Walter Olkewicz dead – Twin Peaks star dies suddenly after 20-year health battle

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Twin Peaks star Walter Olkewicz has died suddenly at the age of 72, his heartbroken son has confirmed.

Walter, who played bartender and croupier Jacques Renault on the original Twin Peaks, had battled with his health for 20 years and had taken a break from acting to focus on getting better.

His screenwriter son Zak Olkewicz confirmed the sad news and said his father had struggled against the odds to take part in the show's 2017 reboot – his last ever on-screen appearance.

"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.

Walter Olkewicz played bartender and croupier Jacques Renault in Twin Peaks

Walter's son Zak broke the tragic news of his death

Walter also appeared as oil refinery worker Dougie Boudreau on Grace Under Fire, as well as mafia lawyer Jerome "Romey" Clifford in 1994's The Client.

He was known as Nick the cable guy to Seinfeld fans, appearing in a 1996 episode of the sitcom, and also bagged roles on Who's The Boss? and Night Court.

He also played Bubba on Dolly Parton's variety show Dolly!, which ran from 1987 to 1988.

Walter had been bedridden after a series of knee operations that had caused infections, and took a break from acting while his health stabilised.

Walter was a well-known character actor

Walter in Wizards And Warriors

"He was a good man who pushed his love for creativity and the arts into everything he did," said Zak.

"He handed that passion down to me, and I look forward to passing it on to the grandchildren he loved so much."

In a Facebook tribute post, Zak added: "My dad Walter Olkewicz passed away early Tuesday morning from complications due to his ongoing health issues.

"It was sudden but I don't believe he woke up or was in any pain or fear. I'll post something longer later, it's a lot to process and get through.

Walter's son has paid tribute

"Anyone who has reached out that I’ve failed to respond to I’m sorry, and anyone who I was not able to reach in person before news broke I’m sorry as well. He was a lot of great things, but mostly he was a good good person in his heart, and I know from the outreach of kind words from everyone he will be missed by the world as much as by his family."

You can leave your tributes to Walter in the comments section below.