Walter Olkewicz, the gentle giant who stole scenes in “Twin Peaks,” “Seinfeld,” and “Grace Under Fire,” has died at age 72.
The veteran character actor passed away Tuesday morning at his home in Los Angeles, his son, Zak Olkewicz, confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter.
The co-star of Steven Spielberg’s cult film “1941” and John Grisham’s hit adaptation of Joel Schumacher’s “The Client” died after a 20-year health battle that included a series of knee surgeries that caused infections, which which resulted in disabilities that forced him to quit show business.
“He was a good man who fueled his love of creativity and the arts in everything he did,” Zak told Deadline in a statement on behalf of his family. “He transmitted that passion to me and I hope I can pass it on to the grandchildren he loved so much.
Born on May 14, 1948 in Bayonne, New Jersey, Olkewicz attended Bayonne High School, St. Mary of the Plains College in Kansas and Colorado State University before making his film debut in 1976 “Futureworld” alongside Peter Fonda and Blythe. Danner.
“Seinfeld” fans know him as Nick, the cable guy from a classic 1996 episode, but Olkewicz is perhaps best known as the shadowy Jacques Renault on David Lynch’s ABC series “Twin Peaks” in 1990, as well as in the 1992 feature film “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.”
Olkewicz reprized his role for Lynch’s Showtime reboot in 2017, which would be his last on-screen role. “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 bear it,” his son told the Hollywood Reporter.
In addition to his recurring roles on “Grace Under Fire” and “Who’s the Boss,” the actor’s myriad television credits include guest appearances on such classic series as “ER,” The Rockford Files, “” Taxi, “” Barney Miller, “” Greetings “,” Newhart “,” Falcon Crest “,” Family ties “,” Married … with children “,” Moonlighting “,” LA Law “and” Murder, she wrote “.
She is survived by her son Zak, daughter-in-law Katrina Rennells, and grandchildren Sadie and Declan Robert.