Reg E. Cathey

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Reg E. Cathey
Reg E. Cathey.jpg
Cathey in 2016
Reginald Eurias Cathey

(1958-08-18)August 18, 1958
DiedFebruary 9, 2018(2018-02-09) (aged 59)
EducationUniversity of Michigan (BFA)
Yale University (MFA)
Years active1984–2018

Reginald Eurias Cathey[1][2][3] (August 18, 1958 – February 9, 2018) was an American character actor. He was best known for his roles as Norman Wilson in The Wire, Martin Querns in Oz, the game show announcer in Square One Television, Dr. Franklin Storm in the 2015 reboot of Fantastic Four, and Freddy Hayes in House of Cards, the last earning him three consecutive Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, including a win in 2015.[4]

Early life[edit]

Cathey was born on August 18, 1958 in Huntsville, Alabama, to Red Cathey, an Army colonel[5] who fought in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War,[6] and his wife, who was a DOD worker and an educator.[5][7] He had a sister, Donza.[2] He spent his childhood with his family on a rural farm[6] in West Germany before returning to Alabama at the age of 14.[6][7][8] His interest in theater began at age 9, after attending a United Service Organization show in West Germany.[9] Cathey graduated from J.O. Johnson High School,[10] where he acted in plays such as To Kill a Mockingbird.[11] He subsequently studied theatre at the University of Michigan and the Yale School of Drama.[4]


One of Cathey's earliest roles was starring in the children's television show Square One TV. Cathey was not only the game show announcer, but had many bit parts in the various sketches and was renown for songs like "Nine, Nine, Nine" [12] and "Rappin' Judge."[13] This was followed by guest roles in such series as Star Trek: The Next Generation and Homicide: Life on the Street. In 1994, he appeared in The Mask as Freeze, the main antagonist's friend and bodyguard who gets inadvertently killed by the title character.[11] He also appeared in 1995's Se7en as the coroner. He played the villain Dirty Dee in the cult comedy film Pootie Tang and had a regular role on the HBO series The Wire as Norman Wilson during the fourth and fifth seasons.[14] He also worked with The Wire creator David Simon on the Emmy Award-winning miniseries The Corner; Cathey played a drug addict known as Scalio. He had a recurring role on the HBO prison drama Oz as unit manager Martin Querns. In the film Tank Girl, he played the role of Deetee. He narrated Aftermath: Population Zero, a National Geographic Channel special which imagines what Earth might be like if humanity no longer existed. He played the homeless man Al, murdered by Patrick Bateman, in the film American Psycho. He narrated TLC's Wonders of Weather, a TV series. On Between the Lions, he played King Ray in the story of "Rumpelstiltskin" in the episode, "Hay Day".[citation needed]

In 2009, Cathey performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.[15]

In Fall 2009, Cathey played the role of Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding in a theatrical production of The Shawshank Redemption at Wyndham's Theatre, London.[16] He has made two guest appearances on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as an undercover police officer involved with animal smuggling (episode: "Wildlife") and later as a high-priced defense attorney to a hooker (episode: "Rhodium Nights"). He also made a guest appearance on Law & Order: Criminal Intent in the episode "Anti-Thesis" as a college professor suspected of murder. He also played boxing promoter Barry K. Word on the FX series Lights Out.[17]

In 2013, Cathey began a recurring role as Freddy Hayes, the owner of Freddy's BBQ, in Netflix's original series House of Cards, as well as on Grimm, in the recurring role of Baron Samedi. His portrayal of Hayes in the second, third, and fourth seasons of House of Cards earned three Emmy nominations and one win for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.[18]

Cathey had expressed a wish to appear in the Irish soap opera Fair City.[19]

Cathey co-starred in Josh Trank's Fantastic Four (2015), as Dr. Franklin Storm, the father of The Invisible Woman and The Human Torch.[20] He also played the county sheriff in the city of Rome, WV, in the Cinemax series Outcast. One of Cathey's final TV roles was portraying James Lucas in the Netflix series Marvel's Luke Cage.[21]


