‘House of Cards’ & ‘The Wire’ actor, Huntsville native Reg E. Cathey dead at 59

\'House of Cards\' & \'The Wire\' actor, Huntsville native Reg E. Cathey dead at 59
Reg Cathey Dead: ‘The Wire” Actor Dies at 59 – Variety
nActor Reg E. Cathey, who played Freddy Hayes on “House of Cards,” has died. He was 59.

Cathey also appeared in the gritty hit series “The Wire,” as Norman Wilson, and played warden Martin Querns in “Oz.” He appeared in several other series, as well, including “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Grimm.” 

The man with the riveting baritone won an Emmy in 2015 for his “House of Cards” role, playing the owner of a rib joint who ends up working in the White House. He was nominated for three consecutive years for the role.

In 2015, Cathey won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for playing Freddy Hayes, a BBQ rib shack owner and a confidante of sorts to Kevin Spacey's duplicitous Frank Underwood on Netflix's House of Cards. Between 2013 and 2015, the actor received three consecutive Emmy nominations in the Outstanding Guest Actor category for the role.

His death was reported Friday by David Simon, the creator of “The Wire.” TMZ reported that Cathey had been battling lung cancer and that he died at home surrounded by family.

"I liked the story a lot," Cathey told Today of the role in 2014. "I knew it would be something special. I didn;t know whether people would like it or whether they would watch but I knew it was special. I thought it was simply lovely. And we had a ball doing it."

‘House of Cards’ Star Reg E. Cathey Dead at 59

Simon called Cathey a “masterful actor” and a “most delightful” human being. “Reg, your memory is a great blessing,” he said in a tweet. 

Reg Cathey, 1958-2018. Not only a fine, masterful actor — but simply one of the most delightful human beings with whom I ever shared some long days on set. On wit alone, he could double any man over and leave him thinking. Reg, your memory is a great blessing. pic.twitter.com/OHEUbAhTg0

Reg Cathey Dead: 'The Wire” Actor Dies at 59 – Variety
Reg Cathey Dead: ‘The Wire” Actor Dies at 59 – Variety

“House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon called Cathey “one of a kind” and “brimming with life force, generosity and humor.”

‘House Of Cards’ Actor Reg E. Cathey Is Dead At 59

Reg Cathey was one of a kind. Brimming with life force, generosity, humor, gravitas and a fountain of talent. Loved by everyone lucky enough know him and work with him. He will be greatly missed.Rest In Peace, Reg. pic.twitter.com/p9DXFgDevP

"We are heartbroken by the passing of our friend and House of Cards colleague Reg E. Cathey," Netflix said in a statement. "Reg was the kindest man, the most giving actor, a true gentlemen. Our sympathy goes to his family."
'House of Cards' Star Reg E. Cathey Dead at 59
‘House of Cards’ Star Reg E. Cathey Dead at 59

In Simon’s ground-breaking Baltimore series, Cathey mixed careers, as he did in “House of Cards.” In “The Wire,” which he joined in its fourth season, he played a newspaperman who became a political operative. 

Willimon added, "Reg Cathey was one of a kind. Brimming with life force, generosity, humor, gravitas and a fountain of talent. Loved by everyone lucky enough know him and work with him. He will be greatly missed."

In an interview with The Guardian in 2016, he slammed the religious right.

Reg E. Cathey, ‘House of Cards’ and ‘The Wire’ actor, dies at 59

“A bunch of douchebags have taken over and what they are preaching, it’s not really religion,” Cathey said. “If Jesus was to come to America today, talk about throwing the merchants out of the temple, he’d be throwing all these douchebags out of Christianity. If he met anyone from the Tea Party, he’d be furious: ‘Get the fuck out of people’s bedrooms and bathrooms.’”

Cathey was born in Alabama and spent time as a child with his family in Germany. He studied theater at the University of Michigan and the Yale School of Drama.

Prolific actor won Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2015

House of Cards actor Reg E Cathey dies aged 59

He quipped to the Guardian that his career took off after Barack Obama was elected president because people could begin to accept the idea of a well-spoken black man.

'House of Cards' Star Reg E. Cathey Dead at 59
‘House of Cards’ Star Reg E. Cathey Dead at 59

“What I did notice is that Barack Obama becomes president and suddenly black people who are well-spoken are working more,” he said. “This new market for the well-spoken black actor is all due to Obama. He got inaugurated, and I started working like a fiend — hired by the same people who would previously ask: ‘Have you always spoken like that?’ It’s like, you know what, motherfuckers, yes, I have.”

But he actually had a very long career, starting well before the Obama administration.

Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards and The Wire actor, dead at 59

He worked on “The Corner,” Simon’s predecessor to “The Wire,” “The Fantastic Four,” “Se7en” and the documentary “The People Speak.” He played Don King in the boxing drama “Hands of Stone.”

Cathey also recently appeared as Chief Byron Giles on Robert Kirkman’s Cinemax exorcism series “Outcast” and in HBO’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”

Reg E. Cathey’s Final Role Was Playing Luke Cage’s Father in Season 2

Fans and celebrities are mourning the loss of award-winning actor Reg E. Cathey after news of his death broke Friday night. 

Born in Huntsville, Alabama, the stage, film and TV actor studied theater at the University of Michigan and Yale School of Drama. He gained recognition for his roles in “The Wire,” “Oz” and “House of Cards,” which earned him an Emmy.

As details regarding his death hit the internet, many flocked to social media to express their condolences and share their favorite memories of the famed trailblazer. 

Several said they were shocked to hear about his passing. Not everyone knew he had been battling the illness.

Shocked to read Reg E Cathey has died, had the privilege of seeing him on stage in 09, was such an amazing actor

I’m in the middle of an #Outcast binge with the amazing Reg E. Cathey. I can’t believe he’s gone! Had no clue he was sick; he has such towering strength onscreen. #RIP pic.twitter.com/9JiQCvZLfJ

Others complimented his work ethic, sharing how much they enjoyed him onscreen and on stage. They heralded him as a pioneer and legend in the industry. 

So sad to hear actor Reg Cathey has passed away at only 59. 💔 Everyone knows my favorite show is House of Cards and his performance in the show was exceptional. #HouseofCards pic.twitter.com/3wlwN31pPM

RIP Reg Cathey, a performer of immense gravity even when playing something as ridiculous as Dirty Dee.

A few praised him for his dedication to his craft, while also reflecting on his gentle spirit. Many called him “kind” and “generous.”

‘House Of Cards’ And ‘The Wire’ Star Reg E. Cathey Dies At 59

Had the pleasure of working with Reg E. Cathey coupla years ago. A lovely man, A generous artist. Kind, kind. A sweetheart of a man. Missing you. RIP. pic.twitter.com/c71VuylNQf

Actor Reg E Cathey dead at 59

Reg Cathey was one of a kind. Brimming with life force, generosity, humor, gravitas and a fountain of talent. Loved by everyone lucky enough know him and work with him. He will be greatly missed.Rest In Peace, Reg. pic.twitter.com/p9DXFgDevP

A slew of celebrities chimed in, too, to write about how much they would miss him.

Reg E. Cathey has passed . RIP Dirty Dee. Great actor great Man. pic.twitter.com/EgvBPstSaI


Posted in Huntsville