Despondent over the death of his 5-year-old daughter from leukemia two years before, Olsen, the 38-year-old television actor and son of movie comedian Ole Olsen of Olsen and Johnson fame, was found dead in the attic of his apartment in Flushing, Queens, New York, on May 5, 1956. Last seen alive on April 13 when he apparently left home to work in Los Angeles, Olsen was reported missing by his wife five days later when she failed to hear from him. During his absence, the woman stayed with her sister, and together on May 5 they visited the apartment at 69-01 150th Street to pick up some draperies. They found Olsen in the attic, a narrow air space above the ceiling, surrounded by a pitcher of water, three empty bottles of sleeping pills, and a suitcase. A police examiner estimated that the actor had been dead about five days.