Kyle MacLachlan

Active - 1984 - Present  |   Born - Feb 22, 1959 in Yakima, Washington, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Mystery, Culture & Society, Film, TV & Radio

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Biography by Tracie Cooper

Born in 1959, Washington native Kyle MacLachlan, among other things, claims to be a descendent of the legendary composer Johann Sebastian Bach. However, unlike his very distant relative, MacLachlan made his mark not in music, but in television and film. After performing in a variety of local theater productions throughout his youth -- and acting out scenes from the popular Hardy Boys fiction series in his even younger years -- MacLachlan made his feature-film debut in director David Lynch's adaptation Dune in 1984. This would mark the first of many collaborations with Lynch; in 1986, Lynch cast MacLachlan as a young man shocked at what lies under a small town's picture-perfect facade in Blue Velvet. A year later, MacLachlan starred as an alien FBI agent in The Hidden, Jack Sholder's 1987 cult hit.

MacLachlan, however, wouldn't gain true mainstream notoriety until 1989, when David Lynch called upon the young actor to play another FBI agent; this time, he was Special Agent Dale Cooper, who was sent to a small Washington town to investigate the murder of a young girl in ABC's popular but ultimately short-lived prime-time drama, Twin Peaks. The role would earn him two Emmy nominations for Lead Actor in a Drama Series and pave the way for more silver-screen roles, some of which include Ray Manzarek in Oliver Stone's The Doors (1991), villain Cliff Vandercave in The Flintstones (1994), and a falsely accused bank clerk in The Trial (1993). MacLachlan offered several relatively well-received starring and supporting performances throughout the mid- to late '90s, and did what he could for his role in Paul Verhoeven's famous 1995 flop, Showgirls.

Luckily, the late '90s to early 2000s were much kinder to MacLachlan. In addition to playing another smooth agent in David Koepp's The Trigger Effect (1996), which some critics claimed was his best performance since Blue Velvet, the actor also was cast as King Claudius in Michael Almereyda's adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet. However, it was television that once again made MacLachlan a household name, albeit temporarily. In 2000, he joined the cast of HBO's multiple-award-winning series Sex and the City as Charlotte's (Kristin Davis) mama's boy husband, Trey. In 2003, MacLachlan starred in the Bravo network's popular documentary series, The Reality of Reality. Over the coming years, McLachlan wouldenjoy successful arcs on popular TV shows, like How I Met Your Mother, Desperate Housewives, and Portlandia.

Movie Highlights

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  • Was originally rejected for his first film, Dune, because executive producer Dino De Laurentiis didn't like his haircut.
  • Turned down the Charlie Sheen role in Platoon.
  • Is an avid golfer, and has been ranked on Golf Digest's Top 100 list of celebrity golfers.
  • Known most prominently for his role in Twin Peaks as Special Agent Dale Cooper.
  • Made Broadway debut in 2003 in Harold Pinter's The Caretaker, opposite Patrick Stewart and Aidan Gillen.
  • Is a partner in a Washington winery called Pursued by Bear, which takes its name from a stage direction ("Exit, pursued by a bear") in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.
  • Returned to his iconic role of Special Agent Dale Cooper for the revived Twin Peaks, broadcast in 2017.