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Reg E. Cathey, Emmy-Winning ‘House of Cards’ and ‘The Wire’ Actor, Dies at 59

David Simon called him "one of the most delightful human beings" he's worked with.

Reg E. Cathey Emmys

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Reg E. Cathey, who was best known for playing Freddy on “House of Cards,” has died at age 59. The news first announced by “The Wire” creator David Simon, who called Cathey “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.” Netflix has since confirmed the news to IndieWire.

“On wit alone, he could double any man over and leave him thinking. Reg, your memory is a great blessing,” Simon added of his collaborator, who appeared in 23 episodes of the revered HBO drama. Cathey received three consecutive Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his role on “House of Cards,” winning in 2015. A character actor whose career spanned decades, he his silver-screen resume includes everything from “Born on the Fourth of July” and “The Mask” to “What About Bob?” and “Se7en”.

Cathey’s TV work was even more extensive, with appearances in “Oz,” “Inside Amy Schumer,” “Horace and Pete,” “The Good Wife,” “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” “30 Rock,” “Homicide: Life on the Streets,” “ER,” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

Cathey was born in Huntsville, Alabama on August 18, 1958 and spent his youth in West Germany. He first began acting in high school, where appeared in a production of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” before studying theater at both the University of Michigan and the Yale School of Drama.


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