Marko in Unicorn of Death (1_1)

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Arkatov, Janice.  "Calendar:  Faces --  More Mr. Nice Guy."  Los Angeles Times 12 August 1989, home ed., sec. 5:  2.


More Mr. Nice Guy


by Janice Arkatov


Walter Olkewicz likes doing the good guys.

In his current role in Barbara Bishop's "Siblings" (at the Gnu Theatre in North Hollywood), the actor plays Lt. Sy Bloch, a wise and compassionate homicide cop trying to solve a grisly murder. In May, he played another detective in the TV movie "The Rescue of Jessica McClure." And in the 1983 series "Wizards and Warriors," Olkewicz was Marko, "the strongest and most good-hearted man in the kingdom."

"My 5-year-old son, Zachary, watches tapes of that -- it's his favorite show," he says. "It's nice to give him that, a good person to look up to. But lately I've been trying to bring the dark side out. Last year, I did a movie for NBC called 'Full Exposure: The Sex Tapes Scandal,' and I played a really, really bad Mafia guy. Hey, you can't make everyone nice. But nice guys are certainly fun to play. I like good hearts."

And people seem to like him.

After more than 60 TV guest spots (most recently, "Mr. Belvedere," "Who's the Boss?" and "Newhart"), his favorite fan encounter came a few years ago when he was greeted by a teacher from the University of Arkansas, who informed the actor that he spent part of every semester screening tapes of Olkewicz's former series "The Last Resort" as a primer on comedy timing. "I said, 'Let me buy you lunch.'"

Actually, the actor has been doing a lot less lunching lately -- he's just lost 70 pounds.

"I'm not a fat person," the New Jersey native says firmly. "I know that sounds weird. But some people have a fat-person energy. I always feel like a leading man in a large body. I think that's the reason I don't get a lot of fat-guy parts. I mean, this guy, Sy Bloch, is not written for a fat person. So -- I've got about a 100 pounds to go -- I think I'll be fine. I think I'll be doing the Charles Grodin/Chevy Chase parts. It's real clear to me that that's where I belong."


Walter Olkewicz: "I always feel like a leading man in a large body."

This article was obtained in the form of black-and-white photocopied reproductions; hence, the photo is unavailable at this time. Please e-mail Crownhelm if you own a back issue of this magazine or know how we might otherwise obtain color copies of the photo.


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