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She Played Laura Palmer on "Twin Peaks." See Sheryl Lee Now at 55.

It's been over 30 years since the cult classic series premiered.

Anyone who has watched the surreal mystery series Twin Peaks knows Sheryl Lee best as Laura Palmer, the popular high schooler whose murder is being investigated. But while Lee was originally cast to play a character who died, she ended up being much more involved in Twin Peaks than she could've imagined. In the original series, she also played another character, Maddy Ferguson; in the prequel movie, she starred as Laura prior to her death; and in 2017, she returned for a revival series.

This is all to say, Lee is still connected to the Twin Peaks universe, but you may not know what else she's been up to in her life and career. Read on to find out about Lee's other acting roles, her second job, and her family life.

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Her career hasn't been all Twin Peaks.

Sheryl Lee after a performance of "Salome" in 1992
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Twin Peaks was Lee's breakout project when it premiered in 1990, but she went on to act in many more shows and movies. She's taken on roles in the series L.A. Doctors, One Tree Hill, and Dirty Sexy Money, to name a few. She was also in the movies Backbeat, Vampires, and Winter's Bone. Lee has acted on stage, as well, notably in the Broadway play Salome and in Love Letters.

She's also a teacher.

Sheryl Lee at the Third Annual Celebrity Pool Tournament to Benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles in 1994
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In addition to being an actor herself, Lee also teaches acting. She taught the workshop Directing Actors for Camera at UCLA, according to the school's website. She also ran The Actor's Directors Workshop with her Twin Peaks co-star Gary Hershberger. In an interview with 25YearsLater in 2019, Lee explained that she was inspired go into education by the teachers she's had, in both acting and other fields.

"I had many wonderful teachers, and I always felt very grateful for my teachers, and I felt that part of my way of expressing my gratitude would be to someday pass it along," she said. "It's like a river, and we must keep the water of that wisdom flowing. I didn't know when I would teach, or what that would look like. It kind of organically and naturally… the timing presented itself to me before I made the conscious decision, 'Oh, now is the time.'"

She's a mother.

Elijah Diamond and Sheryl Lee at the premiere of "Twin Peaks" in 2017
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Lee has a 22-year-old son, Elijah Diamond, with her ex-husband, Jesse Diamond, a photographer and son of singer Neil Diamond. Lee's private life is kept pretty private, but she and her son walked the red carpet at the Twin Peaks revival premiere together.

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Returning to where it all started was special for her.

Sheryl Lee at the UCLA M.F.A. Directors Spotlight in 2017
Tommaso Boddi/WireImage via Getty Images

When Twin Peaks returned in 2017, Lee was thrilled to rejoin the cast and crew, who she's known for so long.

"Getting to work with all of those people, like [co-creator] David [Lynch] and [co-creator] Mark Frost, and creatively being able to to be challenged and grow—and to work with all of those artists in every department, it's such an incredible group of artists," she told Vulture. "From the cinematographer to the sound to the editing to the art department, the actors, the writing. It's all so delightful to dive back into the world and see everybody again. We've known each other for 30 years, a lot of us. It's certainly a relief that it's being well-received, too."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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