US actress Catherine Coulson, best known for playing the Log Lady on David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, has died at the age of 71.
Mary Dangerfield, Coulson’s agent and friend, told The Hollywood Reporter the family had not yet made the cause of death public.
“We are all deeply sad – she meant so much to so many,” Dangerfield said.
Lynch said in a statement: “Today, I lost one of my dearest friends, Catherine Coulson.”
He added: “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.”
The director praised her “great sense of humour”, and said she was “a spiritual person – a long-time meditator. She was the Log Lady”.
Coulson appeared in Lynch’s 1974 short film The Amputee and was assistant director on his 1977 debut feature film Eraserhead, before playing the Log Lady on both series of Twin Peaks and in the prequel film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.
It was on the set of Eraserhead that Coulson and Lynch began to discuss the idea of a woman who carried around a log.
She once described her character as the “only normal person on the show,” but added that she’s “had some trauma and bonded with this Ponderosa pine”.
Lynch, whose credits also include Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive, created the cult drama with Mark Frost in the early 1990s.
Revolving around the murder of teenage schoolgirl Laura Palmer, the show was a precursor of dense, cinematic TV shows like The Sopranos and The Wire.
It won three Golden Globe awards in 1991, including best TV series and best actor for Kyle MacLachlan.
Lynch will direct a Twin Peaks sequel series which will air on US TV network Showtime next year.