Lara Flynn Boyle

12 hours ago
Albert Flores

Lara Flynn Boyle (born March 24, 1970) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Donna Hayward in the television series Twin Peaks (1990-1991). After portraying Stacy in Penelope Spheeris's comedy Wayne's World (1992), Boyle had a lead role in John Dahl's neo-noir film Red Rock West (1993), followed by roles in Threesome (1994), Cafe Society (1995), and Happiness (1998). From 1997 to 2003, Boyle portrayed Assistant District Attorney Helen Gamble in the ABC television series The Practice for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.


Early life

Boyle was born in Davenport, Iowa, the daughter of Sally Flynn, a clerical worker, assistant, and manager, and Michael L. Boyle. +more Her paternal grandfather was U. S. Representative Charles A. Boyle. She has Irish, German, and Italian ancestry. She is named after a character in Boris Pasternak's novel Doctor Zhivago. Her father left when she was six, causing her and her mother to move to smaller quarters. Around this time, she was diagnosed with dyslexia. She was raised in Chicago, Illinois, and Wisconsin, and graduated from The Chicago Academy for the Arts.


1986-1991: Career beginnings and Twin Peaks

In 1986, Boyle landed a small part in John Hughes's teen comedy film Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which earned her a SAG card, though her scenes were deleted from the final cut of the film. Subsequently, Boyle had a supporting role as Jackie Bradford in the television miniseries Amerika (1987), followed by guest appearances on episodes of the series Jack and Mike (1987) and Sable (1987).

After a string of supporting roles, Boyle landed a lead role in the Gary Sherman horror film Poltergeist III (1988), which was distributed by the media company MGM. Although she was cast as Ginny Danburry in Peter Weir's drama film Dead Poets Society (1989), her scenes were ultimately deleted from the final cut. +more [wiki_quote=047990e2] In 1989, Boyle rose to international prominence when David Lynch cast her as Donna Hayward in the television series Twin Peaks (1990-1991). The series focused on the murder of the high school Homecoming Queen Laura Palmer, with Boyle portraying Laura's best friend. Her main storyline focused on her trying to solve the mystery of who killed Laura.

The series premiered April 8, 1990, on ABC and subsequently became one of the top-rated series of 1990, but a decline in ratings ultimately led to its cancellation after its second season in 1991. Boyle appeared in all 30 episodes.

When discussing Lynch's direction, Boyle stated, "I remember, in the pilot, I did a very long scene that we had to shoot 30 or 40 times. David came up to me and said quietly, in my ear: 'Think of how gently a deer has to move in the snow…' It was strange direction. +more But that's what I thought of, and it worked. We were at the helm of a piece of heaven on Twin Peaks and we just went where David Lynch told us. That might sound very obscure but it really is true. How he sees the world is how we should all see the world. ".

In October 1990, while promoting Twin Peaks, Boyle was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine along with her co-stars Mädchen Amick and Sherilyn Fenn. While starring on Twin Peaks, Boyle portrayed Sarah in Clint Eastwood's action film The Rookie (1990), Rosarita in Adam Rifkin's satirical comedy film The Dark Backward (1991), Mara Motes in Michael Karbelnikoff's crime film Mobsters (1991), and Sandra Gladstone in the romantic thriller Eye of the Storm (1991).

Boyle also appeared in the television films Terror on Highway 91 (1989), The Preppie Murder (1989), as well as episodes of The Hidden Room and May Wine.

1992-2003: Red Rock West and early success

Shortly after the cancellation of Twin Peaks, plans were being made for a feature film adaptation. Boyle was asked by Lynch to reprise her role as Donna Hayward in the psychological horror film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) but she was unable to commit to the project due to scheduling conflicts with her roles as Heather in Marc Rocco's drama film Where the Day Takes You (alongside her Twin Peaks co-star Kyle MacLachlan), Stacy in Penelope Spheeris's comedy Wayne's World, and Beverly Franks in Alan Rudolph's crime drama Equinox. +more This led to her being replaced by actress Moira Kelly. In 1993, Boyle starred as Kris Bolin in the thriller film The Temp and portrayed the temptress Suzanne Brown in the neo-noir film Red Rock West alongside Nicolas Cage and Dennis Hopper.

In 1994, Boyle was cast as Alex in the comedy Threesome, Laraine Cotwell in Baby's Day Out, and Ida Muntz in The Road to Wellville. The same year, Boyle appeared in the television films Past Tense and Jacob. +more In 1995, she was cast as Pat Ward in the mystery film Cafe Society. In 1997, she portrayed Marianne Byron in the film Afterglow. Boyle auditioned for the title role in David E. Kelley's Ally McBeal. Although she lost out to Calista Flockhart, Boyle impressed Kelley enough to cast her the role of Assistant District Attorney Helen Gamble in his other 1997 series, The Practice. The following year, Boyle portrayed Helen Jordan in Todd Solondz’s controversial comedy-drama film Happiness.

