From Most Beautiful Girl in the World to carer – tragic story of Pamela Gidley

When it came to looks and talent, Pamela Gidley had it all.

But sadly, lasting love is something that would elude the late actress, who is believed to have turned her back on Hollywood to care for her sick brother six years before her untimely death on April 16, aged just 52.

She was briefly married to Hollywood stuntman James Lew, 65 from 2005 to 2008 when he filed for divorce in Los Angeles.

In 2014 she was linked to record producer Jimmy Iovine but had no known partner in the final years of her life, which she chose to live quietly away from the camera in the sleepy town of Seabrook, New Hampshire, population 8,700.

No cause of death has been given and the mysterious and closely-guarded latter part of her life is in stark contrast to the bright lights she chased and conquered as a child, teenager and adult.




Born in Methuen, Massachusetts on June 11, 1965 to Phyllis and Albert, she was the treasured only girl in a family of three older brothers Glenn, David, Brian.

Aged just four, she won New England’s Little Miss Lovely contest and started modelling for Jordan March two years later.

Pamela was just 19 when she was crowned the Most Beautiful Girl in the World at a Wilhemina Modelling Agency contest in Syndey, Australia on March 12, 1985.

Remembering how the first thing ‘Pammy’ did after winning was shout for her mum, her childhood friend Laura Buell recalled, "When she was just crowned but just kept calling and searching out to the audience, Phyllis. She just kept searching for you and calling out to you. She loved you so! That love and exuberance is how I’m going to remember her, and I hope this memory brings you comfort and peace."



Her big break came when she was spotted by a modelling agent in Manhattan, and after featuring on the cover of Seventeen, she turned her attention to acting, enrolling at the New York Academy of Dramatic Art under acclaimed teacher Stella Adler.

Next came a move to LA and she made her debut alongside Josh Brolin in skateboarding movie Thrashin before finding fame with Twin Peaks.

"My co-star in Thrashin’ and my girlfriend twice in a lifetime, Amazing and innocent memories of her. A spitfire, and a truly funny person she was," the actor wrote on Instagram.


Pamela went on to star in Cherry 2000, Permanent Record, Mafia! and perhaps most famously, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me in 1992.

She played prostitute and a drug addict Teresa in the prequel to the TV series, who was found wrapped in plastic with a letter ‘T’ beneath her ring fingernail, leading police to link her murder to Laura Palmer’s one year later.

In 2012 she is believed to have quit Hollywood for good, heading home to care for her brother.

Her last credited role was in Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces in 2014.

However, one local fan managed to grab an interview with her in 2014, with the star looking happy and healthy as she told the camera, "[I’ve got] twenty five years of experience of doing lots of television, lots of movies and writer, director, producer."

She is survived by her mum Phyllis, brothers Glenn, Daniel and Brian, sister-in-law Darlene and her nieces and nephews Adam, Keegan, Erica and Alexis.

Her cause of death has not yet been revealed.

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