Grace Zabriskie is an American actress best known for her television roles as Sarah Palmer in Twin Peaks; and as Lois Henrickson in the polygamy drama Big Love.
Zabriskie was born and grew up in the French Quarter in New Orleans. Her father started and ran two cafes there: "Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop" and then "Lafitte's in Exile."
Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal and Truman Capote were among the many interesting people who frequented the café during the 40's and 50's, and Grace doesn't really remember them, but does remember dolls they gave her when her father brought them home to meet his family.
She began doing theatre in New Orleans and continued to perform in New Brunswick, N.J. at Douglass College, Rutgers University. She took no theatre courses, but had a double major in art and French.
She then did lots of theatre in Atlanta, where she lived for 13 years before moving to L.A. in 1979. She had also done films in Atlanta, notably Norma Rae (1979), which got her an L.A. agent.
Zabriskie moved to L.A. in 1979 and has worked steadily in film, television and theatre ever since.
Television shows she has acted in include Hart To Hart, Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, Falcon Crest, Moonlighting, Empty Nest, NYPD Blue, Seinfeld, Dharma & Greg, The King Of Queens, The West Wing, The Guardian, Charmed and Medium.
After appearing in a recurring role on the soap opera Santa Barbara, she played a major role in the David Lynch series Twin Peaks and its spin-off film, Fire Walk With Me as Sarah Palmer, the eerily psychic mother of the doomed Laura Palmer.
Zabriskie had previously appeared in Lynch's Wild at Heart — notably as the twin sister of a character played by Isabella Rossellini, an actress 11 years her junior.
She was also chosen by David Lynch to appear as a sinister Polish neighbour in Inland Empire in 2006.
Zabriskie may also be remembered as the actress who portrayed the long-suffering Mrs. Ross, a recurring character on the sitcom Seinfeld. In this series, Zabriskie again played the mother of a doomed woman — Susan Ross, George Costanza's fiancee, who dies from licking tainted envelopes.
Zabriskie's character's husband on the show was played by her former Twin Peaks co-star Warren Frost.
She has at times worked in radio, collaborating with radio dramatist/monologist Joe Frank several times.
In 2004 Zabriskie appeared in the remake of The Grudge, in which she played a senile grandmother sensitive to the paranormal occurrences in her home.
She is also a visual artist and a writer. She and her daughter Marion Lane hand craft fine art boxes for ArtHaus, a Los Angeles gallery.