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Laura Palmer is a fictional character from the television series Twin Peaks, created by David Lynch and Mark Frost. Her death was the catalyst for the events of the series.

Laura (played by Sheryl Lee) was her town's favorite daughter; she volunteered at Meals on Wheels, was the high school Homecoming queen, and was (apparently) the darling of her parents, Sarah and Leland. However, Laura led a double life — she was a cocaine user, a victim of child abuse and had briefly worked at One Eyed Jacks, a casino/brothel just north of the Canadianmarker border.

The discovery of Laura's body in the pilot episode of Twin Peaks brought Special Agent Dale Cooper to town and the investigation of her death, and the effects it had on those around her, propelled the first season and the first 8 episodes of the second season. Laura remained prominent afterward, as her death had exposed many secrets related to her, and also — in some cases — unrelated, such as the Packard mill conspiracy.

Laura's diary was uncovered in the first episode, but her secret diary was not recovered until later, and it contained passages suggesting that she had long been the victim — sometimes willingly — of abuse from a malevolent entity named BOB, who wanted to be close to her, or even be her.

During the second season, the identity of her murderer was revealed: her father, Leland, who had been possessed by BOB and made to molest, rape, and kill his own daughter. When Leland dies in police custody, it is implied that Laura appears before him in a vision, forgiving him and welcoming him to the afterlife.

Notes

  • Sheryl Lee also played Laura's cousin, Maddy Ferguson, who arrived in town in the third episode for Laura's funeral. At one point Maddy poses as dead Laura to lure Dr. Jacoby.
  • Jennifer Lynch wrote an official series tie-in, The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, which was sold from 1990 and was the diary used in the series.
  • She loves horses and has said about a horse that "I spent the afternoon with Troy today, cleaning him, and brushing and feeding him. I was fascinated by how much he seems to understand how I'm feeling. He nuzzled up against me for a long time while I brushed his mane and head, and when I sat down in the comer of his stall, he lowered his head, and I let him breathe all across my neck and face. I wonder if people fall deeply in love with horses the way I love mine, or if I am wrong to be thinking or feeling any of these things."


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