‘So young, so talented’ – The Denver Post

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Actor and former NFL player Brad William Henke, known for roles in “Orange Is the New Black” and “Justified,” has died. He was 56.

The actor, who also appeared in Super Bowl XXIV during his days with the Denver Broncos, died in his sleep Tuesday, his family told Deadline.

The former New York Giants player-turned-actor had to retire from football in 1994 due to injuries. His acting credits include the short-lived “Going to California,” a series regular role on “October Road” and a recurring role on the early aughts comedy, “Nikki.” He also appeared in “Lost” and “Dexter.”

Henke played Litchfield corrections officer Desi Piscatella in over two dozen episodes of Netflix’s Emmy-winning “Orange,” a role for which he shared a SAG Award for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series in 2017 and was nominated alongside his castmates in 2018.

Henke this year appeared in the BET+ film, “Block Party,” a guest role on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” and the film, “Run & Gun.” Last year, he also appeared in six episodes of the Paramount+ miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Stand.”

Many stars and crew members who worked with Henke took to social media to mourn the sudden loss of their former colleague.

“Your heart was too big for this life,” tweeted “October Road” star Bryan Greenberg.

“Such a kind and talented actor,” tweeted production designer Dave Blass, with whom Henke worked on “Justified” and “Longmire,” adding that the late actor was “so young, so talented. My thoughts go out to his family.”

He is survived by his wife, Sonja, stepson Aaden and stepdaughter Leasa, as well as grandchild Amirah, his mother and sister.

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