Brad William Henke, a former NFL player who later turned to acting and became known for his role as a prison guard in “Orange Is the New Black” among other appearances during a 25-year career in film and television, died Tuesday. He was 56 years old.
His death was confirmed by his manager, Matt Delpano, who did not say the exact location or cause but said the actor died in his sleep. In May 2021, Mr. Henke Shared on Instagram that he had a 90% blockage in an artery, and the following month He said he got two braces in his heart, among other ailments.
Mr. Henke played Desi Piscatella, a gay corrections officer at Litchfield Federal Prison, in more than twenty episodes of “Orange Is the New Black” on Netflix from 2016 to 2018. His character was an integral part of the drama in the fourth and fifth seasons, and in 2017, he participated in the cast Screen Actors Guild Award To perform an ensemble in a fantastic comedy series.
Although “Orange” can be considered Mr. Henke’s breakout role, his acting career began in 1996 with “Mr. Wrong,” a movie starring Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Pullman, and Joan Cusack. He has also appeared in dozens of other movies and TV shows, including “Space Jam,” “ER,” “Judging Amy,” “Dexter,” “October Road,” and “Lost.”
Born Brad William Henke on April 10, 1966 in Columbus, Nb., and raised in Littleton, Colorado, he played football at the University of Arizona in the late 1980s. He was drafted by the New York Giants in 1989 as a 6-foot-3, 275-pound defensive lineman but was cut, according to a 1998 interview With The Tucson CitizenHe went on to play for the Denver Broncos and was on the team when they lost the 1990 Super Bowl to the San Francisco 49ers.
His football career ended in the early 1990s after several injuries and he took a number of jobs, including assistant football coach at a California community college. However, an unexpected encounter with former Oakland Raiders player Rod Martin set him on a new path.
“Rodd mentioned that actors were needed to play football players for commercials, so I tried that and got one for Pizza Hut,” Mr. Hinke told The Tucson Citizen. “While I was there, a guy invited me to take an acting class. I went and it hit me like this was what I wanted to do.”
Mr. Henke’s acting career has progressed with every credit as well as the depth and types of roles he has landed. In an interview in 2021 with CGMagazineHenke said that early in his career he was learning business and taking jobs to earn money. “Lately, I just tried to do it for the love of him,” he said. “Just because I love creating characters—figuring out how they talk, how they stand, all the physical stuff and all the emotional stuff.”
Mr. Henke for Tell-Tale TV In 2020, the role of Tom Cullen in the TV mini-series The Stand, the latest adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same title, starring Whoopi Goldberg and Alexander Skarsgard, was challenging yet rewarding.
“It was the best acting experience I’ve had so far in my entire career,” he said. “I haven’t had many opportunities in my career where I’ve been offered this job three months before it starts. A lot of times, it’s right before it starts. So I had a lot of time to work on it and prepare and think about it, and dream about it.”
A full list of survivors was not immediately available.
Jesus Jimenez Contribute to the preparation of reports.