The star of David Lynch films who played the lead role in Eraserhead and played quirky supporting characters in other Lynch films such as 1997's Lost Highway, 1984's Dune, and 1986's Blue Velvet as well as in Lynch's TV series Twin Peaks.
He was in a touring children's theatre troupe and later performed with the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.
He met David Lynch after becoming involved with avant-garde theater, and was cast in almost every one of Lynch's films.
His father, Hoyt Nance, was a Neiman Marcus store executive.
He was a finalist for the lead role in The Graduate, but the part went to Dustin Hoffman.