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Former NFL Football Pro Turned Actor Brad William Henke Dead at 56

Former NFL Football Pro Turned Actor Brad William Henke Dead at 56

Brad William Henke & Kate Mulgrew in Orange is the New Black (Image: YouTube)
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LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) – Former NFL football player turned actor Brad William Henke died in his sleep Tuesday (November 29). He was 56. His family members confirmed his death via statements to numerous media outlets, but no cause of death has been revealed.

Born in April 1966 in Columbus, NE, Henke played college football at the University of AZ. He was drafted by the New York Giants in 1989, played defense for the Denver Broncos, and appeared in Super Bowl XXIV against the San Francisco 49ers.

After years of hurling himself around the field, Henke retired in 1994, moving to LA to pursue coaching. An open call for a commercial led to guest spots on Chicago Hope, Silk Stockings, Nash Bridges, Dexter, Judging Amy, Crossing Jordan, and many others, with Henke receiving nearly 100 acting credits throughout his career.

In addition to TV, he appeared in the features Hollywoodland, World Trade Center, North Country, Must Love Dogs, The Assassination of Richard Nixon, and others.

He is best known for his role as gay correctional officer Desi Piscatella in the HBO series Orange Is the New Black. He appeared in more than two dozen episodes from 2016 – 2018 and shared a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series in 2017.

His manager Matt DelPiano told TMZ, “Brad was an incredibly kind man of joyous energy. A very talented actor, he loved being a part of this community … and we loved him back. Our thoughts are with his wife and family.”

Henke is survived by his mother, Tammy; his sister, Annette; his wife, Sonja; stepson, Aaden; stepdaughter, Leasa; and grandchild, Amirah. He was preceded in death by his father, Bill.

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