Gersten Hayward is the youngest of three Hayward sisters. Her father is the town doctor William "Doc" Hayward and her mother Eileen sits in a wheelchair and tends the home. Unlike her sisters and her parents, Gersten is a redhead. She is skillful at playing the piano.


On an evening in early March, 1989, Gersten welcomed her family and the Palmers to the "Hayward Supper Club."[1]

She wore her fairy princess outfit for the school play and said she had received the highest grades in math and English, like her sisters. She presented Harriet, who read the Palmers a poem about their deceased daughter Laura as Gersten played a piece on the piano. After the poem, she played Mendelssohn's "Rondo Capriccioso, Opus 14."[1]

During dinner, she was asked by Leland Palmer to play "Get Happy," as he wished to sing and she does so.[1]

Behind the scenesEdit

Gersten was played by American actress Alicia Witt, who previously appeared in David Lynch's 1984 film Dune.

While a minor character on the show, Episode 8 ends with the credits rolling over footage of Gersten playing the piano. This is notable in that it is one of the few episodes that do not end with credits rolling over a static image, most often a photo of Laura Palmer. While some fans have passed off the footage as director Lynch's way of showcasing Witt's talent, others have attempted to read more into the scene, much in the manner that fans read into countless other strange aspects of the series.

Alicia Witt is to reprise the role in the 2017 revival.


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