The Tragic Death Of Orange Is The New Black Actor Brad William Henke

The "Orange Is the New Black" family is experiencing a heartbreaking loss following the death of former star Brad William Henke. Henke was 56 years old and, according to People, no cause of death has been announced, though we know he passed away in his sleep on November 29. The actor's manager, Matt DelPiano, issued a statement about Henke's sad death to TMZ, sharing, "Brad was an incredibly kind man of joyous energy. 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 had a pretty impressive career behind him. In addition to his "Orange Is the New Black" role playing Corrections Officer Desi Piscatella, the actor also made appearances in numerous big TV shows and movies, including "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Criminal Minds," "Dexter," and "The Office," per IMDb. He also had major skills on the field and was drafted to play for the New York Giants in 1989, though he didn't make it past the boot camp stages. That wasn't the end of his NFL career, though. Henke went on to join the Denver Broncos and even played in the 1990 Super Bowl with the team.

Brad William Henke tributes flooded social media

Social media was overrun with tributes to the late Brad William Henke. "Orange Is the New Black" casting director Jen Euston shared a sweet message on Twitter, writing, "this is a shock. rest well, Brad. thank you for all the work you contributed on OITNB. you will not be forgotten." Actor Tamara Torres, who also appeared in the Netflix hit, shared a photo of the cast via Twitter and wrote, "Brad William Henke what a loss. He was a great guy. Rest in peace OITNB brother." Jessica Pimente, who played Maria Ruiz on the prison series and admitted she was shocked by her former co-star's death, paid tribute to her late friend on Instagram, sharing two photos alongside the caption, "You were always a pleasure to work with, one of my favorite scene partners and a joy be around. You were a constant positive motivator and cheerleader to me. And I was always inspired by your work and hustle. I will miss you a lot. Thanks for the note on Saturday. You.. One of a kind."

Henke's now final post to his Instagram grid happened in August and consisted of two selfies and two snaps of his dogs. The actor and former athlete revealed in the caption that he was practicing jiujitsu and taking some time away from the social media site in order to focus on more important things.

Our thoughts go out to all those who loved Brad William Henke.