Orange Is the New Black’s Brad William Henke Dead at 56

“I tried to be a football coach and honestly, it was a tough couple of years,” he shared in 2021 while reflecting on his career move. “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.” 

According to Henke, the NFL actually prepared him well for onscreen work, as he noted, “Football helped me learn how to be disciplined, how to take criticism, to always try your best, so you can definitely use some of the same things and that was a big help for me when I started acting.” 

Last year, he said he was keeping busy with his two kittens, his puppy and plenty of bike riding.