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Lenny Von Dohlen, ‘Twin Peaks’ actor, dies at 63

Von Dohlen played the agoraphobic Harold Smith, who refused to leave his house on the David Lynch cult classic series. He also had film roles in "Tender Mercies" and "Home Alone 3."
Image: Lenny Von Dohlen
Lenny Von Dohlen arrives at the Vista Theatre on July 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, Calif.Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images file
/ Source: Variety

Lenny Von Dohlen, who played Harold Smith on the hit series “Twin Peaks,” died on Tuesday, his agent confirmed to Variety. He was 63.

His sister Catherine Von Dohlen first announced his death Thursday morning on Facebook. No cause of death was given. “The world lost a magnificent man on July 5. Brother Len was passionate about everything and everyone," she wrote.

"He was always leading; whether it be riveting conversation, an artistic creation or a trip to new places. He loved a good laugh. He continues on his spiritual journey. Living life full in his memory,” she wrote.

On David Lynch's “Twin Peaks” and the prequel film “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me,” Von Dohlen played the agoraphobic Harold Smith, who refused to leave his house.

Sheryl Lee’s character, Laura Palmer, gave Harold her secret diary, and after her murder, her friend Donna Hayward befriended Harold while investigating Laura’s death. However, Harold’s story came to an end when Donna tried to steal the diary and he later hanged himself, losing his faith in human decency.

Outside of the “Twin Peaks” universe, Von Dohlen also played Burton Jernigan, one of the villains in “Home Alone 3,” and most recently appeared in an episode of Seth MacFarlane’s series “The Orville.”

His first TV role came on NBC’s Emmy-winning show “Kent State” in 1981, and his film debut was in the Oscar-winning movie “Tender Mercies” in 1983. He then landed the starring role in the 1984 sci-fi romantic comedy film, "Electric Dreams."

His other credits included “Tollbooth” (1994), “Bird of Prey” (1996), “One Good Turn” (1996), “Entertaining Angels” (1996), “Cadillac” (1997) and episodes of “Miami Vice,” “The Equalizer,” “Walker Texas Ranger,” “Red Dwarf,” “The Pretender” and “Psych.”