Kyle MacLachlan

Kyle MacLachlan
MacLachlan at the 70th Cannes Film Festival in 2017
Born Kyle Merritt MacLachlan
(1959-02-22) February 22, 1959
Yakima, Washington, U.S.
Alma mater University of Washington
Occupation Actor
Years active 1983–present
Desiree Gruber (m. 2002)
Children 1

Kyle Merritt MacLachlan (/məˈɡlɒklən/; born February 22, 1959)[1] is an American actor. MacLachlan is best known for his role as Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks (1990–1991; 2017) and its film prequel Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), as well as roles in two of David Lynch's films: Paul Atreides in Dune (1984) and Jeffrey Beaumont in Blue Velvet (1986). MacLachlan's other film roles include Lloyd Gallagher in The Hidden (1987), Ray Manzarek in The Doors (1991), Clifford Vandercave in The Flintstones (1994), Zack Carey in Showgirls (1995), and the voice of Riley's dad in Inside Out (2015).

He has had prominent roles in television shows including appearing as Trey MacDougal in Sex and the City (2000–2002), Orson Hodge in Desperate Housewives (2006–2012), The Captain in How I Met Your Mother (2010–2014), the Mayor of Portland in Portlandia (2011–2018) and Calvin Zabo in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014–2015).

MacLachlan has won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama (1990), and was nominated in the same category in 2017, for playing the role of Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks. He has also been nominated for two Emmy Awards for Twin Peaks.

Early life

MacLachlan was born at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital in Yakima, Washington.[1][2] His mother, Catherine (née Stone; 1933-1986),[3] was a public relations director for a school district[4][5] and a homemaker who was active in community arts programs.[6] His father, Kent Alan MacLachlan (born McLachlan; 1933-2011),[7] was a stockbroker and lawyer.[3][6] Kyle has Scottish, Cornish, and German ancestry.[8] He grew up in Yakima, the eldest of three children.[6][9] His two younger brothers, Craig and Kent Jr., live in the Seattle area.[7][10] Kyle graduated from Eisenhower High School in Yakima.[11] His mother left his father when he was 17.[5][12] His parents divorced in his senior year of high school in 1977.[6][9]

MacLachlan was introduced to stage acting by his mother when she became director of a youth theater program for teenagers that she helped set up in Yakima.[5][6] She also sent him to piano lessons from age 9 to 14, when he also began to study classical singing.[6][13] While in high school, he performed in plays and in class musicals, acting in his first play at age 15.[4][6] For his senior year, MacLachlan played the lead role of Brindsley Miller in a production of Peter Shaffer's one-act play Black Comedy and also performed as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. In 1982, he graduated cum laude with a BFA in drama from the University of Washington, as a student of the Professional Actor Training Program.[1][14][15] He initially planned to major in business[6] and also studied classical voice at UW,[16] before focusing on acting.[6] He moved to Los Angeles in 1985 after the release of the movie Dune in 1984,[6][17] where he made his film debut in the starring role.[6][18]



MacLachlan has worked extensively with David Lynch, with whom he has been friends for many years. He first appeared as Paul Atreides in the film Dune (1984), Lynch's adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel, which was a flop and met with poor reviews from critics, and as Jeffrey Beaumont in Blue Velvet (1986). He starred in the 1987 Science Fiction Action film The Hidden as FBI agent Lloyd Gallagher.


MacLachlan played Special Agent Dale Cooper in Lynch's ABC television series Twin Peaks (1990–91), reprising that role for Lynch's 1992 prequel Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. Lynch commented on those roles in a GQ story about MacLachlan: "Kyle plays innocents who are interested in the mysteries of life. He's the person you trust enough to go into a strange world with."[4]

MacLachlan appeared as musician Ray Manzarek in Oliver Stone's 1991 film The Doors, about the band of the same name.[19] He had previously turned down Stone's offer to play Chris in the 1986 movie Platoon, which ultimately went to Charlie Sheen.[20] In the 1993 film version of Franz Kafka's The Trial, with a screenplay by Harold Pinter, MacLachlan played the lead role of the persecuted Josef K.[21]

MacLachlan co-starred with Samuel L. Jackson as a rookie prison guard in John Frankenheimer's 1994 Emmy-winning HBO film Against the Wall about the Attica prison riots.[22] In 1994, he was also featured in The Flintstones, a live-action movie adaptation of the animated sitcom of the same name, portraying Cliff Vandercave, the movie's primary antagonist, opposite John Goodman and Rick Moranis.[20]

In 1995, MacLachlan starred in Paul Verhoeven's Showgirls. The movie was heavily panned by critics[23] and it collected a record seven Golden Raspberry Awards.[24] MacLachlan recalls that when he watched Showgirls for the first time before the premiere, he thought it was "horrible". But he later realised that the movie was "inadvertently funny" and embraced for its campiness.[20][25] According to MacLachlan, although he skipped the movie's press tour, he had sat through the whole screening, contrary to reports that he walked out.[25]

In the 1990s, MacLachlan was offered by NBC to be one of the lead actors on the then-new soap opera Passions as a powerful, wealthy villain and head of a multimillion-dollar company, but MacLachlan turned it down.


