Brad William Henke has died.

The 'Orange Is the New Black' actor - who was best known for his portrayal of corrections officer Desi Piscatella in the prison drama series - passed away in his sleep at the age of 56 on Tuesday (29.11.22), his family have confirmed, but not details as to a cause of death have been given.

His manager, Matt DelPiano, told TMZ: “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."

The former NFL player is survived by wife Sonja, stepson Aaden, stepdaughter Leasa, grandchild Amirah, mother Tammy, and sister Annette.

Brad was drafted by the New York Giants in 1989 but cut during training camp and moved to the Denver Broncos, joining the team at the Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers before retiring from the sport in 1994 due to injury.

He then made the move into acting, appearing in movies including 'Space Jam, 'Gone in 60 Seconds' 'World Trade Center', 'Pacific Rim' and 'Split'.

Brad also appeared in various TV shows such as 'Chicago Hope', 'Lost', 'Criminal Minds', 'Shameless', 'The Office', and 'MacGyver', and in 2017, he and the 'OITNB' cast won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series'.

He previously reflected on how "fortunate" he was to have found a new career after his sporting dreams came to an end.

He said: “I’m fortunate I’ve found something I love to do a million times more than playing football.

"I was kind of lost for a while after my football career ended, and I’m so glad I found this. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with the best of my life already behind me.”