Born August 24, 1972, Audrey is 18 years old during the action of the series. She fits the image of a "poor little" rich girl, able to have anything she wants except for her father's love. She eventually discovers that her father, Benjamin Horne, the town's business magnate, gave his love to the deceased Laura Palmer, both physically and emotionally.Audrey is labelled a troublemaker and she initially lives up to that expectation. In a memorable scene in the Twin Peaks pilot, she derails one of her father's business deals, worth millions of dollars, by interrupting a meeting of Norwegian investors and telling them about Laura's murder.
Although Audrey and Laura were not friends, Audrey says she "kind of loved Laura" because Laura tutored Audrey's developmentally-disabled brother Johnny.She tries to help investigate Laura's murder by infiltrating a Canadian brothel, One-Eyed Jack's, as a hostess. She remains at the brothel for several episodes that bridge the series' first and second seasons, jeopardizing her life, while she makes some profoundly disturbing discoveries, such as that her father owns the place.
During the first season of Twin Peaks, Audrey develops a crush on FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. In the show's second season, writers planned a serious relationship between Cooper and Audrey, but actor Kyle MacLachlan, who played Cooper, vetoed the plan. He argued that Cooper would not become involved with a high school-age woman. Cooper did, however, become involved with another young woman (Annie Blackburn, about 20 years old) toward the end of the season. Cooper admits to Audrey during their last significant conversation that the real reason why he would not pursue her was for her own safety. During a previous FBI case, he fell in love with a young woman who was then murdered, and perhaps because of Cooper's own carelessness.Miss Twin Peaks beauty pageant, for which she delivers an impassioned speech in favor of saving endangered species.
In sharp contrast to Laura Palmer, as well as to the sultry image that Audrey herself projects at One-Eyed Jack's, Audrey is actually quite chaste. In one of the last episodes she reveals that she is a virgin. Subsequent events then suggest an abrupt and completely voluntary change in her status.In the series finale, Audrey is engaged in an act of civil disobedience atthe local bank to save the local forest. While she is chained to the door of the bank vault, a bomb explodes inside the vault. This was a booby trap left as an ironic reward in a long treasure hunt, planted by the late Thomas Eckhardt. Andrew Packard, Pete Martell, and an elderly banker are the ones closest to the blast, and Audrey's fate is left ambiguous. Sherilyn Fenn stated in an interactive chat on America Online that, if there had been a third season of the show, her character was slated to have survived the explosion.
Also in the finale, it is suggested that Audrey is actually the half-sister of Donna Hayward, whose real father turns out to be Benjamin Horne. Audrey and Donna were on polite terms but never close friends.
In a deleted scene, available on the Twin Peaks Gold Box DVD set, it is revealed that Audrey's mother holds Audrey responsible for her brother Johnny's disability, citing an incident when Audrey, as a toddler, pushed a nine-year-old Johnny down the stairs, in a bitter speech that obviously upsets Audrey greatly. However, Dr. Jacoby insists that Johnny's condition is self-induced: a retreat to childhood as a result of an unknown emotional trauma. It is not known if this story element was deliberately dropped or if there were plans to explore it further had the show not been cancelled.
It is rumored that Lynch's Mulholland Drive, which was originally conceived as a television series, was also envisioned as a spin-off centered around Audrey in which she goes to Hollywood to pursue an acting career.
Angelo Badalamenti composed the leitmotifs Audrey's Dance, Audrey's Prayer, and Audrey for the character.