Cathey died at his home in New York City on February 9, 2018, at the age of 59. He was reported to have had lung cancer.[2][3][22] He was cremated, and his ashes were spread in New York City.[23]



Year Title Role Notes
1988 Funny Farm Reporter #2 [24]
1988 Crossing Delancey Cab Driver [24]
1988 Ich und Er Waiter
1989 Penn & Teller Get Killed Fan's Friend [24]
1989 Born on the Fourth of July Speaker
1990 Loose Cannons Willie [24]
1990 Quick Change Sound Analyst [24]
1990 Astonished Wayne
1991 What About Bob? Howie Katrell [24]
1994 Clean Slate 1st Cop
1994 The Mask Freeze Credited as Reginald E. Cathy[24]
1994 Clear and Present Danger Sergeant-Major [24]
1994 Airheads Marcus [24]
1994 The Hard Truth Shotgun cop
1995 Napoleon Frog Voice, English version
1995 Tank Girl Deetee [24]
1995 Se7en Dr. Santiago [24]
1997 Ill Gotten Gains Nassor [24]
2000 American Psycho Homeless Man [24]
2001 Pootie Tang Dirty Dee [24]
2003 Head of State Officer Waters [24]
2003 A Good Night to Die Avi
2003 S.W.A.T. Lt. Greg Velasquez [24]
2004 The Machinist Jones [24]
2004 Everyday People Akbar [24]
2004 Men Without Jobs Mr. Morgan [24]
2004 The Cookout Frank Washington [24]
2006 508 Nelson Frank Harmon
2008 20 Years After Samuel [24]
2008 Patsy Dr. Joshua
2011 My Last Day Without You Pastor Johnson [24]
2012 Arbitrage Earl Monroe
2012 The Normals Rodney
2012 Sampling Leonard Short
2014 Two Men in Town Supervisor Jones [24]
2014 Alex of Venice Walt
2014 St. Vincent Gus [24]
2015 Nasty Baby The Bishop [24]
2015 Sweet Kandy Curtis Coleson
2015 Fantastic Four Dr. Franklin Storm [24]
2016 Hands of Stone Don King Uncredited[24]
2017 Flock of Four Pope Dixon
2018 Tyrel Reggie


