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Pamela Gidley, the actress perhaps best known for her portrayal of Teresa Banks in the Twin Peaks prequel Fire Walk With Me, has died. She was 52.
Her family announced that Gidley died peacefully on April 16 in her home in Seabrook, New Hampshire. No cause of death was given. A spokesman for the Remick & Gendron Funeral Home in Hampton, New Hampshire, offered no details and forwarded a request for information to the family.
A former model, Gidley made her movie debut in Thrashin‘ (1986) opposite Josh Brolin and Sherilyn Fenn (Audrey on Twin Peaks and her close friend since they were teenagers) and appeared as a short-circuiting, beautiful gynoid in the cult sci-fi classic Cherry 2000 (1987), starring Melanie Griffith.
Gidley also starred as a Chicago homicide detective opposite Robin Givens on the short-lived CBS drama Angel Street in 1992 and had recurring roles on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (as forensic anthropologist Teri Miller), The Pretender, Skin, Tour of Duty and Strange Luck.
In Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992), Teresa’s corpse, found wrapped in plastic with a letter “T” under her ring fingernail, led authorities to believe that her murder and that of Laura Palmer a year later were connected.
Teresa, a prostitute and drug addict, was first mentioned on ABC’s Twin Peaks pilot that aired in 1990 and given the prominent place in the prequel. Ridley also appeared in scenes in Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces (2014).
In a March 2016 interview with Twin Peaks aficionado Brad Dukes, Gidley noted that she was filming a movie in the Caribbean called The Crew when she was told that David Lynch wanted her for Fire Walk With Me.
“He offered me that role, and so there was a conflict of interest,” she said. “David wanted me so much for the character that he guaranteed the other film that he would pay all flights and all insurance [should anything happen to her while traveling].
“I was literally going from the Bahamas to Seattle, from Seattle to the Bahamas, almost every other 10 days…That to me was like, ‘Wow, you want me that bad?’ Holy Christ. I can’t imagine anyone wanted me that bad.”
Born on June 11, 1965, in Methuen, Massachusetts, Gidley was raised in Salem, New Hampshire and attended St. Joseph’s Elementary School and Presentation of Mary Academy in Methuen.
When she was 4 years old, Gidley won a New England “Little Miss Lovely” contest and modeled for Jordan Marsh at age 6. She later appeared on covers of Seventeen magazine and was selected as the “Most Beautiful Girl in the World’ by the Wilhelmina modeling agency.
Gidley studied acting with Stella Adler in New York before moving to Los Angeles.
Survivors include her mother, Phyllis; brothers Glenn, Daniel and Brian; sister-in-law Darlene; and nephews and nieces Adam, Keegan, Erica and Alexis.
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