Donna Hayward was the best friend of Laura Palmer, and after her death she was obsessed with finding out who killed her and why, with the help of James Hurley, Laura's secret boyfriend and Donna's new love interest, and Maddy Ferguson, the look-a-like cousin of Laura.
At the end of season two, it is strongly suggested that Doc Hayward might not be Donna's biological father after all, and that she is in fact the daughter of Benjamin Horne and half-sister to Audrey Horne. However, due to the series' cancellation, this theory has not been elaborated upon. In the final episode, Doc Hayward attacks Benjamin and although it seems that Ben has been seriously injured, Doc Hayward shows up at the end of the episode relatively back to his normal temperament.
Twin Peaks (1990-1991)Edit
Donna Hayward walks to her locker at Twin Peaks High School. She is amused at Audrey Horne changing into a pair of heels and smoking a few lockers away. James Hurley comes to her and asks if she had seen her best friend, Laura Palmer, yet that day, to which she says no, and he says it is a nice day for a picnic. She then goes to class and sees a deputy show up during roll call, asking for Bobby Briggs. She then observes a girl outside the classroom window, screaming. She looks at Laura's empty desk, then at James, becoming worried. Suspecting the worst, she begins crying.
She is surrounded by friends for comfort as the principal makes an announcement to the school about Laura's death. She cries as the announcement ends and looks over to James.
Later, Donna goes to Big Ed's gas station and goes to him. He pulls her into a hug and comforts her. She asks if he had seen James and he gives her the message he had left for her.]], saying to meet him at the Roadhouse after 9:30. Just then, her boyfriend, Mike arrives and angrily asks where she has been, saying she should be with him, supporting Bobby. Ed comes to her defense and Mike commands her to go to the sheriff's station, then leaves. Ed's wife, Nadine then yells at him to hang her drapes. Donna then leaves.
She is brought in for questioning before Sheriff Harry S. Truman and FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, where she is asked about the picnic that was filmed, but she insists that it was recorded by a female hiker, despite Cooper revealing that he knows Laura had a secret boyfriend. He lets her go.
In the evening, Donna overhears her parents talking about the events that occurred over the day, including the discovery of Laura's necklace, which is not a detail that has been released to the public. She learns that the authorities believe the killer may be in possession of the other half of the heart. She sneaks into her sister, Harriet's bedroom and tells her that she will be leaving through the window, despite the curfew, and wants Harriet to cover for her. She then leaves to go meet James, borrowing Harriet's bike.
She arrives at the Roadhouse, where Mike waits for her with Bobby, the former angrily grabs her, though Ed and other bar patrons intervene and Joey Paulson escorts her out of the Roadhouse. Joey takes her to James in the woods.
She tells him that the authorities are looking for him, but he says he will be cooperative, despite his belief that they will lock him up because he was with Laura the previous night. James also describes Laura the previous night, saying she was like a completely different person and that it made sense for her to have been killed. When he begins expressing guilt, the two kiss and hear sirens. They bury the necklace, which is in James' possession, and they drive off, but are stopped by the sheriff and Agent Cooper and are taken to the sheriff's station.
She is released to her father, though Truman asks for her to be back in the morning for questioning. Her father takes her home after a short talk.
Donna goes downstairs to her living room, where her mother is, asking why she was not taken back to the sheriff's station for questioning that morning, but is told the authorities postponed her questioning to the next day and that she had cried in her sleep overnight. She also reveals her current feelings, including her budding romance with James.
She goes to the Palmer home, told by Leland to try to not upset his wife. She sits down next to Mrs. Palmer and holds her hand, but she then thinks Donna is Laura and hugs her before screaming and Leland comes back to console her.
At home, the doorbell rings. It is James, who has come to have dinner with her family.
After dinner she sits with James as her parents go to bed. James tells her that he believes their relationship is not wrong and would have happened even if Laura had not died.
For lunch the next day after church, she goes to the Double R Diner with her family and they see Audrey come in. Donna goes to speak to her and they talk about Laura as well as Audrey's crush on Agent Cooper.
Donna attends Laura's funeral.
Donna sits at the Palmer home as Sarah Palmer describes to Deputy Andy Brennan a man she saw in a vision. When Leland comes in, he mentions another vision Sarah claimed to have, in which a gloved hand picked up James' half of the necklace.
She does her makeup at school when Audrey comes in and tells her the secrets Laura had, including that she had been seeing Doctor Lawrence Jacoby, which had not been known to Donna. Audrey also supposes that Laura worked at the brothel One Eyed Jack's.
At home, Donna receives a call from James and she says they need to talk about Laura.
That night, she goes with James to the woods to find the half of Laura's necklace they buried, but do not find it.
