Brad William Henke, a longtime actor and former NFL player best known for roles in “Orange is the New Black” and “Justified,” has died, his publicist confirmed to CBS News on Thursday. He was 56 years old.
There was no immediate word on the cause of death.
According to IMDb, Henke had dozens of film and television credits through the mid-1990s. However, he is arguably best known for his role as prison security guard Desi Piscatella on “Orange is the New Black”. It earned him and the cast a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series in 2017.
Other notable credits include “Justified,” “Lost,” “October Road,” and “Draft Day.” Most recently, he starred in the post-apocalyptic miniseries “The Stand”.
Before becoming an actor, Henke played professional football. A defensive lineman, he played college football at the University of Arizona, and was drafted by the New York Giants in the fourth round of the 1989 draft.
After being cut by the Giants, he signed with the Denver Broncos and played one season for them, appearing in Super Bowl XXIV in 1990. According to Variety, he transitioned into acting after his football career was derailed by injuries.