She starred on The Practice until 2003, when, in a dramatic attempt to revamp the show and cut costs, she was dismissed along with most of the cast. For her performance as Helen Gamble, she received an Emmy nomination as well as several Screen Actors Guild ensemble cast nominations. +more Boyle also made a crossover appearance in the role of Helen Gamble in an episode of Ally McBeal, and an uncredited guest appearance on the same show in its final season.

In 2002, Boyle played a lead role in the blockbuster feature film Men in Black II, as the villainous shapeshifting alien Serleena. She also guest-starred on one of the last episodes of Ally McBeal, this time as Tally Cupp, and had a recurring role on several episodes of Huff.

2004-present: Return to television and independent films

In 2005, Boyle joined the cast of Las Vegas for a seven-episode stint as Monica Mancuso, a new hotel owner. She played Barbara Amiel in the television film Shades of Black, about Amiel and her husband, Lord Black. +more Boyle also guest-starred as an ambitious reporter involved with the suspects in a possible murder in the Law & Order 2008 episode "Submission". In 2009, Boyle portrayed Mary in Baby on Board. The same year, Boyle was cast as Betty McBain in the independent film Life Is Hot in Cracktown. In 2010, she starred as Kathy in Cougar Hunting. In 2013, Boyle portrayed Witch Agnes in the horror comedy film Hansel & Gretel Get Baked. In 2015, she portrayed Ms. Donley in the film Lucky Dog.

In 2020, after a five-year break, she returned to acting to star as Grace in the film Death in Texas alongside Stephen Lang.

Personal life

Boyle was in a relationship with Twin Peaks co-star Kyle MacLachlan from 1990 to 1992. Boyle has been married twice. +more Her first husband was John Patrick Dee III, whom she married on August 11, 1996, and divorced two years later. Boyle dated actor David Spade, and later dated Jack Nicholson after he asked Boyle out in front of Spade while they were smoking marijuana. Spade later found out they were together after Nicholson and Boyle were involved in a car crash, covered by paparazzi. They went public with their romance at the 1999 Emmys, and reportedly remained together until the end of 2000. Her second and current husband is Donald Ray Thomas II, a real estate investor, whom she married on December 18, 2006, in San Antonio, Texas.



1986Ferris Bueller's Day OffHeather(scenes deleted)
1988Poltergeist IIIDonna Gardner
1989How I Got into CollegeJessica Kailo
1989Dead Poets SocietyGinny Danburry(scenes deleted)
1990The Rookie (1990 film)Sarah Ackerman
1991The Dark BackwardRosarita
1991MobstersMara Motes
1991Eye of the StormSandra Gladstone
1992Where the Day Takes YouHeather
1992Wayne's WorldStacy
1992EquinoxBeverly FranksNominated-Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
1993The Temp (film)Kris Bolin
1993Red Rock WestAnn McCord / Suzanne Brown
1994Baby's Day OutLaraine Cotwell
1994The Road to Wellville (film)Ida Muntz
1995Cafe SocietyPat Ward
1996The Big SqueezeTanya Mulhill
1997Farmer & ChaseHillary
1997Red MeatRuth
1997AfterglowMarianne Byron
1997Cannes ManHerself
1998HappinessHelen Jordan
1998Susan's PlanBetty Johnson
2000Chain of FoolsKaren
2001Speaking of SexEmily Paige
2002Men in Black IISerleenaNominated-Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress
2006Land of the BlindFirst Lady
2006Fwiends. comYuppie girlShort film
2007Have Dreams, Will TravelBen's Mother
2009Baby on BoardMary Radcliffe
2009Life Is Hot in CracktownBetty McBain
2010Cougar HuntingKathy
2013Hansel & Gretel Get BakedWitch AgnesAlso associate producer
2015Lucky DogMs. +more Donley
2020Death in TexasGrace


1987Jack and MikeLeslieEpisode: "Quality of Mercy"
1987AmerikaJackie Bradford5 episodes
1987SableMelanie WaterstonEpisode: "Toy Gun"
1989Terror on Highway 91Laura TaggartTelevision film
1989The Preppie MurderJennifer LevinTelevision film
1990-1991Twin PeaksDonna Hayward30 episodes
1991The Hidden RoomNicoleEpisode: "Splinters of Privacy"
1991May WineCammieTelevision film
1994Past TenseTory Bass / Sabrina JamesTelevision film
1994JacobRachelTelevision film
1995LegendTheresa DunleavyEpisode: "Skeletons in the Closet"
1997-2003The PracticeHelen Gamble116 episodes Nominated-Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Nominated-Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1999-2001)
1998Ally McBealHelen GambleEpisode: "Making Spirits Bright"
1998Since You've Been GoneGrace WilliamsTelevision film
2002Ally McBealTally CuppEpisode: "Tom Dooley"
2004-2005HuffMelody Coatar5 episodes
2005-2006Las VegasMonica Mancuso8 episodes
2006The House Next Door (2006 film)Col KennedyTelevision film
2006Shades of Black: The Conrad Black StoryBarbara AmielTelevision film
2008Law & OrderDawn TalleyEpisode: "Submission"

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