From 2000 to 2002, MacLachlan had a recurring role in the American television series Sex and the City, portraying Dr. Trey MacDougal, the one-time husband of Charlotte York (Kristin Davis).[20] MacLachlan played King Claudius in the 2000 film Hamlet based on William Shakespeare's play.[9] In the video game Grand Theft Auto III released in 2001, he voiced the character of the sociopathic real-estate developer Donald Love.[26] In 2002 he made his West End debut in John Kolvenbach's On an Average Day with Woody Harrelson.[27][28]

In 2003, MacLachlan made his Broadway debut as Aston in Harold Pinter's The Caretaker with Patrick Stewart.[29] He portrayed the spirit of Cary Grant in the 2004 film Touch of Pink.[30] His resemblance to Grant had been previously noted in an episode of Twin Peaks. In 2004 he also had a guest role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, in which he played a psychiatrist who shot and killed a sociopathic child who had murdered his son.[31] He was a guest star on the show again in 2011 as a politician whose son is involved in a rape accusation.[32]

In 2006, after starring in the short-lived In Justice, MacLachlan appeared in Desperate Housewives as the mysterious dentist Orson Hodge.[20] He first appeared during the show's second season, and became a full-time cast member at the start of season three.[33][34] In 2007, MacLachlan was one of the presenters at the London leg of Live Earth benefit concerts.[35] He appeared in the 2008 film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.[36] In the English version of the cult 2006 Norwegian animated film Free Jimmy released in 2008, he voiced the character of "Marius", a militant animal rights activist.[37]

In 2010, after four years of playing Orson Hodge, MacLachlan decided to quit Desperate Housewives as he found the commute from his home in New York City to the set in Los Angeles increasingly difficult since becoming a father in 2008.[38][39] However, he returned as a guest star in 2012 for season eight, the final season of Desperate Housewives.[40] He also guest starred as "The Captain" in season 6, 8 and 9 of How I Met Your Mother starting in 2010 and with a final appearance in 2014.[41]

In 2011, he began playing his current role as the Mayor of Portland, Oregon, in the IFC comedy Portlandia.[20] After the end of the short-lived 2012 series Made in Jersey where he starred as lawyer Donovan Stark, he was cast as a guest star in The Good Wife.[42][43] In 2013 and 2014 he appeared as prosecutor Josh Perotti in four episodes of The Good Wife.[44] In 2014 and 2015 he appeared in a recurring role on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series as Calvin Zabo / The Doctor.[45][46] In 2015, he voiced the main character's father in the Pixar animated feature Inside Out.[47] In January 2015, it was announced that MacLachlan would return as Special Agent Dale Cooper for the new limited television series Twin Peaks,[48] which debuted on May 21, 2017.[49]


A dedicated wine lover, Kyle is partners with vintner Eric Dunham in Pursued by Bear, a label of Dunham Cellars in Walla Walla, Washington that started in 2005.[50][51] The name, suggested over dinner by Fred Savage, comes from a stage direction ("Exit, pursued by a bear") in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.[52] It is regarded as one of Washington's highest rated wine labels.[50]

Personal life

MacLachlan was devastated when his mother died of ovarian cancer in 1986 at age 53, shortly before Blue Velvet was released.[4][9][12] She had been diagnosed while he was filming Dune in 1983 and delayed informing him of the diagnosis. She had fought the cancer for years.[9][53] His father died of post-surgery complications in 2011.

