Henry “Hank” Deutschendorf, the child actor who played baby Oscar in Ghostbusters II, died on June 14 of an apparent suicide at the age of 29. According to the San Diego Coroner’s report, it was a suicide by hanging.
The former actor was discovered by his twin brother, William, who also starred as baby Oscar in the Ghostbusters sequel, in the apartment he shared with his girlfriend.
The coroner’s report says, “The decedent was a single, 29-year-old Caucasian male who resided with his girlfriend in an apartment in the city of Escondido. On the evening of 06/14/17, he was found suspended by a ligature around his neck in his closet by his brother.”
The report continues, “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.”
Earlier today, William confirmed the news in a powerful blog post, “It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my twin brother, Hank. On Wednesday, June 14th, 2017, Henry John Deutschendorf II lost his battle with schizoaffective disorder.”
Hanks Hope For A Cure/Facebook
The lengthy post continued, “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.”
The brother in mourning added, “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.”
He continued, “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.”
His post went on to describe how his illness changed his brother. “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,” said William.
“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.”
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).