Twin Peaks actor Al Strobel, aka: the enigmatic one-armed man, dies aged 83

Al Strobel, Twin Peaks' enigmatic one-armed man, dies aged 83
Al Strobel, Twin Peaks' enigmatic one-armed man, dies aged 83   -   Copyright  Showtime - Everett Collection
By David Mouriquand

The town of Twin Peaks is in mourning.

Al Strobel, best known for his role as the enigmatic Phillip Gerard aka: the one-armed man in the 'Twin Peaks' drama series, has died at the age of 83.

Strobel’s death was announced on Facebook by producer and longtime David Lynch collaborator Sabrina Sutherland, who wrote: “I am sad to have to post that Al Strobel passed away last night. I loved him dearly.”

Sabrina Sutherland - Facebook
Sabrina Sutherland announces the death of Al StrobelSabrina Sutherland - Facebook

The groundbreaking and hugely influential series originally premiered in 1990, and ran for two seasons spanning 30 episodes. The show came back in 2017 to great acclaim.

Strobel was an amputee in real life, having lost his left arm in a car accident when he was 17. He was a mainstay in all eras of 'Twin Peaks'. His character cut off his own arm to stop an evil entity – Bob – from possessing him, and is responsible for uttering the show’s haunting signature poem:

"Through the darkness
Of future past
The magician longs to see
One chance out
Between two worlds
Fire walk with me"

Beyond Twin Peaks, Strobel also appeared in the films Megaville, Ricochet River, and the TV film Child of Darkness, Child of Light.

Mark Frost, the series’ co-creator alongside David Lynch, was one of the first to pay tribute to Strobel: “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. RIP, friend.”

Dana Ashbrook, who played series regular Bobby Briggs, said: “Sad, sad news…love Al. He was the sweetest of men.”

No cause of death was provided, nor were any other details offered.