Year Title Role Notes
1984 A Doctor's Story Richie Television movie
1987 Spenser: For Hire Shepard Episode: "The Man Who Wasn't There"
1987–1992 Square One TV Various 240 episodes
1988-1989 Sesame Street Blue Bird (voice only) 2 episodes
1990 Great Performances Guildenstern Episode: "Hamlet"
1991 Eyes of a Witness Prosecutor Television movie
1992 Fool's Fire Minister Gunther Television movie
1993 And the Band Played On Staff doctor #2 Television movie
1993 Star Trek: The Next Generation Morag Episode: "Aquiel"
1994 Roc Fred Episode: "The Concert"
1995 Tyson Attorney Winston Television movie
1996 ER IAD Investigator David Haskell Episode: "Take These Broken Wings"
1997–1998 Arli$$ Alvin Epps 3 episodes
1998 Homicide: Life on the Street Bernard Weeks Episode: "Full Court Press"
2000 The Corner Scalio 6 episodes
2000 Homicide: The Movie Bernard Weeks Television movie
2000–2003 Oz Martin Querns 8 episodes
2001 Boycott E.D. Nixon Television movie
2002 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Professor Roland Sanders Episode: "Anti-Thesis"
2002 Between the Lions Himself Episode: "Hay Day"
2004 Law & Order Gerald Episode: "Darwinian"
2004 The Jury Mr. Grove Episode: "Mail Order Mystery"
2005 Third Watch Jaime Castro Episode: "Welcome Home"
2006–2008 The Wire Norman Wilson 23 episodes
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Victor Tybor Episode: "Wildlife"
2009 Une aventure New-Yorkaise Marcus Television movie
2010 30 Rock Rutherford Rice Episode: "Let's Stay Together"
2011 Earth: Making of a Planet Narrator Documentary Film
2011 Lights Out Barry K. Word 12 episodes
2012 Person of Interest Davidson Episode: "Blue Code"
2012–2013 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Barry Querns 4 episodes
2013 Grimm The Baron / Baron Samedi 3 episodes
2013–2016 House of Cards Freddy Hayes 15 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (2015)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (2014, 2016)
2014 Banshee Origins Det. Julius Bonner 3 episodes
2014 Banshee 2 episodes
2014 The Divide Uncle Bobby 5 episodes
2015 The Good Wife Judge Aaron Coleman Episode: "The Deconstruction"
2015 Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter Dad 2 episodes
2015 Masters of the Clock: The Legend of Martinsville Narrator Television movie
2016 The Blacklist The Caretaker Episode: "The Caretaker (No. 78)"
2016 Horace and Pete Harold 2 episodes
2016 Inside Amy Schumer Congressman #2 Episode: "The World's Most Interesting Woman in the World"
Adviser Episode: "Madame President"
2016–2017 Outcast Chief Byron Giles 20 episodes
2017 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Zakariyya Lacks Television movie
2018 Elementary Mr. Clay Episode: "Our Time Is Up"; posthumous release
2018 Luke Cage James Lucas 7 episodes; posthumous release
2018 Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure Captain Quaid Voice, 2 episodes; posthumous release


  1. ^ Radloff, Jessica (September 13, 2015). "Darren Criss Talks Glee, Derek Hough Wins His Second Emmy, and More News From the Creative Arts Emmys". Glamour. As for Reg E.'s interesting first and middle name, the actor admits that he came about his name in the most unusual of ways when he was 19 years old. "My [legal] name is Reginald Eurias, so I've always been Reggie, but I was in love years ago and there was that song, 'Chuck E.'s In Love,' [by Rickie Lee Jones], so I made it Reg E.
  2. ^ a b c "Reg E. Cathey, actor on House Of Cards and The Wire, dies at 59, Entertainment News & Top Stories". Elite News 24. February 10, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Brockington, Ariana (February 9, 2018). "Reg Cathey, 'House of Cards' and 'The Wire' Actor, Dies at 59". Variety. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  4. ^ a b U-M alum Reg E. Cathey on his 'House of Cards' Emmy Julie Hinds. Detroit Free Press. September 18, 2015. Retrieved September 20, 2015
  5. ^ a b Russell, Yvonna (December 6, 2017). "Everyman: Actor Reg E. Cathey". The Huffington Post.
  6. ^ a b c Ellis-Petersen, Hannah (June 3, 2016). "Reg E Cathey: 'The world is being destroyed by psychopaths'". The Guardian.
  7. ^ a b Stevens, Matt (February 9, 2018). "Reg E. Cathey, Actor on 'House of Cards' and 'The Wire,' Dies at 59". The New York Times.
  8. ^ "The Wire: Out of Character with Reg E. Cathey (HBO)". YouTube. April 11, 2008. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  9. ^ Sutton, Joe; Chavez, Nicole (February 13, 2018). "Reg E. Cathey, 59, actor". Philly.
  10. ^ Kezo, Jeannie (September 20, 2007). "A New World on the Huntsville Horizon". Valley Planet. Archived from the original on June 9, 2009.
  11. ^ a b "From Huntsville to Hollywood". The Huntsville Times. December 10, 1993.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "The Wire: Homepage". HBO. March 20, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  15. ^ "Entertainment: The People Speak". Los Angeles Times. December 12, 2009.
  16. ^ Billington, Michael (September 13, 2009). "Review: The Shawshank Redemption". The Guardian.
  17. ^ "Lights Out (2011) