His sister Catherine Von Dohlen first announced his death Thursday morning on Facebook. No cause of death was given. “The world lost a magnificent man on July 5. Brother Len was passionate about everything and everyone. He was always leading; whether it be riveting conversation, an artistic creation or a trip to new places. He loved a good laugh. He continues on his spiritual journey. Living life full in his memory,” she wrote.
On “Twin Peaks” and the prequel film “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me,” Von Dohlen played the agoraphobic Harold Smith, who refused to leave his house. Sheryl Lee’s character, Laura Palmer, gave Harold her secret diary, and after her murder, her friend Donna Hayward befriended Harold while investigating Laura’s death. However, Harold’s story came to an end when Donna tried to steal the diary and he later hanged himself, losing his faith in human decency.
Outside of the “Twin Peaks” universe, Von Dohlen also played Burton Jernigan, one of the villains in “Home Alone 3,” and most recently appeared in an episode of Seth MacFarlane’s series “The Orville.” His first TV role came on NBC’s Emmy-winning show “Kent State” in 1981, and his film debut was in the Oscar-winning movie “Tender Mercies” in 1983. His other credits included “Tollbooth” (1994), “Bird of Prey” (1996), “One Good Turn” (1996), “Entertaining Angels” (1996), “Cadillac” (1997) and episodes of “Miami Vice,” “The Equalizer,” “Walker Texas Ranger,” “Red Dwarf,” “The Pretender” and “Psych.”