Orange is the New Black actor and former NFL player Brad William Henke has died

Anish Vij

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Orange is the New Black actor and former NFL player Brad William Henke has died

Featured Image Credit: MediaPunch Inc / Alamy Stock Photo / Netflix

Orange is the New Black actor Brad William Henke has died aged 56

The former NFL player died in his sleep on Tuesday (29 November), his manager said in a statement.

He was perhaps most known for playing prison guard, Desi Piscatella, on Orange is the New Black.

His manager, Matt DelPiano, said: "Brad was an incredibly kind man of joyous energy.

"A very talented actor, he loved being a part of this community… and we loved him back.

"Our thoughts are with his wife and family."

He was perhaps most known for playing prison guard, Desi Piscatella, on Orange Is the New Black. Credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo
He was perhaps most known for playing prison guard, Desi Piscatella, on Orange Is the New Black. Credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

Casting director of Orange Is the New Black, Jen Euston also tweeted: "This is a shock. Rest well, Brad.

"Thank you for all the work you contributed on OITNB.

"You will not be forgotten."

His role in the TV show made Henke a popular figure in the bear community.

Henke told Out in 2016: “I mean, I feel honored. I feel awesome. It’s such a compliment.

“Who wouldn’t want people to find them attractive?

“Piscatella is kind of a bad character in some ways but the response that I’ve gotten is that they like the fact that he’s real.”

His role in the TV show made Henke a popular figure in the bear community. Credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo
His role in the TV show made Henke a popular figure in the bear community. Credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

The former Denver Bronco lineman retired from the NFL in 1994 due to injury.

After moving to LA, Henke would transition into acting, a decision he regretted not making sooner.

"I’m fortunate I’ve found something I love to do a million times more than playing football,” Henke said in a 1998 interview with Tuscan Citizen.

"I was kind of lost for a while after my football career ended, and I’m so glad I found this.

"I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with the best of my life already behind me."

He added: "I kind of regret not starting acting sooner.

"But I think my life experiences before I found my calling have really helped me.

"I’m building my career by myself, on my own merits, not for what I did on the football field."

After moving to LA, Henke would transition into acting, a decision he regretted not making sooner. Credit: Cinematic Collection / Alamy Stock Photo
After moving to LA, Henke would transition into acting, a decision he regretted not making sooner. Credit: Cinematic Collection / Alamy Stock Photo

Taking to social media, one person wrote: "Damn, RIP Brad William Henke.

"I really dug seeing him in different movies and shows when he would pop up."

Another added: "Terribly sad to lose Brad William Henke, a great character actor.

"Few actors I can think of who could make his subplot in Me and You and Everyone We Know fly."

Branch Out Productions tweeted: "We have no words. Brad was a brilliant performer and a very sweet man."

Topics: Celebrity, Film and TV

Anish Vij
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