Orange is the New Black star Brad William Henke dead aged 56

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Orange is the New Black actor Brad William Henke has died at 56.

The actor’s manager confirmed his passing to Variety, although no cause of death has been confirmed.

Henke, a former NFL player, was best known for his role as prison guard Desi Piscatella in the popular Netflix comedy-drama, which ran from 2013 to 2019.

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He shared a Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by an ensemble cast in a comedy series in 2017.

“Brad was an incredibly kind man of joyous energy,” his manager Mat DelPiano told TMZ.

Brad William Henke has died at the age of 56. Credit: Michael Tran/FilmMagic

“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.”

Apart from Orange is the New Black, Henke also appeared in the series Going to California, Justified, Dexter and Lost.

Born in Nebraska, he played college football at the University of Arizona before joining the Denver Broncos.

Injuries caused him to retire from professional football in 1994 – and then an acting career came calling.

Henke began with small roles in TV series such as Law & Order, Chicago Hope, ER and Criminal Minds.

Michael Harney, Nick Sandow and Brad William Henke attend ‘Orange Is The New Black’ premiere at SVA Theater on June 16, 2016 in New York City. Credit: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

He also appeared in films including Pacific Rim, Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday, Must Love Dogs and The Space Between.

Fans of the actor have flocked to his Instagram page to share their sadness at the news of his death.

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“Heartbroken,” one fan wrote. “Say it isn’t true.”

“I just heard the news … rest in peace,” wrote another.

“What an amazing guy. You’ll be missed,” a third said.

“Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.”

Henke is survived by his wife Sonja Henke, his stepson, stepdaughter and a grandchild.

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