Brad William Henke, Former NFL Player and ‘Orange is the New Black’ Star Passes Away at 56 During Sleep

Brad William Henke, Former NFL Player and 'Orange is the New Black' Star Passes Away at 56
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Brad William Henke, known for popular projects like Orange is the New Black and Pacific Rim passed away at the age of 56. Before paving his way into acting, Henke started his life as an NFL player. It is reported that the actor passed away in his sleep and as of now the causes are unknown. Although some complications in his health stated by the ex-NFL player himself earlier raise some suspicions among the fans.

Brad William Henke
Brad William Henke passed away at the age of 56

After Brad William Henke had to leave his NFL career behind due to consecutive injuries, he made his way into the entertainment industry through a commercial in 1994. He has been part of some renowned television shows like Lost, Dexter, and The Office but his most significant role was Desi Piscatella in Orange is the New Black. 

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Brad William Henke will be missed

Brad William Henke Orange is the New Black
Brad William Henke in Orange is the New Black

It was reported on November 29 by the former NFL star’s family that he passed away in his sleep. While the reasons are still unknown, he suffered from many ailments which he revealed himself in a series of Instagram Posts the previous year.

Last year on May 15, Brad William Henke took up on Instagram to address that he was suffering from a 90% blockage of his artery. Soon after a few months on July 21, the World Trade Center actor used the platform to inform his fans that two stents of his heart, spleen, and half of his pancreas are all gone during the process of removing a tumor.

Henke left behind his mother Tammy, sister Annette, and wife Sonja. Before marrying Sonja, he was the husband of actress Katelin Chesna from 2001 to 2008. With her, he had two children, Aeden and Leasa. The late Super Bowl XXIV player has around 100 credits to his name for working in several movies and television shows.


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Brad William Henke had a long journey in his career

Brad William Henke Dexter
Brad William Henke as Tony Tucci in Dexter

Henke did a ton of guest roles in TV Shows such as ER, Silk Stockings, Chicago Hope, and many more before landing his first major role in Going to California. The show was created for Showtime and focused on a road trip. Along with Brad William Henke, it also starred Sam Trammell in the lead role and gained a massive positive response from everywhere. But something didn’t work for the makers despite its success and the show got canceled after one season.

The late actor also played a major recurring role in the WB comedy series Nikki. But his breakthrough performance will always be Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. He also shared a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for the series. In the series, he played the role of a gay prison officer Desi Piscatella.


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Brad William Henke was also part of numerous movies like Gone in 60 seconds, Fury, Pacific Rim, Split, and many more. He also appeared in recent movies Block Party and Run and Gun, both of them released this year. He will always be remembered for his roles and his legacy will be maintained by his fans.

Orange is the New Black can be streamed on Netflix.


Source: Deadline


Written by Subham Mandal

Articles Published: 1129

Subham Mandal is currently working as a content writer for FandomWire with an ardent interest in the world of pop culture. He has written more than 1000 articles on different spheres of modern pop culture and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He’s also an experienced student journalist having demonstrated work experience with the Times of India. He aspires to be a column writer in the future.