Henke’s manager, Matt DelPiano, told E! News that the actor died Tuesday.
“Brad was an incredibly kind man of joyous energy,” DelPiano said in a 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.”
Henke was best known for his role as prison guard Desi Piscatella in the Netflix show Orange is the New Black. In 2016, his performance helped the show earn a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. Henke also appeared in Lost, Dexter, ER, Law & Order, and The Office, among other shows.
Prior to acting, Henke played professional football as a defensive lineman for the Denver Broncos, making it to the Super Bowl in 1990 before injuries ended his NFL career in 1994.
“I tried to be a football coach, and honestly, it was a tough couple of years,” Henke said in 2021. “I didn’t know what to do with my life. Luckily, I needed money, so I jumped at being an extra football player in a commercial; they needed football extras in the back of the commercial. After that, someone invited me to an acting class, saw what they were doing there, started going to class, and I just loved it.”
“Football helped me learn how to be disciplined, how to take criticism, to always try your best,” he added. “So you can definitely use some of the same things, and that was a big help for me when I started acting.”
A cause of death was not revealed.