She meets with James at the gazebo in the park after he left her a note. He tells her that his father is still alive and had abandoned he and his mother, who is an alcoholic.
Donna goes to the diner with him, where she meets Laura's cousin, Maddy Ferguson. She swears Maddy to secrecy of their investigation into Laura's murder and says they have heard of Laura having a hiding place in her home and wish for Maddy to find it. They then leave the diner together.
Later that night, she receives a call from Maddy, who tells her she has found a tape in Laura's hiding place.
Donna listens to the tape found by Maddy. It was made for Doctor Jacoby and in it, Laura expresses the ease of recording the tape and mentions a coconut in relation to secrets. They find that a tape recorded the night Laura died is missing, and James supposes that Jacoby must still have it. He then suggests they go to Jacoby's office to look for the tape, and they can lure him out with a "phone call from Laura."
At night, she meets James and Maddy in the park, the latter wearing a blonde wig to make her look exactly like Laura.
She stands by as James calls Jacoby and hands over the phone to Maddy, who lures Jacoby by speaking as Laura. She and James go to the office, leaving Maddy in the park.
After watching Jacoby leave, they go into his office.
In the office, Donna finds a coconut, remembering Laura's tape. Inside she finds the missing tape and half of Laura's necklace. She leaves with James on his motorcycle.
They go back to Donna's house, where they listen to the tape, in which she notes James to be sweet, but dumb, and mentions a "mystery man" who drives a red corvette. James then says Jacoby did not kill Laura and that he was trying to help her, but Donna asks how he came into possession of her necklace.
She goes to the Double R Diner and meets with Maddy, who gives her a pair of Laura's sunglasses. Maddy breaks her own pair of glasses as Donna lights a cigarette. Maddy asks about James being arrested and if they are responsible for a heart attack suffered by Doctor Jacoby. Maddy tells her that Leland's hair has turned white, just before Norma delivers a note saying 'LOOK INTO THE MEALS ON WHEELS.'
She goes to the sheriff's station to see James. She asks what he told them and he says he did not give up her or Maddy.
She calls Norma about the Meals on Wheels, offering to pick up Laura's route. She then joins her family and the Palmers to watch her sisters, Gersten and Harriet pay piano and read a poem about Laura, respectively. Donna tells Maddy about the Meals on Wheels and that she is to start the next day.
Donna goes to the home of an elderly woman named Mrs. Tremond for a Meals on Wheels delivery. Tremond's grandson sits in a chair in the room. The old woman complains about the creamed corn, which soon disappears from her plate and into the hands of her grandson, who has apparently performed a magic trick. Mrs. Tremond tells her about the neighbor, Mr. Smith and that he was friends with Laura. She goes next door to Smith's house. He does not answer, so she leaves him a note.
Donna sits in her living room with Maddy, singing "Just You and I" along with Maddy and James, the latter also playing guitar. During the song, she stares longingly at him and notices that Maddy does the same and seems to receive all of James' attention. This upsets Donna and she runs out of the room. She is pursued by James and she insists there is nothing wrong and kisses him.
Her father then calls down saying there is a phone call for her from Harold Smith, Mrs. Tremond's neighbor. She answers the phone and they arrange to meet. Maddy screams and she goes with James to her aid.
She goes to Harold's home and they discuss Laura briefly. As Harold goes to get a flower from his greenhouse for Laura's grave, Donna finds an envelope, but cannot see what it is before he comes back in.
Donna goes to the Double R Diner, where she sees Maddy with her hand on James' hand. This angers her and she tells James about Harold, who she sees as much better than he. She then storms out of the diner.
She goes to Laura's grave with Harold's flower and expresses her feelings about what has occurred since her death and is upset with her for dying.
She goes to the Palmer home, where she catches Maddy and James in an embrace, then leaves.
She goes to Harold to talk to him about her situation with James. She looks at a flower as Harold gets her something to drink, but also discovers Laura's diary.
Donna goes to the diner and tells Hank that she has plans to have lunch with Harold. She takes her Meals on Wheels delivery and leaves for Harold's house. They drink to Laura's memory and he shares some of Laura's diary to her. She suggests he turn it into the authorities, but he sees to reason to, as Laura gave it to him and it contains no solutions.
She meets Maddy at the diner to discuss what is going on between them and James. She quickly changes the subject to Laura's diary in Harold's possession.
Donna brings lunch to Harold and offers to tell her life story to him in exchange for reading Laura's diary, but he says he will read it to her and that it cannot leave the room. He retrieves a notebook from a secret compartment of his shelf and she begins telling him about her life, but soon makes the conversation about him instead, distracting him. She snatches the diary and backs up out the door. Harold steps outside and collapses.
She and Maddy later plan to retrieve the diary from Harold.
