Kyle MacLachlan

Kyle MacLachlan Biography

Television Actor, Theater Actor, Film Actor, Actor (1959–)
Kyle MacLachlan is an award-winning film and TV actor known for an array of projects that include 'Dune,' 'Blue Velvet,' 'Sex and the City' and 'Desperate Housewives.' A particularly famed role has been that of FBI agent Dale Cooper in the cult classic 'Twin Peaks.'

Who Is Kyle MacLachlan?

Born on February 22, 1959, in Yakima, Washington, Kyle MacLachlan went on to make his film debut as an actor in the 1984 sci-fi epic Dune, directed by David Lynch. He and Lynch continued to work together in the film Blue Velvet and TV series Twin Peaks, which would become a critically acclaimed cult classic and earn MacLachlan Emmy nods and a Golden Globe win. The actor has gone on to star in an array of film and TV projects that include The Doors, Showgirls, Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives and Portlandia. In 2017 he returned to familiar territory with the revival of Twin Peaks.

Movies and TV Shows

'Blue Velvet'

MacLachlan would eventually come to meet and work with filmmaker David Lynch, known for the movies Eraserhead (1977) and The Elephant Man (1980), a work based on the life of Joseph Merrick. MacLachlan made his screen debut in Lynch’s 1984 work Dune, based on the layered sci-fi novel by Frank Herbert. In the screen version, MacLachlan played Paul Atreides, a princely figure who leads a revolt on a desert planet. While the film was not generally well-received, the director and actor meshed. The two went on to work together on 1986’s Blue Velvet, a controversially noir-ish look at a small town with shadowy underpinnings, with MacLachlan portraying a young man who returns home. The film co-starred Isabella Rossellini, Laura Dern and Dennis Hopper, and earned Lynch an Oscar nomination for Directing.

'Twin Peaks'

MacLachlan and Lynch reunited again for what would become arguably the actor’s defining role, that of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper in the ABC series Twin Peaks, which debuted in 1990. Peaks had a murder mystery at its core and featured a distinctive, not readily defined sensibility that would allow the show to live on as a cult classic despite being on the air for less than two full seasons. MacLachlan also earned two Emmy nominations and won a Golden Globe for his performance on the series.

'Sex and the City' and 'Housewives' 

MacLachlan's earlier roles established buzz that would last, as he was cast in an array of films during the 1990s that included the Jim Morrison biopic The Doors (1991), Where the Day Takes You (1992), The Flintstones (1994), Showgirls (1995) and One Night Stand (1997). The new millennium saw the actor take on more roles, in movies like Hamlet (2000), Miranda (2002), Touch of Pink (2004), in which he portrayed the spirit of Cary Grant, and Mao’s Last Dancer (2010). He also made his Broadway debut in a 2003 revival of the Harold Pinter play The Caretaker, co-starring Patrick Stewart (who was also in Dune) and Aidan Gillen.

Though big-screen parts continued to appear, MacLachlan had carved out a space for himself on the small screen as well, appearing in TV movies as well as a number of popular series. Starting in 2000, he starred for a time in Sex and the City, portraying the hubby of Charlotte York (Kristin Davis), with the fictitious couple eventually divorcing over their differences. The year 2006 saw MacLachlan featured in the legal drama In Justice and also joining the cast of the hit soap Desperate Housewives as Orson Hodge, a mainstay character for multiple seasons who was the second hubby of Bree Van de Kamp (Marcia Cross). 

'Portlandia' and the Return of 'Twin Peaks'

In 2011 MacLachlan was able to return to his Pacific Northwest roots, taking on a recurring role as mayor in the improv-oriented sketch series Portlandia, starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. MacLachlan has also been featured in the drama The Good Wife and the action-packed Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

In fall of 2014, it was announced that Twin Peaks would be returning to TV, with Showtime producing a nine-part miniseries which aired in May 2017. MacLachlan and other original cast members returned, as well as Lynch, who reprised his duties as director.

Set 25 years later, the show followed the investigations of MacLachlan's FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, delivering the expected doses of suspense and fantastical moments. For his work, MacLachlan was among the year's Golden Globe nominees, and the show was well received.

Some of MacLachlan's more recent film projects include Breathe In (2013), Inside Out (2015) and the dark fantasy comedy The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018).


During the ‘90s, MacLachlan was engaged to supermodel Linda Evangelista, though the two never wed. He and Desiree Gruber, who would go on to work as an executive producer for Heidi Klum's Project Runway, married in 2002. The couple has a son, Callum. MacLachlan is also a golf lover and vino aficionado who has his own Washington-based winery named Pursued by Bear.

Early Life

Kyle MacLachlan was born on February 22, 1959, in Yakima, Washington. He took to acting early on, playing out scenes from the Hardy Boys novels he read as a child and working in theatrical productions. He parlayed his interest into serious study (with an additional stint working in a sawmill), and by the early 1980s had earned a bachelor’s degree in drama from the University of Washington in Seattle.

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