It’s a sad day for the Orange Is the New Black family…
Actor Brad William Henke, who starred as one of the prison guards, Desi Piscatella, in the popular Netflix drama, passed away on Tuesday. According to sources connected to the family via TMZ, he died in his sleep. The cause of death has not been released. He was just 56.
Brad was best known for starring in OITNB, and he was in one of the series’ most notable scenes when one of the show’s main characters, Poussey Washington (played by Samira Wiley), was killed.
He also had roles in Justified, Lost, Pacific Rim, and World Trade Center, among nearly 100 other credits. He transitioned into acting after retiring from the NFL in 1994 due to ankle injuries. He played college football at the University of Arizona before he was drafted by the New York Giants in 1989. He went on to play as a defensive lineman for the Denver Broncos, including during the Super Bowl XXIV against the San Francisco 49ers. Very cool!
His manager Matt DelPiano mourned his untimely loss, telling TMZ on Thursday:
“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.”
His agent Sheree Cohen added via NBC News:
“Henke was an avid NFL and UFC fan, a happily married family man with a heart of gold who visited his mother frequently, loved taking his stepson to soccer games and gymnastics and adored his dog, Ruby.”
He leaves behind his mother Tammy, his sister Annette, his wife Sonja, his stepson Aaden, his stepdaughter Leasa, and his grandchild Amirah, according to Cohen. Sending lots of love to all those grieving his devastating loss. May he rest in peace.