He was in a relationship with Blue Velvet co-star Laura Dern for three and a half years from 1985 to 1989.[4][54] Then he was in a relationship with Twin Peaks co-star Lara Flynn Boyle for two and a half years.[4][13] In 1992, after his relationship with Boyle ended, he began a relationship with supermodel Linda Evangelista after they met at a photo shoot they did together for Barneys New York. According to MacLachlan, they had been engaged for a few years when their six-year relationship ended in 1998.[5][9][55]

A year later, he met and began a relationship with publicist Desiree Gruber in 1999.[9][12] Gruber runs her own public relations agency and would become an executive producer of Project Runway in 2004.[27][56] He moved to New York City because he was filming Sex and the City and Gruber was based there.[12] They were married on April 20, 2002.[10] Their son, Callum Lyon MacLachlan, was born in Los Angeles on July 26, 2008.[57] The family has residences in Los Angeles and New York.[16][58]



Year Title Role Notes
1984DunePaul Atreides
1986Blue VelvetJeffrey Beaumont
1987The HiddenLloyd Gallagher
1990Don't Tell Her It's MeTrout
1991The DoorsRay Manzarek
1992Where the Day Takes YouTed
1992Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with MeSpecial Agent Dale Cooper
1993The TrialJosef K.
1993Rich in LoveBilly McQueen
1994The FlintstonesClifford Vandercave
1995ShowgirlsZack Carey
1996The Trigger EffectMatthew
1996Mad Dog TimeJake Parker
1997One Night StandVernon
2000XChangeFisk / Toffler 2
2000TimecodeBunny Drysdale
2001Me Without YouDaniel
2001PerfumeBusiness Manager
2003NorthforkMr. Hope
2004Touch of PinkSpirit of Cary Grant
2008Free JimmyMariusEnglish dub
2008Justice League: The New Frontier Kal-El / Clark Kent / SupermanVoice
2008The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 Bill KerrUncredited
2009Mao's Last DancerCharles C. Foster
2009The Smell of SuccessJimmy St James
2011Peace, Love & MisunderstandingMark
2013Breathe InPeter Sebeck
2015Inside Out Riley's DadVoice
2015Riley's First Date?Voice
Short film
2018Giant Little OnesRay WinterPost-production
2018The House with a Clock in Its WallsIsaac IzardPost-production
2019High Flying BirdPost-production


Year Title Role Notes
1989Dream BreakersBobby O'ConnorTelevision film
1990–1991Twin PeaksDale Cooper30 episodes
1990Saturday Night LiveHimself (host)Episode: "Kyle MacLachlan/Sinead O'Connor"
1990The American ExperienceNarratorEpisode: "Insanity on Trial"
1991Tales from the CryptEarl Raymond DigsEpisode: "Carrion Death"
1994RoswellMaj. Jesse MarcelTelevision film
1994Against the WallMichael SmithTelevision film
1996Moonshine HighwayJed MuldoonTelevision film
1997Windsor ProtocolSean DillonTelevision film
1998Thunder PointTelevision film
1998The Invisible ManJack GriffinUnsold pilot
1998Route 9Booth ParkerTelevision film
2000The SpringDennis ConwayTelevision film
2000–2002Sex and the CityTrey MacDougal23 episodes
2002JoN/AUnsold pilot
2004Law & Order: Special Victims UnitDr. Brett MortonEpisode: "Conscience"
2004The Librarian: Quest for the SpearEdward WildeTelevision film
2005Mysterious IslandCyrusTelevision film
2006In JusticeDavid Swain13 episodes
2006–2012Desperate HousewivesOrson Hodge85 episodes
2010–2014How I Met Your MotherGeorge Van Smoot / The Captain7 episodes
2011The DoctorJasonUnsold pilot
2011Law & Order: Special Victims UnitAndrew RainesEpisode: "Blood Brothers"
2011–2018PortlandiaMayor24 episodes
2012Made in JerseyDonovan Stark8 episodes
2013–2014The Good WifeJosh Perotti4 episodes
2014BelieveRoman Skouras12 episodes
2014–2015Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Calvin Johnson / The Doctor13 episodes
2016Gravity FallsBus DriverVoice
Episode: "Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back The Falls"
2017Twin PeaksDale Cooper18 episodes
2018American Dad!DelVoice
Episode: "Paranoid Frandroid"

Video games

Year Title Voice role
2001Grand Theft Auto IIIDonald Love


Year Title Role Notes
1983 Tartuffe Damis Empty Space Theatre
1988 The Palace of Amateurs Terrence Beebe Minetta Lane Theatre
2002 On An Average Day Jack Harold Pinter Theatre
2003–2004 The Caretaker Aston American Airlines Theatre

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result Ref.
1990 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Twin Peaks Nominated
1991 Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Won
Viewers for Quality Television Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series Nominated
1996 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actor Showgirls Nominated
2005 Genie Awards Best Supporting Actor Touch of Pink Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor on Television The Librarian: Quest for the Spear Nominated
2007 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Desperate Housewives Nominated
2008 Nominated
2009 Nominated
2018 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Twin Peaks Nominated [59][60]
Dorian Awards TV Performance of the Year - Actor Won
Empire Awards Best Actor in a TV series Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Actor on Television Won

