Briscoe died earlier this week following complications from a serious fall

By Maureen Lee Lenker
October 20, 2017 07:41 PM
Credit: Vivien Killilea/WireImage

Brent Briscoe, a character actor known for his work on Twin Peaks and Parks and Recreation, has died. He was 56.

Briscoe died earlier this week, his family confirmed in a statement to EW, following complications from a serious fall. “We lost a class act on Wednesday,” the statement said in part. “Brent played hundreds of roles throughout his career but his greatest role was to his family and friends. He was as genuine as they come. We will miss him dearly.”

Of those hundreds of roles, Briscoe most recently portrayed Det. Dave Macklay on the revived Twin Peaks and had a memorable turn as diner owner J.J. on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. He also frequently collaborated with Billy Bob Thornton, appearing alongside him in Sling Blade and A Simple Plan.

A native of Moberly, Missouri, Briscoe attended the University of Missouri and worked in theatre before earning his first screen credit on Burt Reynold’s sitcom Evening Shade in 1990. He quickly became a stalwart character actor in the industry, appearing frequently in film and television, including roles in The Majestic as Sheriff Cecil Colemanand guest-starring spots on everything from ER to NCIS to Grey’s Anatomy to Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Briscoe worked regularly with both David Lynch and Thornton throughout his career. Prior to his turn as Detective Dave Macklay on Twin Peaks, he was another police officer, Det. Domgaard, in Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. The family shared with EW Lynch’s condolences to them: “I want you to know how much I loved working with Brent. I worked with him on Mulholland Drive and Twin Peaks. I loved him as an actor and a great person. I’m holding good thoughts for all of you. I will really miss working with Brent again.”

In 1996, Briscoe portrayed Scooter, one of the repair shop employees who offers a kind and welcoming presence to Thornton’s Karl in Sling Blade, which Thornton also wrote and directed. Later, in 1998, he also appeared opposite Thornton in Sam Raimi’s A Simple Plan, as one of three men who discover a crashed plane full of cash. The two also shared screen time in U Turn, Mr. Woodcock, The Smell of Success, Jayne Mansfield’s Car, and Waking Up in Reno, which Briscoe also co-wrote. Most recently, he appeared in an episode of Thornton’s Amazon drama Goliath.

In addition to Burt Reynolds’ Evening Shade being his screen debut, Briscoe was also a writer on two of the CBS sitcom’s episodes; he also teamed up with Mark Fauser to pen the TV movie The Right to Remain Silent and feature film Waking Up in Reno.

His body of work also includes film roles in The Green Mile, The Dark Knight Rises, Spider-Man 2, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and Man on the Moon. Other television appearances besides his most memorable turns on Twin Peaks and Parks and Recreation include Desperate Housewives, Scandal, Deadwood, 24, Justified, and CSI.

Briscoe is survived by his father Carl, his brother Kent, and sister Shelley West.

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