Lara Flynn Boyle got her big break when she was cast in David Lynch's TV series Twin Peaks. After the show's short but memorable run, Boyle found success in a string of movies, such as Men in Black II, and TV shows, such as The Practice. In 2015, it was announced that Twin Peaks would be returning to TV, and Boyle would return as the iconic Donna Hayward.
Lara Flynn Boyle was born on March 24, 1970, in Davenport, Iowa, and raised in Chicago. She attended the Chicago Academy of the Arts, which served as a launch pad for acting in local theater productions. In turn, this experience helped Boyle land a role in the ABC miniseries Amerika (1987) as well as small roles on the TV series Jack & Mike and Sable and the big-screen movie Poltergeist III.
The day after she graduated from the Chicago Academy of the Arts, Boyle moved with her mother to Los Angeles, where she landed roles in TV movies such as The Preppie Murder (1989) and big-screen fare such as How I Got Into College (1989) and The Rookie (1990). Just months after her move to California, though, Boyle would land the role that would change her life and career overnight: that of Donna Hayward on the David Lynch series Twin Peaks.
Twin Peaks hit the air in 1990, and Boyle’s character was one of several precocious high school girls at the center of the surreal action. The show—which circled the bizarre events swirling around the murder of Laura Palmer—became an unlikely but huge hit, and Boyle and the rest of the cast were propelled to stardom. After only two seasons, the mystery was wrapped up and the show came to an abrupt end. In its wake, Boyle took on several high-profile movie roles, appearing in such films as Mobsters (1991), Where the Day Takes You (1992) and the smash hit comedy Wayne's World (1992).
Never short on roles in the 1990s, Boyle followed these films with the likes of The Temp (1993), Red Rock West (1993) and the offbeat and disturbing Todd Solondz film Happiness (1998), for which Boyle and the cast won the National Board of Review’s award for Best Acting by an Ensemble.
While Boyle was busy on the big screen, she got even busier on TV in 1997, when she began appearing on the hit ABC legal dramedy The Practice. She starred alongside Dylan McDermott from 1997 until 2003 and earned an Emmy nomination along the way. In the midst of that success came a big-screen hit in the form of 2002’s Men in Black II, which was a blockbuster. Next Boyle returned to TV for extended stints on Huff and Las Vegas before settling into smaller movie roles once again. In 2015, news that Twin Peaks would be returning shined the spotlight back on Boyle, although the show’s creator, David Lynch, said he would not participate.
In 1999, Boyle began a two-year relationship with Jack Nicholson, who is 33 years her elder. She has also dated Kyle MacLachlan, Richard Dean Anderson and David Spade. She has been married twice and is currently married to Donald Thomas, a real estate investor.
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