Walter Olkewicz, the gentle giant who stole scenes in “Twin Peaks,” “Seinfeld” and “Grace Under Fire,” has died at 72.
The veteran character actor’s son Zak Olkewicz confirmed his passing Tuesday morning at his home in Los Angeles, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The co-star of Steven Spielberg’s cult film “1941” and Joel Schumacher’s hit John Grisham adaptation “The Client” died after a 20-year health battle that included a series of knee surgeries that caused infections that resulted in disabilities that forced him to miss out on roles, his son told the outlet.
Born on May 14, 1948, in Bayonne, NJ, Olkewicz attended Bayonne High School, St. Mary of the Plains College in Kansas and Colorado State University before making his film debut in in 1976’s “Futureworld” opposite Peter Fonda and Blythe Danner.
“Seinfeld” fans know him as Nick the cable guy — but Olkewicz is best-known as Jacques Renault on the first season of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” in 1990 and in the 1992 feature film “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.”
Olkewicz reprised his role for Lynch’s 2017 Showtime reboot, 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 stand,” his son told the Hollywood Reporter.
The actor’s myriad TV credits include guest appearances on classic seres such as “E.R.,” The Rockford Files,” “Taxi,” Barney Miller,” “Cheers,” “Newhart,” “Falcon Crest,” “Family Ties,” “Married … With Children,” “Moonlighting,” “L.A. Law” and “Murder, She Wrote.”
He is survived by his son Zak, daughter-in-law, Katrina Rennells, and grandchildren Sadie and Declan Robert.