Catherine E. Coulson, actress, died at 71

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877907uyCatherine Elizabeth Catherine , born on October 22, 1943 and died September 28, 2015 of cancer.

She was an American stage and screen actress who worked behind the scenes on various studio features, magazine shows and independent films as well as acting in theater and film since the age of 15.

She is best known for her role as Margaret Lanterman, the enigmatic Log Lady, in the David Lynch TV series Twin Peaks.

Catherine grew up in Southern California, the daughter of ballet dancer Elizabeth Fellegi; her father was a radio and television producer and public relations executive.

She earned a BA degree at Scripps College and a MFA at San Francisco State University.

Catherine met Lynch in the 1970s and performed various behind the scenes functions during the four-year filming of his low-budget classic Eraserhead (1977).

Lynch reports that she began meditating at the same time as him during this period.

She also appeared in Lynch’s short film The Amputee (1974), in which she played a woman with no legs.

During the filming of Eraserhead, Lynch told Catherine that he had an image in his head of her holding a large log.

Fifteen years later, he created such a role for her in Twin Peaks, on which she guest starred for 12 episodes through seasons 1 and 2.

Catherine went on to reprise her role in the film prequel, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and in “Dual Spires” (2010), an episode of Psych.

Catherine was primarily a theatre actor and worked with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon for the last two decades where she continued to be part of the acting company.

She appeared in Calvin Marshall directed by Gary Lundgren. Lundgren was a fan of Twin Peaks, and created a short version while at First Baptist San Mateo in the early 1990s.

She played Susie for Lundgren in “Redwood Highway” with Shirley Knight and, Tom Skerritt and James LeGros. She was in the second season of Portlandia.

Coulson was married to actor Jack Nance (who played Henry Spencer in Eraserhead, and Pete Martell in the Twin Peaks saga) in 1968; they divorced in 1976.

Her second husband, Marc Sirinsky, with whom she has a daughter, Zoey (born 1987), is a rabbi, at one point resident at Temple Emek-Shalom in Ashland, Oregon.

On September 28, 2015 it was confirmed that Catherine had died of cancer.

 

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