Former NFL player and actor Brad William Henke died earlier this week at the age of 56, multiple media outlets reported Thursday night.
Henke, best known for his role on “Orange is the New Black,” died Tuesday, a representative told Variety, but did not mention a cause of death.
Family members told Deadline that Henke died in his sleep.
Henke’s career took him to the NFL before finding success as an actor, graduating from the University of Arizona, where he played on the defensive line, and joining the New York Giants in 1989, according to its IMDB page. He went on to play in Super Bowl XXIV with the Denver Broncos before retiring in 1994 after suffering multiple injuries.
Henke moved to Los Angeles, where his acting career began with a commercial and an open call for “big guys”, according to Deadline. He would go on to appear in several well-known shows including “Justified”, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, “MacGyver”, “Longmire”, and “The Office”.
In “Orange is the New Black”, Henke played Desi Piscatella, a gay prison officer who had a role in seasons 4 and 5.
Henke was born in Columbus, Nebraska and was previously married to Caitlin Chesna. The couple got divorced in 2008.