Brad William Henke dead: Orange Is the New Black and former NFL star dies asleep at age 56

Brad William Henke, an actor best known for his role in Orange is the new blackpassed away at the age of 56, his family confirmed.

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

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

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Brad William Henke
Brad William Henke played jailer Desi Piscatella in Orange Is the New Black. (Lionsgate television)

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

The retired athlete has also appeared in a number of popular TV 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 shocker. Rest well, Brad. Thank you for all the work you contributed to OITNB. You will not be forgotten.”

“One of those actors who was a pleasant surprise when they pop into things. Will be missed. RIP Brad,” another fan wrote.

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

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

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James Winburn on August 24, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

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