Brad William Henke, actor known for ‘Orange Is the New Black’, dies at the age of 56

Brad William Henke, a longtime actor and former NFL player known for roles in “Orange Is the New Black” and “Justified,” has passed away, his publicist confirmed to CBS News on Thursday. He was 56 years old.

There was no immediate word on a cause of death.

According to IMDb, Henke had dozens of film and television credits from the mid-1990s. However, he is perhaps most famous for his role as prison guard Desi Piscatella in ‘Orange Is the New Black’. It earned him and the cast a 2017 Screen Actors Guild award for best ensemble in a comedy series.

Brad William Henke
FILE — Brad William Henke arrives at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California on January 21, 2018.

Dan MacMedan/Getty Images

Other notable credits included “Justified,” “Lost,” “October Road,” and “Draft Day.” Most recently, he starred in the post-apocalyptic mini-series “The Stand.”

Henke played professional football before becoming an actor. A defensive lineman, he played college football at the University of Arizona and was drafted by the New York Giants in the fourth round of the 1989 draft.

After being fired by the Giants, he signed with the Denver Broncos and played for them for one season, appearing in Super Bowl XXIV in 1990. According to Variety, he switched to acting after his football career was derailed by injuries.

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