Walter Olkewicz, ‘Twin Peaks’ and ‘Grace Under Fire’ Actor, Dies at 72

by Jon D. B.

‘Twin Peaks’ actor Walter Olkewicz, known for his remarkable characters in television in film, has died at age 72.

Known to most as bartender and croupier Jacques Renault on ‘Twin Peaks’ original incarnation, brilliant character actor Walter Olkewicz’s starred in countless features in unique roles for decades.

Wednesday evening, THR reports Olkewicz has died at age 72 in his Redesa, Los Angeles home. According to his son, screenwriter Zak Olkewicz, Walter “had struggled with health issues during the past 20 years and had a series of knee surgeries that caused infections, led to him being bedridden and forced him to take a break from acting.”

In addition to his ‘Twin Peaks’ role, ‘Seinfeld’ fans will know Walter Olkewicz as “Nick the cable guy” from the 1996 episode “The Cadillac.”

From here, the character actor would tackle the role of Tiny McGee on ABC’s ‘Who’s the Boss,’ alongside Walter Plimp on NBC’s ‘Night Court.’ He would also appear in film as part of Steven Spielberg’s ‘1941,’ alongside Joel Schumacher’s ‘The Client.’

Remembering Walter Olkewicz

Walter Olkewicz was born on May 14, 1948 in the New Jersey city of Bayonne. There, he attended Bayonne High School, before attending St. Mary of the Plains College in Kansas. Afterward, he would move to Colorado State University. Then, his big break came as part of the cast of 1976’s ‘Futureworld.’

‘Futureworld’ marked the beginning of a promising film career for Walter Olkewicz. Shortly after, he would portray Private Hinshaw in Spielberg’s ‘1941’ in 1979. Later on, he would be cast in films like ‘Making the Grade’ and ‘The Big Picture’ during the 80s.

90’s film fans will remember Walter from ‘Stuart Saves His Family’ (1995). After the turn of the century, he would star in ‘Par 6’ in 2002, as well.

Best known on television as part of the original ‘Twin Peaks’ cast, Olkewicz would return for the show’s reboot in 2017. “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,” his son notes to THR.

In addition to his son, Zak Olkewicz, Walter Olkewicz is survived by his daugther-in-law, Katrina Rennells, also a screenwriter. His two grandchildren, Sadie and Declan Robert, also survive the actor.