Character actor Walter Olkewicz, best known for his roles on Twin Peaks and Grace Under Fire, has died at the age of 72.
Olkewicz passed away early Tuesday morning at his Reseda home in Los Angeles, as revealed by his son, screenwriter Zak Olkewicz, to The Hollywood Reporter. Over the past 20 years, he struggled with health issues and had a series of knee surgeries that caused infections, forcing him to take a leave from acting.
In Twin Peaks, Olkewicz portrayed the Canadian bartender and croupier Jacques Renault during season one. He returned for Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces, and the 2017 Showtime reboot, which served as his final credit.
“It was his first role in almost 15 years, and he did it all from behind a bar to cover the fact that he couldn’t stand,” Zak Olkewicz revealed.
His other major TV role was oil refinery worker Dougie Boudreau on the first four seasons of Grace Under Fire. He notably made a cameo on Seinfeld as Nick the cable guy, while also playing Tiny McGee in Who’s the Boss?
As for the big screen, Olkewicz played Private Hinshaw in Steven Spielberg’s 1941 and mafia lawyer Jerome “Romey” Clifford in Joel Schumacher’s The Client.
He also appeared on shows like The Rockford Files, Taxi, Barney Miller, Cheers, Falcon Crest, ER, Family Ties, Married … With Children, Moonlighting, LA Law, and Murder, She Wrote.