Orange Is the New Black star Brad William Henke dies age 56

Orange Is the New Black star Brad William Henke dies age 56
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Brad William Henke, an actor best known for his role in Orange is the New Blackhas died aged 56, his family has confirmed.

The former NFL player died in his sleep on Monday, a family spokesperson confirmed to Deadline. No cause of death was given.

Henke, a Screen Actor’s Guild Award winner, was drafted for the New York Giants in 1989 however was cut from the team during the training camp. He then joined the Denver Broncos and played in the Super Bowl XXIV before retiring in 1994.

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Brad William Henke
Brad William Henke played prison guard Desi Piscatella in Orange Is the New Black. (Lionsgate Television)

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He then pursued a successful team in acting, including roles in the 1996 film Space Jam, Pacific Rim in 2013 and Split in 2016.

The retired athlete also appeared in a number of popular television shows, including The Office, Shameless, Criminal Minds and Lost.

His most memorable role, for which he won the Screen Actor’s Guild Award in 2017, was for his portrayal of corrections officer Desi Piscatella in Orange is the New Black.

He was awarded the gong for most outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series.

Brad William Henke
The actor died in his sleep, his family confirmed. (Instagram)

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Casting director Jen Euston shared a tribute on Twitter, writing: “This is a shock. Rest well, Brad. Thank you for all the work you contributed on OITNB. You will not be forgotten.”

“One of those actors that was a pleasant surprise when they’d pop up in stuff. Will be missed. RIP Brad,” another fan wrote.

Henke married his ex-wife Katelin Chesna in 2001, before the pair divorced in 2008.

He is survived by his wife Sonja, stepson Aaden, stepdaughter Leasa and grandchild, Amirah.

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