Just last month, Julee Cruise – a singer who was frequently featured on the popular television series Twin Peaks, passed away at the age of 65. Now we’ve lost another Twin Peaks alum, as The Hollywood Reporter has heard that Lenny von Dohlen, who played the character Harold Smith on the show and in its feature film prequel Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, has passed away “after a long illness” at the age of 63.
Born in Augusta, Georgia on December 22, 1958 and raised in Goliad, Texas, Von Dohlen grew up dreaming of becoming a jockey… but he grew too tall for that, so he shifted his attention to acting. He majored in drama at the University of Texas, then move to New York to join the theater scene there. He made his small screen debut in the 1981 TV movie Kent State, and made his theatrical feature debut in the 1983 film Tender Mercies. Not a bad place to start, given the fact that Tender Mercies ended up being nominated for Oscars in multiple categories (and won in a couple of those categories).
Von Dohlen racked up more than sixty film and television credits over the decades, with titles on his résumé including Miami Vice, Tales from the Darkside, The Equalizer, Thirtysomething, Dracula’s Widow, The Flash, Red Dwarf, Eyes of the Beholder, Jennifer 8, Picket Fences, Walker: Texas Ranger, Chicago Hope, The Magnificent Seven, The Pretender, CSI: Miami, Teeth, Criminal Minds, Psych, and The Orville. He even played one of the villains in Home Alone 3, the first Home Alone movie to lack Macaulay Culkin.
His Twin Peaks character Harold Smith was an agoraphobic man who held on to the late Laura Palmer’s secret diary for safe-keeping.
Von Dohlen is survived by his partner, playwright James Still, his mother Gay Von Dohlen, siblings Mary Gay, Catherine, and John David, and his daughter, Hazel. Our condolences go out to his family, friends, and fans.