Henry “Hank” Deutschendorf, one of the twin actors who played baby Oscar in Ghostbusters II, died by suicide on Wednesday, June 14, Us Weekly confirms. He was 29.
According to a press release from the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office, Deutschendorf was “found suspended by a ligature around his neck” in a closet in his apartment in Escondido, California. His brother cut him down from the ligature and called 911. First responders pronounced Deutschendorf dead “without medical interventions due to signs of rigidity,” the release says.
William Deutschendorf, the actor’s twin who also played Oscar in the 1989 supernatural comedy, confirmed in a BRB Foundation blog post that his brother had passed away after a long battle with schizoaffective disorder.
“Many people do not know much about Hank. Some knew him as Baby Oscar in Ghostbusters II or John Denver’s nephew. Others knew him as a brother, son, martial artist, teacher, uncle, or friend,” William, 29, wrote. “What people do not know about Hank was that he suffered from schizoaffective disorder. It is a chronic mental health condition which is a combination of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. He experienced hallucinations, delusions, depression, and mania. It is a very severe mental illness that usually requires a lifetime of treatment. It is not well studied, so the treatment is largely an estimation based on schizophrenia and bipolar treatments.”
After Hank was diagnosed with the disorder in August 2008, “he felt like a zombie, lost his personality, gained weight quickly, slept for 12 hours a day and had to use all of his willpower just to lift his hand to drink a cup of water,” William wrote.
“Our parents will always remember him as a loving son,” William continued. “His family will remember him as someone who was always there when they needed him. … I will remember him as my best friend, my partner, my brother, and the bravest man I have ever known.”
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