Sheryl Lee

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Sheryl Lee
Sheryl Lee 01 (14948055197).jpg
Lee at the Fan Expo Canada 2014
BornSheryl Lynn Lee
(1967-04-22) April 22, 1967 (age 47)
Augsburg, West Germany
Years active1987–present
Spouse(s)Jesse Diamond (m. 2000)
AwardsSpirit of Sundance Award
1995 for her body of work
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Sheryl Lee
Sheryl Lee 01 (14948055197).jpg
Lee at the Fan Expo Canada 2014
BornSheryl Lynn Lee
(1967-04-22) April 22, 1967 (age 47)
Augsburg, West Germany
Years active1987–present
Spouse(s)Jesse Diamond (m. 2000)
AwardsSpirit of Sundance Award
1995 for her body of work

Sheryl Lee Diamond (born April 22, 1967) is an American[1] actress. She came to international attention for her performances as Laura Palmer and Maddy Ferguson on the 1990 cult TV series Twin Peaks and in the 1992 film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. She is also known for portraying photographer Astrid Kirchherr in Backbeat (1994) and for her roles in Vampires (1998) and Winter's Bone (2010), as well as for her television series roles in LA Doctors, Kingpin, One Tree Hill and Dirty Sexy Money. She has also played on Broadway in a production of Oscar Wilde's Salome.

Early life[edit]

Lee was born in Augsburg, Bavaria, West Germany, the daughter of an artist mother and architect father.[1] She grew up in Boulder, Colorado, United States, where she was a graduate of Fairview High School (class of 1985). After graduating, Lee moved to Pasadena, California where she studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and later attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver, and the University of Colorado. After several years of studying, Lee moved to Seattle, Washington where she acted in several stage plays.[citation needed]

Acting career[edit]

Lee is known for her appearance as the dead Laura Palmer in the television series Twin Peaks. Lynch asked Lee to audition for him after seeing a publicity photo of her in Seattle from one of the plays she was starring in at the time.[2] When the series was picked up, Lee was also given the part of Laura's cousin Maddy Ferguson later in the series (a role which was reportedly written because Lynch, impressed with her abilities, wanted to give her a fuller role on the show). She also starred in the prequel Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, which elaborated on events leading up to Laura Palmer's death.

Other roles have included playing the role of Astrid Kirchherr in the 1994 movie Backbeat, a bio-pic of the early career of The Beatles opposite Stephen Dorff, the part of Liza in Gary Walkow's 1995 adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novella Notes from Underground opposite Henry Czerny, the role of Katrina in John Carpenter's 1998 film Vampires opposite James Woods and Daniel Baldwin, and the role of Marlene Cadena in the 2003 television series Kingpin opposite Yancey Arias and Bobby Cannavale. Sheryl Lee also starred alongside Craig Sheffer in Bliss (1997). Lee starred opposite Anthony Michael Hall as the sweet but vengeful housewife Eve Robbins in the 2001 USA Cable movie Hitched.

In 2004, Lee was the original choice for the role of Mary-Alice Young on Desperate Housewives. It would have been the second time she would have played a dead character on a series; however, the producers ultimately chose to replace her with Brenda Strong.

In 2005, she played the recurring role of Ellie Harp, the biological mother of Peyton Sawyer (played by Hilarie Burton), who battles breast cancer, on the third season of the WB Network series One Tree Hill.

In 2007 and 2008, Lee appeared on the ABC dramedy, Dirty Sexy Money as Andrea Smithson, the mother of Brian Darling's (Glenn Fitzgerald) illegitimate child.

In 2001, she presented the I Love 1990 segment of the BBC's popular I Love 1990s series.

On stage, Lee starred on Broadway in 1992 alongside Al Pacino in Oscar Wilde's Salome as the title role, in the Circle in the Square Theatre, under the direction of Robert Allan Ackerman. The play co-starred Suzanne Bertish, Esai Morales and Arnold Vosloo.

Lee, along with several other Twin Peaks cast members, guest starred in a special Twin Peaks themed episode of Psych, Dual Spires. Other cast members reunited with Lee included Sherilyn Fenn (Audrey Horne), Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs), Ray Wise (Leland Palmer), Lenny Von Dohlen (Harold Smith), Robyn Lively (Lana Budding Milford), and Catherine E. Coulson (The Log Lady). This episode marked the first time several Twin Peaks cast members have been reunited on television in almost two decades.[citation needed]

In 2010 she appeared in a supporting role as April in Debra Granik's Winter's Bone (which won best picture at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010). The film is about a seventeen-year-old girl (Jennifer Lawrence) in the rural Ozarks, caring for her mentally-ill mother and her younger brother and sister, when she discovers that her father put their house and land up as a bond for a court appearance, at which he failed to appear. Lee won two Awards for Best Ensemble at Detroit Film Critics Society and Gotham Awards, shared with the cast.

