You know Baby Oscar, but you don't know Hank Deutschendorf.
The 29-year-old Deutschendorf starred in Ghostbusters II as the infant son of Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), one of Peter Venkman's (Bill Murray) first clients. You might remember him as the blonde, bubbly baby on an American classic, yet the little boy's life on-screen was less spooky than his life off camera. He struggled with schizoaffective disorder, which is a mix of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
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Hank Deutschendorf's Struggle With Mental Health
His mental health only continued to deteriorate over the years.
"He experienced hallucinations, delusions, depression, and mania," his twin William says. Since little is known about Deutschendorf's condition, he coped with his mental illness through various treatments, and exercise was one of them. He made money by teaching martial arts. However, his toughest pupil was his own mind. He fought uphill battles daily, but, no matter the difficulty of the day, he managed to put a smile on other people's faces. "His family will remember him as someone who was always there when they needed him. His nieces and nephews will remember him as the funnest uncle who was always ready to play. His close friends will remember how he always helped them look for the silver lining," William says.
Deutschendorf took his own life a few days ago.
While Baby Oscar played his part in Ghostbusters II, Deutschendorf played an even bigger part in the lives of his family, friends, and girlfriend. However, even in death, the actor's making a difference. In response to his brother's suicide, William wants to further Deutschendorf's light. "William announced his passing in a moving tribute which hopes to raise funds for the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation," an Independent article states. Schizoaffective disorder currently impacts between 2 to 5 individuals out of 1000. William hopes to do more than just raise awareness, though. He hopes to raise enough money for research.
Baby Oscar would be proud.