Along with his twin brother Will Deutschendorf, Henry “Hank” Deutschendorf portrayed Oscar, the infant son of Dana Barrett, in the 1989 sequel Ghostbusters II. We’re sad to report that at just 28 years old, Hank recently lost his battle with schizoaffective disorder.
Hank Deutschendorf, the nephew of late musician John Denver, never returned to acting after Ghostbusters II, though he did appear in recent documentary Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters. Along with Will, Hank had been running San Diego’s West Coast Martial Arts Academy for the past several years.
Will made the sad announcement this week through the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation’s ‘Hank’s Hope for a Cure’ fundraising website.
“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,” wrote Will. “Many people do not know much about Hank. Some knew him as Baby Oscar in Ghostbusters 2 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. It is a very severe mental illness that usually requires a lifetime of treatment.”
“Hank was diagnosed in August of 2008. 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. 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 bandaid for a gunshot wound.”
“By the end he had 25 voices, all with different personalities and opinions, but mostly agreeing they did not like Hank.”