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "MacLachlan, Kyle 1959- (Kyle Maclachlan)". Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. The Gale Group. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  2. "The Extract: Interview with Kyle Maclachlan of Pursued by Bear Wines". YouTube. October 31, 2015.
  3. 1 2 "Kent Alan McLachlan Obituary". The Seattle Times. June 5, 2011 via
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Schneller, Johanna (August 1, 1992). "The Secret World of Kyle MacLachlan". GQ. Vol. 62 no. 6 via Factiva.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Rumbold, Judy (June 4, 2001). "The art of darkness". The Telegraph.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 De Vries, Hilary (September 23, 1990). "'Diane, Let Me Tell You About Kyle MacLachlan' : 'Twin Peaks' is a nice place to visit, but he probably wouldn't want to live there". Los Angeles Times.
  7. 1 2 Chmiel, David (October 6, 2016). "9 Questions With Kyle MacLachlan". USGA.
  8. Husband, Stuart (April 6, 2008). "This much I know: Kyle MacLachlan, actor, 49, London". The Guardian.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Tozer, Paul (December 10, 2000). "Kyle MacLachlan: I, Claudius". The Guardian.
  10. 1 2 "Swoon Over Miami". May 6, 2002.
  11. "Kyle MacLachlan". Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  12. 1 2 3 4 Cavendish, Lucy (June 15, 2003). "Kyle reaches new peaks". London Evening Standard.
  13. 1 2 Benedek, Emily (May 23, 1990). "Kyle Machlachlan, From Desert 'Dune' to Lush Peaks". The Washington Post.
  14. "Kyle MacLachlan". School of Drama - University of Washington. University of Washington. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  15. Duff, Deanna (September 1, 2013). "A UW Star is Born: Actor Kyle MacLachlan reflects on Purple and Gold roots". University of Washington Alumni Magazine. University of Washington.
  16. 1 2 Mulkerrins, Jane (June 24, 2012). "This much I know: Kyle MacLachlan". The Guardian.
  17. Snyder, Daniel D. (March 14, 2014). "The Messy, Misunderstood Glory of David Lynch's Dune". The Atlantic.
  18. D'Addario, David (October 6, 2014). "The New Twin Peaks Needs Kyle MacLachlan". Time.
  19. Hinson, Hal (March 1, 1991). "'The Doors' (R)". The Washington Post.; Gleiberman, Owen (March 8, 1991). "The Doors". Entertainment Weekly.
  20. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Harris, Will. (September 28, 2012). "Kyle MacLachlan on David Lynch, Showgirls, and Billy Idol-isms (Random Roles)". The A.V. Club.
  21. Maslin, Janet (November 24, 1993). "Review/Film; Kafka's Sinister World by Way of Pinter". The New York Times.
  22. Randle, Nancy (March 20, 1994). "`Wall' Relives Drama, Tragedy Of Attica Uprising". The Chicago Tribune.; Mukherjee, Tiarra (April 1, 1994). "Attica Revisted". Vibe. Vol. 2 no. 3. p. 95 via Google Books.;"Museum of Television and Radio Screening Series, The: directed by John Frankenheimer: The Television Work, Package 1: Against the Wall". The Paley Center for Media. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  23. "Showgirls 1995" Metacritic. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  24. "Golden Raspberry Awards Rain On 'Showgirls,' Star". The Orlando Sentinel. March 26, 1996. Names & Faces.
  25. 1 2 "Kyle MacLachlan". Innerviews with Ernie Manouse. Season 8. Episode 11. University of Houston. March 6, 2011. 12:58 minutes in. Houston Public Media. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  26. Zuniga, Adrian Todd (October 21, 2016). "Meet the Incredible Voice Actors of Legendary 'Grand Theft Auto III'". Rolling Stone.
  27. 1 2 Brooks, Libby (July 24, 2002). "Kyle MacLachlan on his West End debut: Hitting peaks". The Guardian.
  28. Costa, Maddy (August 9, 2002). "On an Average Day, Comedy Theatre, London". The Guardian.
  29. Hernandez, Ernio (November 9, 2003). "Patrick Stewart and Kyle MacLachlan Open Broadway's The Caretaker, Nov. 9". Playbill.; Als, Hilton (November 17, 2003). "Sons and Lovers". The New Yorker.
