Walter Olkewicz died on Apr. 6, 2021 in Reseda, Calif. after struggling with health issues for nearly 20 years, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 72 years old.
Olkewicz was born on May 14, 1948 in Bayonne, New Jersey. He went on to Colorado State University and made his acting debut in the 1976 film Futureworld. The actor became best known for his role as bartender and croupier Jacques Renault on the 1990 show Twin Peaks. He reprised the role on Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992) and Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces (2014). Olkewicz also had a recurring role as Dougie Boudreau, an oil refinery worker on the ABC show Grace Under Fire.
His son Zak Olkewicz shared a touching message about his father’s legacy, via Deadline. “He was a good man who pushed his love for creativity and the arts into everything he did. He handed that passion down to me, and I look forward to passing it on to the grandchildren he loved so much.”
One would think Olewicz’s illustrious acting career would yield a massive financial reward. Keep reading to see how much he was really worth.
Walter Olkewicz struggled with medical bills
Walter Olkewicz is worth an estimated $1 million, according to Idol Net Worth. The actor underwent numerous knee surgeries throughout his career, and it’s possible his medical bills took a bite out of his earnings.
His injuries came to a head when he appeared in the 2017 Twin Peaks reboot, and his son Zak Olkewicz said his father could barely stand. “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,” he said of his father’s last film credit (via The Hollywood Reporter).
According to The Sun, Olkewicz launched a series of crowdfunding campaigns to help pay for his medical bills. The actor detailed his health issues on IndieGogo, saying he had been wheelchair-bound for the past ten years, and almost had to get his leg amputated after constant battles with infections. “None of this is covered by insurance,” he wrote. “I’ve depleted all of my savings and I simply can not afford to continue without help.”
At the time of this writing, Olkewicz received $19,033 in donations, and the fundraiser has since been closed. Our thoughts are with the Olkewicz family.
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