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‘Orange Is the New Black’ actor Brad William Henke dies at 56: reports


(NEXSTAR) – Former NFL player and actor Brad William Henke died earlier this week at the age of 56, multiple outlets reported Thursday evening.

Henke, known for his role in “Orange Is the New Black,” died Tuesday, a rep told Variety, but did not mention a cause of death.

Family members told Deadline that Henke died in his sleep.

Henke’s career took him to the NFL before he found success acting, graduating from the University of Arizona, where he played defensive line, and joining the New York Giants in 1989, according to his IMDB page. He would go on to play in Super Bowl XXIV with the Denver Broncos before he retired in 1994 after suffering a number of injuries.

Henke moved to Los Angeles, where his acting career started with a commercial and open call for “big guys,” according to Deadline. He would go on to appear in a number of well known shows including “Justified,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “MacGyver,” “Longmire” and “The Office,” among others.

On “Orange Is the New Black,” Henke played gay corrections officer Desi Piscatella, who had a principal role in Season 4 and 5.

Henke was born in Columbus, Nebraska and was previously married to Katelin Chesna. The couple divorced in 2008.


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