Pamela Gidley, the actress who portrayed Teresa Banks in the Twin Peaks prequel Fire Walk With Me, has died. The 52-year-old passed away peacefully on April 16th at her Seabrook, New Hampshire home, her family announced in a statement. A cause of death was not immediately clear.
Gidley was born in Methuen, Massachusetts and raised in Salem, New Hampshire. She began modeling at a young age, winning the New England “Little Miss Lovely” contest at age 4. She would go on to grace the cover of Seventeen magazine multiple times and was named “Most Beautiful Girl in the World” by Wilhelmina modeling agency. Before moving to Los Angeles to pursue her career in acting, she studied under Stella Adler in New York City.
In 1991, she was cast by David Lynch to play Teresa Banks in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Banks was first mentioned in series’ pilot episode as an early victim of a serial killer, and unused footage from Fire Walk With Me was later recut as Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces in 2014. In a March 2016 interview, Gidley said Lynch was so determined to have her for the role that he paid “all flights and all insurance” to cover her travel to and from the set of a different film, The Crew, which was shooting concurrently in the Caribbean.
“I was literally going from the Bahamas to Seattle, from Seattle to the Bahamas, almost every other 10 days,” Gidley said. “That to me was like, ‘Wow, you want me that bad?’ Holy Christ. I can’t imagine anyone wanted me that bad.”
Gidley’s debut film performance came in 1986’s Thrashin’ alongside Josh Brolin and her close friend Sherilyn Fenn, who played Audrey in Twin Peaks. She also starred as the title character in the 1987 sci-fi cult classic Cherry, which starred Melanie Griffith. Besides her film roles, Gidle starred as Chicago detective Dorothy Paretsky in the short-lived 1992 television series Angel Street. She also had recurring TV roles on Tour of Duty, Strange Luck, The Pretender, Skin, and CSI:Crime Scene Investigation.