Personal life[edit]

She dated David Duchovny. She is married to Jesse Diamond, a photographer and son of singer and songwriter Neil Diamond. They have a son, Elijah.

Lee practices Kundalini yoga.[citation needed]

Charitable work and environmental activism[edit]

Sheryl Lee is an avid member of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and has assertively campaigned against fur and mistreatment of animals.[3]

On November 15, 2000, she attended the premiere of the public awareness campaign Why Are We Here?, to raise awareness for biodiversity protection.[4]

On December 3, 2003, Lee attended the UNICEF Goodwill Gala: 50 Years of Celebrity Advocacy, to raise money for the Audrey Hepburn All Children in School Fund. On November 7, 2004, she hosted the fundraiser Get Your Grape On! for UNICEF, a wine testing evening benefiting UNICEF.[5]

In October 2008, she participated in the 3rd Munchkin's Project Pink annual breast cancer awareness campaign to raise money for breast cancer research.[6][7][8]

On May 14, 2011, Lee attended the iMatter March in Denver, Colorado to raise awareness about climate change.[9]

In 2011, Lee supported environmental activist Tom Weis' project Ride for Renewables to promote renewable energy.[10]

In September 2011, Lee attended along with environmental activist Alec Loorz, the Sustainable Living Association's 3rd Annual Blue & Green Ball fundraiser[11] and the 12th Sustainable Living Fair in Fort Collins, Colorado.[12]

In December 2011, Lee advocated the protection of wolves and supported the environmental organization WildEarth Guardians' "Wolves in the American West" campaign.[13]

In September 2012, Lee signed environmental activist Tom Weis' open letter calling on President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney to withdraw their support for the construction of the southern leg of Keystone XL, a pipeline that would transport tar sands from Montana to Texas. Other signatories included climate scientist James Hansen and actors Daryl Hannah, Mariel Hemingway, and Ed Begley, Jr.[14]

On December 8, 2012, Lee performed poems written by herself as part of a collaborative performance along with artist Marina DeBris, dancer Maya Gabay, and musician Marla Leigh, for the U.S. National Committee for UN Women's First Annual Special Assembly: Women, Climate Change, and Human Rights.[15]


1990Wild at HeartThe Good Witch
1992Jersey GirlTara
1992Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with MeLaura PalmerNominated — Saturn Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead
1994Don't Do ItMichelle
1994BackbeatAstrid Kirchherr
1995Fall TimePatty / Carol
1995HomageLucy Samuel
1995Notes from UndergroundLiza
1996Mother NightHelga Noth / Resi Noth
1997This World, Then the FireworksLois Archer
1997The Blood OrangesFiona
1998VampiresKatrinaNominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
1999Kiss the SkyAndy
1999Angel's DanceAngelica "Angel" Chaste
2002Children on Their BirthdaysElinore Murphy
2005Paradise, TexasBetsy Kinney
2010Winter's BoneAprilDetroit Film Critics Society for Best Ensemble
Gotham Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated—Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards for Best Ensemble
2011Texas Killing FieldsLucie Sliger
2014White Bird in a BlizzardMaypost-production
2014The Makings of YouJudypost-production[16]
2015Jackie & RyanMiriampost-production
n/aThe RedeemerMrs. Harrispre-production
1990Twin PeaksLaura Palmer / Maddy Fergusonseries regular, 1990–1991
Nominated — Soap Opera Digest Awards for Best Prime Time Death Scene
1991Love, Lies and MurderPatti BaileyNBC TV movie
1992Red Shoe DiariesKate Lyonsepisode 1.08 "Jake's Story"
1994GuinevereGuinevereLifetime TV movie
1994Dr. Quinn, Medicine WomanCatherineepisode 2.15 "Another Woman"
1994Aaahh!!! Real Monstersepisode 1.03 "Krumm Goes Hollywood" — voice role
1995Follow the RiverMary Draper InglesABC TV movie
1997DavidBathshebaTNT miniseries
1998L.A. DoctorsDr. Sarah Churchseries regular, 1998–1999
2001HitchedEve RobbinsUSA TV movie
2001I Love 1990sHostepisode "I Love 1990" — BBC documentary series
2003KingpinMarlene McDillon Cadenaseries regular
2003Without a TraceTina Hodgesepisode 2.10 "Coming Home"
2004Desperate HousewivesMary Alice Youngoriginal pilot
2005One Tree HillElizabeth "Ellie" Harprecurring role, 2005–2006 (9 episodes)
2006The Secrets of Comfort HouseWendyLifetime TV movie
2006CSI: NYEllen Garner3.09 "And Here's To You, Mrs Azrael"
2006House M.D.Stephanie Greenepisode 3.02 "Cane and Able"
2007ManchildMaryShowtime TV pilot — not ordered to series
2007State of MindLeslie Petrovskyepisode 1.01 "Pilot"
2007Dirty Sexy MoneyAndrea Smithsonrecurring role, 2007–2009 (12 episodes)
2010Lie to MeJanet Brooksepisode 2.17 "Bullet Bump"
2010PsychDr. Donna Goodenepisode 5.12 "Dual Spires"
2012PerceptionLacey Pinderhallepisode 1.03 "86'd"
n/aVampire Mobweb series — announced[17]
Video Games
1994Murder Mystery 3: Who Killed Brett Penance?Lucie Fairwell
1994Murder Mystery 4: Who Killed Taylor French?Lucie Fairwell
2010BioShock 2Additional voices

