Hank Deutschendorf, Ghostbusters II Star, Dead of Apparent Suicide
Hank Deutschendorf, a former child actor best known for his role in Ghostbusters II, was found dead at his home in California on June 14.
He was 29 years old.
This sad piece of news has been confirmed by Hank’s twin brother, William, who co-starred with his sibling as a baby named Oscar in the aforementioned 1989 movie.
Both very young at the time, the brothers portrayed the son of Sigourney Weaver’s character in the popular sequel.
They are also the nephews of musician John Denver.
According to multiple outlets, William tragically discovered Hank’s body in the apartment Hank shared with his girlfriend in Escondido.
The official coroner’s report states that a “a single, 29-year-old Caucasian male” who resided where he died was “found suspended by a ligature around his neck in his closet by his brother.”
Continues this same report:
“After cutting him down, 9-1-1 was called and first responders arrived at the home. His death was then confirmed without medical interventions due to signs of rigidity.
“He had a long history of depression.”
Via a lengthy blog post, William confirmed the passing of his brother and talked about him in moving detail.
“It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my twin brother, Hank,” wrote the distraught sibling, explaining:
“On Wednesday, June 14th, 2017, Henry John Deutschendorf II lost his battle with schizoaffective disorder.”
William then made a point to introduce Hank to the world, while simultaneously saying goodbye.
“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.
“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.”
Hank appeared as himself in a 2017 documentary about Ghostbusters titled Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters.
But he mostly remained out of the spotlight following his young foray into acting.
Added William in tribute:
“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.
“Hank was diagnosed in August of 2008.”
The illness changed Hank in numerous ways, most notably when it came to his personality and his general state of mind.
“If you knew Hank before his diagnosis, you knew a young man who was upbeat, healthy, witty, kind, outgoing, and was always ready to stand up for people.
“Medication curbed the delusions but it did not stop the voices,” wrote William, who concluded:
“The side effects of the medication took a toll on Hank. He felt like a zombie, lost his personality, gained weight quickly, slept for twelve hours a day, and had to use all of his willpower just to lift his hand to drink a cup of water.
“My brother was left with a Band-Aid for a gunshot wound…
“His girlfriend will remember him as someone who made her feel like the most important person in the world.
“I will remember him as my best friend, my partner, my brother, and the bravest man I have ever known.”
William also asked folks to support the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation in Hank’s memory.
In addition to honoring Hank’s memory, William said, “It is also very important to me to immediately spread awareness about schizophrenia, bipolar, and suicide prevention.”
May Hank Deutschendorf rest in peace.