Henry “Hank” Deutschendorf, who portrayed baby Oscar in Ghostbusters 2 has apparently committed suicide, he was 29 years old. Henry and his twin brother William portrayed baby Oscar, Dana Barrett’s (Sigourney Weaver) baby. The two were recently in a documentary about Ghostbusters II, entitled “Cleanin’ Up the Town,” but neither of the twins acted again after that role. Afterwards, Henry and William became martial arts teachers and trainers at their own center in California. Henry was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in August of 2008 and hung on for as long as he could before taking his own life last week.
William found his twin brother in his apartment in Escondido, California after Henry had hung himself according to law enforcement sources. William and his family have set up a DonorDrive to raise awareness for the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation as well as share memories of their brother and son. Read what William had to say about Henry below.
” 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.”
William continues and explains that the medication soon took its toll on Henry.
“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.”
Schizoaffective disorder is a condition that includes both aspects of schizophrenia and a mood disorder that can either be bipolar disorder or a major depressive disorder. Scientists and professionals are uncertain to whether the disorder is more of a mood or schizophrenic disorder so it’s often treated as a hybrid disorder. Schizophrenia on its own can distort the way that an individual thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality, and relates to others. Mixing that with a mood disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder adds to the mix, throwing feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, severe mood changes, and many more symptoms.
As William stated above, medication is often like “putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound,” but Henry soldiered on as their martial arts studio began to thrive. He still kept his training going through multiple types of martial arts, but towards the end of his life he was not able to leave the house due to crippling depression and the voices in his head. William says that Henry “fought every day of his life.”
Henry and William are also the nephews of the late country singer John Denver. In addition to remembering his brother, William also took time to advocate for the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. “It is also very important to me to immediately spread awareness about schizophrenia, bipolar, and suicide prevention.” His family, nieces and nephews, close friends, students, and his girlfriend will remember hank. You can read William’s entire tribute to Henry “Hank” Deutschendorf and donate to the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation at the link: BBRFoundation.