The 50 best David Lynch characters

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Time Out counts down the greatest characters in David Lynch films

A new BFI season starts this February celebrating the life and work of America’s most successfully idiosyncratic filmmaker, David Lynch. In a career spanning four decades, Lynch’s twisted and brilliant mind has spawned some of the most memorable, terrifying, lovable and head-spinningly strange characters ever to grace the cinema screen. Here are 50 of our favourites.

Obviously, we didn’t have room to fit in every one of Lynch’s great characters. So if you’ve got something to add (‘Where the hell was Shadout Mapes?’), please let us know in the comments box below.

By Tom Huddleston, David Jenkins and Ed Lawrenson.


Find your favourite David Lynch character

David Lynch Aunt Barbara The Baby Special Agent Albert Rosenfield Lyle Straight Mr Reindeer Julee Cruise Cousin Dell The woman in the tank Adam Kesher Lou Sheriff Harry S Truman The Whores Cowboy Killer Bob Blinky Watts The Amputee Marietta Fortune Frederick Treves The Man From Another Place / The Old Man/ The Giant Duke Leto Atreides The Lady in the Radiator Margaret Lanterman, The Log Lady Monster Behind the Dumpster Sarah Palmer The Frenchman Mrs Mothershead Rita Tommy ‘Hawk’ Hill Johnnie Farragut Rose Leland Palmer Randy Bytes Lula Pace Fortune Ben The Grandmother Bobby Peru Mystery Man Laura Palmer Baron Vladimir Harkonnen Diane Selwyn Sailor Ripley Dorothy Vallens Henry Spencer Click here... Click here... Click here... Click here... Click here...

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6 comments
sergio
sergio

the cowboy mulhollad dr

Si
Si

Where Is the Baron??? Kenneth Macmillan must be honoured!

portarlington
portarlington

re: aditya - The Log Lady is there at No. 28

Dom
Dom

Interesting list. The 'problem' with Lynch is that he creates so many great characters and 50 isn't a big enough list, so inevitably characters like Andy, Lucy, Maddy, Dick Tremayne and so on get missed. In fact you could easily populate the entire list above with the Twin Peaks cast! One thing though. As I understand it, the Giant and the Old Man are certainly one and the same, but The Little Man From Another Place states in Fire Walk With Me that he is 'the arm' that was supposedly cut off by MIKE, the one-armed man, in the series. ;)

aditya
aditya

where is the log lady?! are you freaking kidding me?!

Kimmy Robertson
Kimmy Robertson

Where was Deputy Andy? David's stuff is all a work of art. Would you leave out one of The Mona Lisa's eyeballs? That is my comment.