Pamela Gidley, an actress probably best known for her role as the elusive Teresa Banks in David Lynch’s prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, has died, the Los Angeles Times reports. The cause of Gidley’s death was not listed in her obituary, which announced that she “died peacefully in her home, on Monday, April 16, 2018 in Seabrook.” She was 52.
Born in 1965, Gidley made her big-screen debut in the skateboarding cult classic Thrashin’ in 1986. Although she never broke out as a mainstream movie star, she played supporting roles in colorful ‘80s indies like Cherry 2000 (1987), Dudes (1987), and The Blue Iguana (1988) before becoming part of the Twin Peaks universe with her role as Teresa Banks, a young woman whose murder catches the attention of the Blue Rose Task Force and serves as a precursor to the death of Laura Palmer one year later. (Many of Gidley’s scenes from Fire Walk With Me were cut from the film, but are restored in the 2014 collection Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces.) The character’s backstory was further developed in the spinoff book The Autobiography Of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes.
After Twin Peaks, Gidley scored a leading role in the short-lived CBS crime drama Angel Street (1992), as well as the supernaturally tinged, similarly short-lived Fox drama Strange Luck (1995-1996), which only lasted for one season in the Friday night void left behind by The X-Files. A one-season run for Skin (2003-2004), co-starring Gidley as the mother of a teenage girl caught in a Romeo And Juliet-style mismatched romance, was apparently enough for network executives, and Gidley never led a TV series cast again. (She did pop up occasionally on the long-running CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as geologist Teri Miller, however.) Her last onscreen acting role was in 2006, on an episode of The Closer.