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Brad William Henke dies aged 56

24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
Brad Henke

Brad William Henke has passed away at the age of 56.

The Orange Is the New Black star died in his sleep on 29 November, according to a statement from his family obtained by Deadline. No cause of death was given.

Henke was born in Columbus, Nebraska, on 10 April 1966 and raised in Littleton, Colorado. He attended the University of Arizona, where he was team captain on the college football team before he was drafted by the New York Giants in 1989.

His football career lasted five years, playing for the Denver Broncos and appearing at the Super Bowl. Injuries forced Henke to retire in 1994, prompting a move to Los Angeles to pursue coaching.

However, Henke answered a commercial call for “big guys”, and soon landed airtime in ER, Chicago Hope, Silk Stockings, Nash Bridges, and Arli$$, leading to a new path. He racked up nearly 100 credits as an actor from his first appearance to 2022.

The actor scored his first major role in the 2000-2002 comedy Nikki. While he continued television work, he also landed small roles in feature films including The Assassination of Richard Nixon, Me and You and Everyone We Know, Must Love Dogs, The Zodiac, North Country, World Trade Center, and Hollywoodland.

In 2017, Henke shared a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for his best-known role, as Desi Piscatella in Orange Is the New Black.

Henke is survived by his mother Tammy, sister Annette, wife Sonja, stepson Aaden, stepdaughter Leasa, and grandchild Amirah.

– Cover Media