Brad William Henke, a character actor who rose to fame thanks to his appearances in Orange Is the New Black, reportedly died recently at the age of 56.
Even more so than his towering stature, his presence on television was larger than life. Indeed, he was photographed quite a bit. He has left behind an extensive body of work that is truly remarkable. As unexpected as his death was, here’s what we do know about what killed Brad William Henke.
Brad William Henke’s Death Cause Is Known
According to TVLine, “the NFL player-turned-actor who played prison guard Desi Piscatella on Orange Is the New Black has died at the age of 56.” On Tuesday, November 29th, he peacefully left this world. There has been no announcement of the cause of death as of this writing. While in the hospital recovering from heart surgery in May of 2021, Brad posted a video to Instagram.
The actor said, “I just survived a 90% blockage of my artery.” “A heart attack was possible at any time, but I just had mine repaired.”
The video closed with Brad declaring, “The rest of my life in this world is a gift and I’m going to take use of it.”
Brad’s manager, Matt DelPiano, issued a statement calling him “a “highly skilled actor who cherished his connections to this town, and who found equal affection from its residents. Our sympathies go out to his family and wife.”
Jen Euston, a casting agent, announced the news on Twitter, writing, “This comes as quite a surprise. Get some rest, Brad. I appreciate what you did for OITNB. No one can ever forget you.”
Brad There Have Been Few Renaissance Men Like William Henke
Brad William Henke, a former NFL player, was a hard man to miss, and not only because he towered over most of those around him. On average, he made one or two movie appearances per year beginning in 1996 until his untimely passing in 2018. The former athlete was able to refine his acting skills in films like Space Jam, North Country, and Split.
He has an even longer list of credits on television. His versatility was astounding, spanning everything from police procedurals to prestige dramas like Dexter and Shameless.
Brad did, in fact, play professional football before he discovered acting. “He had been picked by the New York Giants in the fourth round in 1989, but he was waived during final roster cuts. The Denver Broncos signed him, and he participated in their Super Bowl loss to the 49ers in 1990 “Article courtesy of the Tucson Citizen.
He’d be so pissed no one is using this recent picture of him in his blue suit he felt so fly in. Brad William Henke, feeling himself: pic.twitter.com/DfApKssmgj
— amalia (@zombalia) December 2, 2022
After an injury terminated Brad’s playing days, he looked elsewhere for fulfillment. Lucky for me, I found something I enjoy doing a million times more than football, he told the media.
Brad clearly had a deep affection for his work, as evidenced by his decisions. Although his time on Earth was cut far too short, we may take comfort in the knowledge that he lived every moment to the fullest. Not going to waste a second on anything that is not aimed towards love, happiness, and fulfilling my potential as a human, and serves my ambition to be the best actor I can be,” he wrote on Instagram from the hospital.
Was Brad William Henke Married?
The former Sports Night star was married to actress Katelin Chesna from 2001 to 2008. After meeting Sonja Henke, he eventually married her and the couple remained together until his death. He was a grandpa to Amirah and a stepfather to Aaden and Leasa.