Catherine Elizabeth Coulson (October 22, 1943 – September 28, 2015) was an American stage and screen actress who worked behind the scenes on various studio features, magazine shows and independent films as well as acting in theater and film since the age of 15. She is best known for her role as Margaret Lanterman, the enigmatic Log Lady, in the David Lynch TV series Twin Peaks.
Coulson was born in Elmhurst, Illinois, and grew up in Southern California, the daughter of ballet dancer Elizabeth Fellegi; her father was a radio and television producer and public relations executive. She earned a BA degree at Scripps College and a MFA at San Francisco State University.
Coulson met Lynch in the 1970s and performed various behind the scenes functions during the four-year filming of his low-budget classic Eraserhead (1977). Lynch reports that she began meditating at the same time as him during this period. She also appeared in Lynch's short film The Amputee (1974), in which she played a woman with no legs. During the filming of Eraserhead, Lynch told Coulson that he had an image in his head of her holding a large log. Fifteen years later, he created such a role for her in Twin Peaks, on which she guest starred for 12 episodes through seasons 1 and 2. Coulson went on to reprise her role in the film prequel, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and in "Dual Spires" (2010), an episode of Psych.
Coulson was a theatre actor and worked with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon where she continued to be part of the acting company. She appeared in Calvin Marshall directed by Gary Lundgren. Coulson played the role of Susie in Lundgren's film Redwood Highway with Shirley Knight and, Tom Skerritt and James LeGros.
She was also in the second season of Portlandia.
In April 2016, Coulson was included on a list of cast members for the new series of Twin Peaks, due to be released in 2017. It was not announced whether she had filmed her appearance before her death.
Coulson was married to actor Jack Nance (who played Henry Spencer in Eraserhead, and Pete Martell in the Twin Peaks saga) in 1968; they divorced in 1976. Her second husband, Marc Sirinsky, with whom she had a daughter, Zoey (born 1987), is a rabbi, at one point resident at Temple Emek-Shalom in Ashland, Oregon.
On September 28, 2015, Coulson died of complications from cancer at her home in Ashland.
- The Amputee (1974)
- Trick or Treats (1982)
- Twin Peaks (1990–91)
- Femme Fatale (1991)
- Another You (1991)
- Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)
- The Four Diamonds (1995)
- Psych ("Dual Spires", 2010)
- Portlandia (2012)
- Redwood Highway (2013)
- Twin Peaks (2017)