Catherine E. Coulson, 71, a classically trained actress who won fans on television as the enigmatic Log Lady in the cult classic series “Twin Peaks,” died Monday at her home in Ashland, Ore.

The cause was cancer. Her death was announced by her agent and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, where she had acted for 22 seasons.

Coulson also had roles in the TV series “Portlandia,” “August: Osage County” and “Into the Woods.”

She had a long creative relationship with the director David Lynch, who created “Twin Peaks.” He had initially cast her in the 1977 movie “Eraserhead,” but she ended up working as an assistant director on the film instead.

Lynch is known for creating eccentric characters, and his setting for “Twin Peaks,” a small town in Washington state, was peopled with them. But none were as peculiar as Coulson’s Log Lady, who was forever cradling a log, which she treated as a cross between a pet and a portal to a supernatural world.

At her death she was set to reprise the role in a revival of the series, directed by Lynch, to be shown on Showtime next year.

Coulson was born in 1943 in Ashland, and grew up in Southern California. She met director Lynch in the 1970s while teaching an acting workshop in Los Angeles. She began acting at the Oregon festival in 1994 and went on to appear in more than 50 productions.

Coulson’s marriage to the actor Jack Nance, who starred in “Eraserhead” and also appeared on “Twin Peaks,” ended in divorce in 1976.


The Rev. John McNeill was a pillar of gay theology decades before Pope Francis grabbed the world’s attention with his “Who am I to judge?” remark about gay priests, McNeill, whose robust challenge of one of the Roman Catholic Church’s most closely held doctrines got him expelled from his order, died Sept. 22 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. His nephew, Timothy McNeill, said the author, psychotherapist and pioneer of gay civil rights had cancer. He was 90.

McNeill wrote “The Church and the Homosexual,” a 1976 book that argued that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality. It caused front-page headlines and McNeill’s very public acknowledgment that he was gay.

“In some sense, it was my experience of a deep personal love relationship that led me to question church teaching about homosexuality,” McNeill told the Miami Herald in 2014. “I see gay love as another form of human love and just as valid as heterosexual love, and it’s a gift from God to be celebrated and not to be condemned.”

McNeill’s scholarly writings helped galvanize gay and lesbian Catholics,

“He was one of the few in that period of time as a priest who was willing to stick his neck out and speak about the inequalities in the Catholic Church with regard to the LGBT community,” said ­Patrick McArron, a past president of DignityUSA, a national advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics. “We characterize him as a prophet within the organization.”


Carole Little was gearing up to make her mark in the world of retail fashion in the mid-1970s, as the “Twiggy era” of hot pants and miniskirts was winding down, Little, whose creative vision helped turn her brand into a favorite of career women, died Sept. 19 at her home in San Diego. She was 80.

Her first success was a simple, loosefitting silk blouse with two patch pockets and epaulets, styled after an oversize man’s shirt she had bought in Paris and loved to wear. It had a sophisticated ease, looked great with jeans or a dyed-to-match skirt, and was moderately priced.

“That epitomized the look I wanted,” Little recalled in a 1987 interview with United Press International. And it launched Little’s company as a force for working women who wanted a stylish but affordable look.

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