  30. Murray, Rebecca. "Kyle MacLachaln Reflects on 'Touch of Pink'". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  31. "LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT {LAW AND ORDER: SVU}: CONSCIENCE (TV)". The Paley Center for Media. Retrieved February 18, 2017.; "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - Season 6, Episode 6: Conscience". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  32. "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit: Blood Brothers". Vudu. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  33. "Kyle MacLachlan Profile (TV)". Metacritic. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  34. Ausiello, Michael (March 24, 2006). "Former Twin Peaks G-man Kyle MacLachlan…". TV Guide.
  35. "London Live Earth line-up revealed". NME. July 5, 2007.;"Live Earth London - Show (Kyle MacLachlan)". Zimbio. July 7, 2007.
  36. Fuchs, Cynthia (August 6, 2008). "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2". Popmatters.
  37. Felperin, Leslie (May 27, 2006). "Review: 'Free Jimmy'". Variety.; Enigmax (October 25, 2008). "Stoners, Vegans and a Junky Elephant Conquer BitTorrent". TorrentFreak.
  38. "MacLachlan to Quit "Desperate Housewives?" Contact Music. WENN. June 11, 2009
  39. Ausiello, Michael (May 19, 2010). "Exclusive: Kyle MacLachlan to exit 'Desperate Housewives'". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on September 4, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  40. Ausiello, Michael (November 23, 2011). "Desperate Housewives Exclusive: Dana Delany, Kyle MacLachlan Book Final Season Comebacks". TVLine.
  41. Ross, Robynl (September 30, 2010). "Kyle MacLachlan to Guest-Star on How I Met Your Mother". TV Guide.; Bell, Josh. "'How I Met Your Mother' Season 8 Episode Guide". p. 2. Retrieved February 19, 2017.;Fitzpatrick, Kevin (March 10, 2014). "'How I Met Your Mother' Review: 'Daisy'". ScreenCrush.
  42. "'Made In Jersey' Not Canceled Yet; Moves To Saturdays On CBS". The Huffington Post. November 5, 2012.
  43. "'The Good Wife' Nabs Kyle MacLachlan And More Casting News". The Huffington Post. November 13, 2012.
  44. Harris, Jamie. "The Good Wife Cast and Characters". TV guide. Retrieved February 19, 2017.; Hale, Mike (October 26, 2014). "'The Good Wife' Recap: How to Make Will Gardner Go Away". The New York Times. ArtsBeat.
  45. Mitovich, Matt Web (August 7, 2014). "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Scoop: Kyle MacLachlan to Play [Huge Spoiler]". TV Line.; Barbash, Tamar; Galloway, Lauren (May 15, 2015). "EW Community MVP of the Week: Kyle MacLachlan". Entertainment Weekly. The Community.
  46. Vick, Megan (June 9, 2015). "Kyle MacLachlan is ready for his 'Agents of SHIELD' return". Screener.
  47. Alexander, Bryan (October 8, 2014). "Parents speak their mind in Pixar's 'Inside Out'". USA Today. Gannett. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  48. O'Connell, Michael (January 12, 2015). "Kyle MacLachlan Confirmed for 'Twin Peaks' Reboot". The Hollywood Reporter.
  49. Andreeva, Nellie (January 9, 2017). "'Twin Peaks' Gets Premiere Date, Episode Count On Showtime -TCA". Deadline Hollywood.
  50. 1 2 Martinez, Alanna (August 10, 2016). "Keep Kyle MacLachlan Weird: David Lynch's Muse Happily Returns Home". Observer.
  51. Pursued by Bear with Kyle MacLachlan, Dunham Cellars, retrieved February 7, 2017
  52. Vondersmith, John (September 20, 2012). "All hail mayor of zany town". Portland Tribune.
  53. "TV Kyle MacLachlan Dishes on an Important Cause and Desperate Housewives". August 27, 2008.
  54. "Odd celeb couples: can you believe they dated? (slide 23)". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  55. "Fashion Exchange". People. Vol. 50 no. 5. August 17, 1998.
  56. Strugatz, Rachel (February 6, 2013). "Desiree Gruber: Under the Radar, On Top of Her Game". WWD.
  57. "Kyle MacLachlan and Desiree Gruber Welcome Callum Lyon". Time, Inc. July 28, 2008.
  58. David, Mark (September 30, 2014). "Kyle MacLachlan To Let Sunset Strip Pad". Variety.
  59. Grobar, Matt (January 8, 2018). "Ewan McGregor Gets First Golden Globe Win For Dual 'Fargo' Roles". Deadline. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  60. THR Staff (January 8, 2018). "Ewan McGregor Accepts Award for 'Fargo' | Golden Globes 2018". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
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