Stage credits[edit]

1986Crimes of the HeartNational Theatre Conservatory, Denver, CO
n/aElectric RiverPioneer Square Theater, Seattle, WA
n/aEmerald CityEmpty Space Theatre, Seattle, WA
1991Love LettersMelissa GardnerCanon Theater, Los Angeles, CA
1992SalomeSalomeCircle in the Square Theatre, New York, NYBroadway debut

Awards and nominations[edit]

1992Soap Opera Digest AwardsBest Prime Time Death SceneTwin PeaksNominated
1993Saturn AwardsBest ActressTwin Peaks: Fire Walk with MeNominated
Independent Spirit AwardsBest Female LeadNominated
1995Sundance Film FestivalSpirit of Sundance Award — for her body of workWon
1999Saturn AwardsBest Supporting ActressVampiresNominated
2010Gotham AwardsBest EnsembleWinter's BoneWon
Southeastern Film Critics Association AwardsBest EnsembleNominated
Detroit Film Critics SocietyBest EnsembleWon


  1. ^ a b "Sheryl Lee". 
  2. ^ Gliatto, Tom (1991). "With Laura Palmer Wrapped, Sheryl Lee Plays A Role Based on a Nightmare Darker Than Twin Peaks Could Ever Be". Details.  [1]
  3. ^ "Sheryl Lee Takes a Swipe at Animal Acts". People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "November 15 Premiere of 'Why Are We Here?' to Feature Bevy of Environmentally-Concerned Celebrities". November 13, 2000. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  5. ^ Maynard, Mike. ""Get Your Grape On!" for UNICEF". Los Angeles Splash Magazine. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "Munchkin, Inc. - maker of award-winning infant and toddler products is once again reminding women everywhere "Don't Duck a Breast Exam" with the return of its successful Project Pink breast cancer awareness campaign.". October 2008. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Sheryl Lee supports breast cancer research". October 2008. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Munchkin, Inc. Reminds Women Everywhere "Don't Duck a Breast Exam" with Third Annual Project Pink Charity Campaign". FindArticles. Open Publishing. August 5, 2008. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  9. ^ Roberts, Michael (May 16, 2011). "Darryl Hannah, Sheryl "Laura Palmer" Lee add star power to climate change march". Westword. Village Voice Media. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "Ride Friends". Ride for Renewables. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  11. ^ Falbo, Kellie (September 1, 2011). "Sustainable Living Fair announces 3rd Annual Blue & Green Ball with Special Guests". Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  12. ^ Falbo, Kellie (September 6, 2011). "Sustainable Living Fair celebrates power of community". Fort Collins Coloradoan. Gannett Company. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  13. ^ "Actress Sheryl Lee Advocates For Wolves". WildEarth Guardians. December 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  14. ^ "Open Letter to President Obama and Governor Romney: Defend America Against Keystone XL Economic, Public Health & National Security Threat". Ride for Renewables. September 26, 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "Women, Climate Change and Human Rights: UN Women-USNC Greater Los Angeles Chapter First Annual Special Assembly". GenerationGreen.TV. 17 December 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "Sheryl Lee, Grace Zabriskie reteam for 'The Makings of You'". 6 September 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  17. ^ Moore, Debi (November 21, 2012). "Sheryl Lee Joining the Vampire Mob for Season 3". Dread Central Media. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

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