She meets with Harold again to put the plan in motion. She tells him about an experience with Laura when she was 13 or 14 where young men took them to the woods and they went skinny-dipping. She says that this event was the first time she fell in love, this having been with one of the boys who was named Tim.
Harold shows her his flowers and they kiss. Harold excuses himself and Donna goes to give a signal for Maddy to come inside. From the greenhouse, she signals Maddy where to find the diary. She is startles when Harold returns. She tries to distract him while Maddy searches for the diary, but she is caught. Upset, Harold corners them.
Harold expresses his utmost disappointment in Donna for betraying his trust. He tries to take the diary, but James bursts in to save the girls, but Harold manages to grab the diary back.
She goes to meet with Sheriff Truman, who is skeptical of her claim that Harold has a second diary by Laura. He suspects that the teenagers are getting into trouble again, but says he will try to send someone to Smith's home. A loud man, FBI Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole interrupts them and, much to Donna's annoyance, he and Truman speak privately, leaving her to wait on the sheriff. However, she is soon forgotten about.
She meets with James at the Roadhouse, where they discuss Harold's suicide and her guilt over it. James also tells her that Maddy will be leaving and she lip-syncs with the singer, who performs "Rockin' Back Inside My Heart." She is then overcome with emotion during the next song, "The World Spins."
Donna goes to the Palmer home with James to say goodbye to Maddy, but Leland says he dropped her off at the bus station 20 minutes before. They then leave after observing that the living room is strewn with golf balls.
Donna sits with James, who gives her a ring, wishing to be with her all the time. She approves and they share a kiss.
They go to the diner, where she hears Deputy Andy saying, "J'ai une âme solitaire," and she questions him about Mrs. Tremond, but he says this was actually Harold Smith's suicide note and that it means, "I am a lonely soul." She hurriedly goes to get Agent Cooper.
She tells Cooper about Mrs. Tremond and they go to her house, but a different, middle-aged Mrs. Tremond answers the door, claiming to know nothing of the older woman. This Mrs. Tremond then delivers an envelope to Donna from Harold, containing a page from Laura's diary, where she describes a dream of being in a red room with a little man and an old man. It also says that "Bob" must be stopped and that she knows she will die the following night.
She goes to the Palmer home to deliver a tape for Maddy of the song they recorded with James. She gives it to Leland and asks him about Laura's secret diary, which he was unaware of. He then receives a call from Maddy's mother and Donna fearfully listens to him speak on the phone, as Maddy apparently did not return home. He tells her she has nothing to worry about.
Leland brings Donna some lemonade and puts on a record after assuring that Maddy is okay. He offers for them to dance and she accepts. He soon violently pulls her to him, letting her go when the doorbell rings. Leland lets in Sheriff Truman, who says there has been another murder.
Making the connection to Maddy's absence, she meets James by the lake. She informs him that Maddy is dead. He says they could have helped her and leaves whilst upset.
After Leland dies in custody after being arrested for Laura's murder, Donna attends the reception after his funeral. She confides in Ed about James believing the chaos in the town to be caused by him.
Nadine approaches her at her locker and Donna asks if she has seen James, to which she denies. Nadine then asks Donna if she is still dating Mike and is excited when she says she is not.
Donna is approached by Mike, who has lost a wrestling match to Nadine and asks her to pretend they are still dating to end Nadine's wishes to go out with him.
She goes to Ed's house, still looking for James. He tells her that he requested money be delivered to a specific bar and Donna offers to deliver it to him.
Donna goes to Wallies Hideout, the bar James requested his money be delivered to. There, she meets a woman who tells her that James possibly went to Mexico and tells her to go home.
In the evening, she goes to the woman's home, from which James leaves. He finds Donna and they leave together.
She goes back to Wallies Hideout with James, who says he is being framed for the murder of the woman's husband, Jeffrey Marsh. James insists that he go back and talk to the woman -- Evelyn -- as he believes she will tell the truth to the police. Donna calls Ed and fills him in on the details as a deputy named Frank enters the bar.
Later, she returns to the bar where she meets Evelyn again. She resists telling Donna the reasoning she has helped frame James, and a man comes to get Evelyn. Donna tries to follow, but the man threatens to kill her. As the man leaves with Evelyn, Donna pleads on James' behalf.
She goes back to the Marsh house, where she sees the man try to convince Evelyn to leave her fingerprints on his gun so he can then kill James, who is an their feet, unconscious. She then bursts into the house and pleads for his life. Malcolm commands Evelyn to give him the gun, but she shoots him.
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with MeEdit
Donna has not been confirmed to appear in the 2017 revival, as neither Lara Flynn Boyle nor Moira Kelly are listed in the cast. However, there has been speculation that the role has been re-cast again, since the actors of Doc Hayward and Gersten Hayward have been confirmed to return.