Al Strobel, an actor who was best known for his role as Phillip Gerard, the one-armed man on “Twin Peaks,” died Friday in Eugene, Ore. He was 83.
“Twin Peaks” producer and frequent David Lynch collaborator Sabrina Sutherland released a statement on behalf of his family: “Through the darkness of future past and much sadness we say goodbye to Al Strobel. He is an irreplaceable human being and will always be an important part of our Twin Peaks family.”
Strobel, who lost his left arm in a car accident at the age of 17, was a mainstay across “Twin Peaks,” first appearing in the series pilot in 1989. Playing Gerard, a man who removed one of his arms to prevent a sinister being from possessing his body, Strobel appeared across 10 episodes of the original two seasons of “Twin Peaks.” He provided one of the show’s most memorable moments, performing a haunting poem intoning the words “fire walk with me.”
That would go on to be the subtitle of the series’ prequel, 1992’s “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.” Strobel reprised his role in the feature. After retiring from acting following the turn of the century, Strobel made a return to the screen for the series’ Showtime revival, “Twin Peaks: The Return.”
Beyond “Twin Peaks,” Strobel also acted in a handful of other projects, such as the 2001 feature “Ricochet River” and the 1991 television movie “Child of Darkness, Child of Light.”
“Oh no… Dear Al… as those of you lucky enough to have met him over the years, what a warm and wonderful gentleman he was,” wrote “Twin Peaks” co-creator Mark Frost.
“Sad, sad news,” wrote series actor Dana Ashbrook, who portrayed bad-boy-turned-confused-cop Bobby Briggs across “Twin Peaks” iterations. “He was the sweetest of men. A wonderful storyteller… and to watch him roll a one handed cigarette- pure magic.”