by Ignorantsavage at 8:26 PM on September 29, 2015


The Log Lady personified the Twin Peaks experience.

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posted by asok at 2:11 AM on September 30, 2015


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posted by On the Corner at 4:53 AM on September 30, 2015


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Only recently watched Twin Peaks. Sorry the Log Lady will not be in the new series.
She knows all the secrets now, though.
posted by Gadgetenvy at 11:14 AM on September 30, 2015


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This is terrible news. I think they can't really replace her in the reboot series, BUT maybe the log can go solo now. I'm imagining 2-3 minute-long scenes with just the log, shot in dynamic close-up montages and accompanied by dramatic sound cues.

The log knows everything, but his/her only translator is gone.
posted by LMGM at 2:16 PM on September 30, 2015


Well, Jocelyn Packard has been living for 20 years in a nightstand. She can probably translate what the log is thinking.
posted by lmfsilva at 2:29 PM on September 30, 2015


Coulson tells a great story in the book Reflections - an oral history of the making of Twin Peaks. It's pretty simple, but the fact she was once married to Jack Nance is the reason they named Pete's wife "Catherine". Lynch apparently liked the way Jack used to say the name Catherine when they were married.
posted by crossoverman at 8:50 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


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