Twin Peaks star Walter Olkewicz dies at the age of 72

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Twin Peaks’ Walter Olkewicz dead: actor who played Jacques Renault dies aged 72 after 20-year health battle

  • Walter died at his Los Angeles homes on Tuesday, with his son, screenwriter Zak Olkewicz, confirming his father’s death
  • The actor was best known for his role as bartender and croupier Jacques Renault in the original series Twin Peaks that aired in 1990.
  • Walter had been dealing with health problems for the past 20 years, with a series of knee surgeries leading to infections that left him bedridden
  • He was subsequently forced to take a break from acting – with his last on-screen role in the 2017 reboot of Twin Peaks, where he played Jacques’ brother, Jean-Michel.
  • His son said: ‘It was his first role in almost 15 years, and he did it all from behind a bar to hide the fact that he couldn’t stand’

Twin Peaks actor Walter Olkewicz has died aged 72.

Walter died at his home in Los Angeles on Tuesday, with his son, screenwriter Zak Olkewicz, confirming his father’s death to the Hollywood Reporter

The actor was best known for his role as bartender and croupier Jacques Renault in the original series Twin Peaks that ran for two seasons between 1990 and 1991.

Walter had faced numerous health problems over the past 20 years, with a series of knee surgeries leading to infections that left him bedridden.

RIP: Twin Peaks actor Walter Olkewicz has passed away at the age of 72 (above on the show as Jacques Renault)

RIP: Twin Peaks actor Walter Olkewicz has passed away at the age of 72 (above on the show as Jacques Renault)

He was then forced to take a break from acting – with his final on-screen role in the 2017 Showtime reboot of Twin Peaks, where he played Jacques’ brother Jean-Michel.

Walter rose to worldwide fame as the Canadian Renault, brother of Jean Renault, (played by Michael Parks) and Bernie (Clay Wilcox) – he became a suspect in Laura’s death.

He starred in the first season of the ABC drama before reprising his role Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992) and Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces (2014).

Tragic Loss: Walter died at his Los Angeles homes on Tuesday, with his son, screenwriter Zak Olkewicz, confirming his father's death to the Hollywood Reporter (pictured together in 2003)

Tragic Loss: Walter died at his Los Angeles homes on Tuesday, with his son, screenwriter Zak Olkewicz, confirming his father's death to the Hollywood Reporter (pictured together in 2003)

Tragic Loss: Walter died at his Los Angeles homes on Tuesday, with his son, screenwriter Zak Olkewicz, confirming his father’s death to the Hollywood Reporter (pictured together in 2003)

The star made his last Twin Peaks appearance on the Showtime reboot 2017, with his son telling the website: ‘It was his first role in almost 15 years, and he did it all from behind a bar to hide the fact that he couldn’t stand. ‘

In addition to his son, Walter is survived by his daughter-in-law Katrina Rennells and grandchildren Sadie and Declan Robert.

Born in Bayonne, New Jersey, USA in 1948, he made his acting debut in the 1976 drama Futureworld.

Reverse: Walter's last on-screen role was as Jean-Michel Renault in the 2017 reboot of Twin Peaks. His son revealed he was behind a bar because he couldn't walk

Reverse: Walter's last on-screen role was as Jean-Michel Renault in the 2017 reboot of Twin Peaks. His son revealed he was behind a bar because he couldn't walk

Reverse: Walter’s last on-screen role was as Jean-Michel Renault in the 2017 reboot of Twin Peaks. His son revealed he was behind a bar because he couldn’t walk

Iconic: Walter played Wally Bodell in a 1983 episode of the iconic sitcom Cheers (pictured left with George Wendt as Norm Peterson)

Iconic: Walter played Wally Bodell in a 1983 episode of the iconic sitcom Cheers (pictured left with George Wendt as Norm Peterson)

Iconic: Walter played Wally Bodell in a 1983 episode of the iconic sitcom Cheers (pictured left with George Wendt as Norm Peterson)

Thriller: He played Mafia attorney Jerome 'Romey' Clifford in the gritty 1994 thriller, The Client, where he appeared alongside Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones.

Thriller: He played Mafia attorney Jerome 'Romey' Clifford in the gritty 1994 thriller, The Client, where he appeared alongside Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones.

Thriller: He played Mafia attorney Jerome ‘Romey’ Clifford in the gritty 1994 thriller, The Client, where he appeared alongside Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones.

The star went on to play Private Hinshaw in the epic Steven Spielberg epic 1941 (1979) – sparking a wave of movie roles, including Making the Grade (1984) and Christopher Guest’s The Big Picture (1989).

He starred as Mafia attorney Jerome ‘Romey’ Clifford in the gritty 1994 thriller, The Client, where he appeared alongside Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones.

Aside from his Twin Peaks TV success, he also starred as Dougie Boudreau on the sitcom Grace Under Fire from 1993 to 1996 – and had roles on shows like Cheers, ER, Murder, She Wrote, Married … with children and moonlight.

After the tragic announcement, tributes were paid to the actor by fellow screen stars and fans.

Treat Williams, Walter’s co-star in 1941, shared a sweet photo of the actors on set, writing, ‘RIP Walter Olkewicz. My fellow refueling crew member in 1941. ‘

Missed: Treat Williams, Walter's co-star in 1941, shared a sweet photo of the actors on set, writing, 'RIP Walter Olkewicz.  My fellow tank crew member in 1941 '

Missed: Treat Williams, Walter's co-star in 1941, shared a sweet photo of the actors on set, writing, 'RIP Walter Olkewicz.  My fellow tank crew member in 1941 '

Missed: Treat Williams, Walter’s co-star in 1941, shared a sweet photo of the actors on set, writing, ‘RIP Walter Olkewicz. My fellow tank crew member in 1941 ‘

Fan Favorite: Fans of the iconic actor also took to Twitter to pay their respects

Fan Favorite: Fans of the iconic actor also took to Twitter to pay their respects

Fan Favorite: Fans of the iconic actor also took to Twitter to pay their respects

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