The TV community is in mourning once again, as one of the small screen's beloved performers has left us. Reg E. Cathey, perhaps best known for playing Norman Wilson on HBO's The Wire and Freddy Hayes on Netflix's House of Cards, passed away at the age of 59. The actor passed in his New York home, surrounded by family and friends. While no cause of death has been confirmed, early reports claim that the actor had been battling lung cancer.
Reg E. Cathey was born August 18, 1958 in Huntsville, Alabama, and spent part of his childhood in West Germany. He graduated from J.O. Johnson High School in Huntsville, Alabama in 1976, and then he attended the University of Michigan and the Yale School of Drama, where he studied theatre. He made his acting debut in the 1984 TV movie A Doctor's Story, which the late actor followed up with a guest-starring spot on Spencer for Hire that lead to a string of film roles in Funny Farm, Crossing Delancey, Me and Him, Penn and Teller Get Killed, Born on the Fourth of July, Astonished, Loose Cannons, Quick Change, What About Bob?, The Mask, Clear and Present Danger, Airheads, Tank Girl, Se7en, and Ill Gotten Gains, before he was cast in an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street by David Simon. Cathey would go on to be the only actor to have a role in each of his projects, including Homicide: The Movie, The Corner, and The Wire. Here's what David Simon had to say in a statement about the actor on social media.
"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."
After Homicide: Life on the Street, he was cast in David Simon's The Corner, along with movies such as American Psycho, Pootie Tang and Head of State. He also starred as Martin Querns in Oz, along with movies such as S.W.A.T., The Machinist, The Cookout, along with other TV shows such as FX's short-lived boxing drama Lights Out, NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Cinemax's Banshee and We's The Divide, before he was cast as Freddy Hayes on Netflix's House of Cards. Reg won his first Emmy Award for his portrayal of Freddy, the owner of Frank Underwood's favorite BBQ restaurant. Here's what House of Cards creator Beau Willimon had to say in his statement.
"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."
Reg E. Cathey also starred as Dr. Franklin Storm in the 2015 Fantastic Four reboot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and Flock of Four. It isn't known if the actor is survived by any children or other family members. TMZ first reported on the actor's death earlier today. Take a look at the tweets from The Wire creator David Simon and House of Cards creator Beau Willimon below.
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— David Simon (@AoDespair) February 9, 2018
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.— Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) February 9, 2018
Rest In Peace, Reg. pic.twitter.com/p9DXFgDevP