Rest In Peace, Walter Olkewicz (1948-2021)

Walter Olkewicz, known to Twin Peaks fans as Jacques Renault (Season 1, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me) and Jean-Michel Renault (Season 3), died the morning of April 7, 2021, at his Reseda home in Los Angeles, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

With “Bite the bullet, baby,” “I am the Great Went” and “I’m as blank as a fart,” Walter delivered a few of Twin Peaks’s most memorable lines.

I Am The Great Went

It was well-known the actor with over 100 credits to his name including Seinfeld and The Client, struggled with health issues for two decades. He relied heavily on his online fan base to chip in for treatments. Here’s the most recent email he sent out to those who supported him over the last decade:

 

Things are going better in my life. My Transcendental Meditation is going well. I’m less stressed and more calm. That combined with the plant-based diet makes for a happier body as I’m fighting my fight to better my body and get out of this bed. I set as a short term goal raising enough money to get a new mattress to at least maneuver better. That will help me till I can replace the old bed as a long-term goal. So I reach out again. Happy Easter and Passover and to my friends in the Yamahaki Indian Tribe, Happy Booboo yateh – not too many dried Yak eyeballs now!

Even though he was bedridden due to a series of knee surgeries, the actor returned back to the set in 2016 for Twin Peaks: The Return. “It was his first role in almost 15 years,” his son, screenwriter Zak Olkewicz, told The Hollywood Reporter. “[H]e did it all from behind a bar to cover the fact that he couldn’t stand.”

Rest in peace, Walter.

UPDATE: Today, in his daily weather report, David Lynch had the following to say about Walter’s passing:

I was very sad to hear about the passing of Walter Olkewicz, also known as Jacques Renault and Jean-Michel Renault of Twin Peaks. Walter, you did great work. And Walter, you will be missed.

Walter Olkewicz as Jean-Michel Renault behind the scenes of Twin Peaks: The Return
Walter Olkewicz as Jean-Michel Renault behind the scenes of Twin Peaks: The Return
Walter Olkewicz and David Lynch on the set of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
Walter Olkewicz and David Lynch on the set of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Walter Olkewicz as the cable guy in Seinfeld
Walter Olkewicz as Nick the cable guy in Seinfeld

Written by Pieter Dom

Founder and curator of Welcome to Twin Peaks since 2011. Bobsessed since March 1991.

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