‘Orange Is The New Black’ Actor Brad William Henke Dead At 56

The recognizable 'Orange is The New Black' actor Brad William Henke reportedly died two days ago at the young age of 56.

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Brad William Henke
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Image Credit: Abel Fermin/Everett Collection

Orange Is The New Black lost a cast member from its beloved ranks. Brad William Henke died on Tuesday, November 29, according to TMZ. He was only 56 years old, and a source close to the actor’s family told the outlet he died in his sleep. A cause of death is unclear at this time. HollywoodLife has reached out to his rep, but had no received a response by the time of publication. “Brad was an incredibly kind man of joyous energy,” the actor’s manager, Mat DelPiano, told TMZ in an official statement. “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.”

Brad William Henke
Brad William Henke (Abel Fermin/Everett Collection)

Brad played a prison guard in the series from 2013-2019, and played prominently in one of the Netflix series‘ most talked about scenes — when Samira Wiley ‘s character Poussey Washington was killed off. Fans may also recognize him from major studio films including Space Jam, World Trade Center and Pacific Rim, and TV series including Judging Amy, Silk Stalkings, Lost, Chicago Hope, and Dexter, among others.

Brad William Henke
Brad William Henke appears in ‘Orange is the New Black’ (Everett Collection)

A former defensive lineman, Brad left the NFL in 2004 after injuries left him unable to continue. He then proceeded to embark on a highly successful career in Hollywood. He appeared to be healthy and active in his last Instagram post, dated August 13, 2022. In a series of pics shared with his 75k followers, he was seen taking a selfie while working out in his garage gym. “Saturday morning jujutsu in my garage with @aoa_cristhian,” he captioned the photo carousel.  “Hope you are all well – i’m going to try not to look at Instagram for a month because I waste too much time looking at the reels.” 

Brad was married to actress Katelin Chesna, who has appeared in The Resident, from 2001 to 2008. He then married Sonja Jackson Henke, with whom he raised two stepchildren.