His son Zak Olkewicz, a screenwriter, confirmed to EW that his father passed away Tuesday morning. "He was a good man who pushed his love for creativity and the arts into everything he did," he said in a statement. "He handed that passion down to me, and I look forward to passing it on to the grandchildren he loved so much."
Olkewicz was perhaps most beloved by audiences for his work in the Twin Peaks universe. He played bartender and croupier Jacques Renault on the original series, which ran from 1990 to 1991, and reprised the role in the 1992 film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Olkewicz made his final screen appearance in the role in 2017, as part of the Showtime revival. It marked his first role in nearly 15 years.
He was also familiar to TV viewers for his portrayal of oil refinery worker Dougie Boudreau on the ABC sitcom Grace Under Fire. He recurred in the role for the show's first four seasons. And Seinfeld obsessives will recognize Olkewicz as Nick the cable guy, from the 1996 episode "The Cadillac."
Warner Bros. Television / courtesy Everett Collection Walter Olkewicz in 'Wizards and Warriors'
Olkewicz was born May 14, 1948, in Bayonne, N.J. He made his screen debut in 1976's Futureworld and landed a more featured role in Steven Spielberg's 1979 war comedy 1941.
From then on, he worked steadily in film and television through the late '90s, when health complications prevented him from appearing on screen. Other notable film credits included Making the Grade, The Big Picture, Stuart Saves His Family, Par 6, and The Client.
But Olkewicz was most prolific in television. He had recurring roles on many short-lived series, including The Last Resort, Wizards and Warriors, Partners in Crime, and Dolly Parton's 1987-88 ABC variety show, Dolly.
He also made memorable guest appearances on shows such as Who's The Boss?, Night Court, Cheers, Taxi, Barney Miller, Married… With Children, Moonlighting, L.A. Law, The Rockford Files, Newhart, ER, Family Ties, Dharma & Greg, and Murder, She Wrote.
Oklewicz is survived by his son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.