Brad William Henke Former football player turned actor , who rose to fame in “Orange Is the New Black,” has passed away. He was 56.

Publicist Caitlin Green told USA TODAY about Henke’s passing. There was no follow-up explanation given.

Henke leaves behind many relatives, including his mother Tammy, sister Annette, wife Sonja, stepson Aaden, stepsister Leasa, grandson Amirah, and hundreds of friends, colleagues, and pupils.

Henke won the Screen Actors Guild Award for best performance by an ensemble in a comedy series for his role as prison officer Desi Piscatella on “Orange Is the New Black” in 2016. He became a regular member of the “OITNB” cast in Season 4, and stayed until his character’s death at the conclusion of Season 5.

Based on Piper Kerman’s novel “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison,” the critically acclaimed and highly successful Netflix drama-comedy aired for seven seasons.

On April 10, 1966, Henke entered this world in Columbus, Nebraska. As a tall man with a history as a football player, Henke was cast as powerful figures in a number of TV dramas and crime series. According to IMBd, he has been in scores of movies and TV shows, including regular parts in “The Stand,” “Manhunt,” “Sneaky Pete,” “Justified,” “Lost,” “October Road,” and “Dexter.”

His most recent film appearance was in “Block Party,” which came out in 2022.

Henke did not begin his professional life in the acting industry. He played football at the University of Arizona and was picked by the New York Giants in 1989, but was released by the club during training camp.

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The defensive lineman was signed by the Denver Broncos, and he participated in Super Bowl XXIV, which the Broncos ultimately lost to the San Francisco 49ers. He retired from football in 1994 after dealing with various injuries.

For seven years, from 2001 to 2008, Henke was wed to the lovely Katelin Chesna.

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