Actor Walter Olkewicz, perhaps best known for playing the role of the bartender and casino croupier Jacques Renault in David Lynch’s and Mark Frost’s classic show Twin Peaks, passed away on April 6, 2021, at his home in Reseda in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 72.
In 2017, Olkewicz was briefly able to return to the Twin Peaks universe when he played Jean-Michel Renault Twin Peaks: The Return. Beyond this role, he was also known for starring in many movies and TV shows dating all the way back to the 1970s, including Grace Under Fire and Wizards and Warriors. He had also guest-starred on many shows, including Seinfeld.
Why Did Olkewicz Pass Away?
The actor had, in fact, been struggling with various health problems and complications for about the last twenty years.
Many of his medical issues had to do with infections that he had contracted from past surgeries. The most serious of these was perhaps a knee surgery that he had many years ago, which left him struggling with infection for the rest of his life.
As his health problems worsened, Olkewicz was eventually forced to end his acting career, and his son Zak had essentially become his spokesperson thereafter. Zak Olkewicz was the first person to break the news of his father’s death.
Speaking to the Hollywood reporter, Zak Olkewics — who also happens to be a screenwriter — revealed all of the aforementioned health problems that his father had long been contending with.
He did not specifically attribute his father’s death to any of these things, but it’s clear that they likely played a role. No specific cause of death has yet been established, however, nor has the Olkewicz family yet announced any funeral plans.
Besides his son, Walter Olkewicz is also survived by his grandchildren Sadie and Declan Robert and his daughter-in-law Katrina Rennells.