Catherine Coulson, Log Lady on 'Twin Peaks,' Dead at 71

Actress and longtime camera assistant was set to reprise role in David Lynch's upcoming series reboot

Catherine Coulson, a camera operator and actress best known as the clairvoyant Log Lady on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks,' has died Credit: ABC

Catherine Coulson, a veteran camera assistant and actress best known as Margaret Lanterman, or the Log Lady, on David Lynch's Twin Peaks, died Monday morning of cancer, Variety reports. She was 71.

"Today I lost one of my dearest friends, Catherine Coulson," Lynch said in a statement. "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. She had a great sense of humor — she loved to laugh and make people laugh. She was a spiritual person — a longtime [transcendental meditation] meditator. She was the Log Lady."

The origins of the Log Lady go back to Lynch's 1977 feature film debut, Eraserhead, on which Coulson worked as an assistant director. Per the Wall Street Journal, Coulson described her character as the "only normal person on the show," though did admit that the Log Lady had experienced "some trauma and bonded with this Ponderosa pine."

Coulson also appeared in Lynch's 1974 short film, The Amputee, as well as movies like Redwood Highway and Calvin Marshall. Coulson worked extensively as a camera assistant, as well, serving on films like Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, Jim Jarmusch's Night on Earth and John Cassavetes' Opening Night. Since returning to her hometown of Ashland, Oregon, Coulson acted in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, as well as in August, Osage CountyChicago and The Elephant Man.

Appearing at a Twin Peaks event in Philadelphia last December, Coulson spoke on the call she received from Lynch about reprising her role as Log Lady once more in the Twin Peaks reboot. She told the audience that Lynch hadn't offered too many details about how the character had developed, though Coulson cracked, "he suggested I talk about sustainable forestry."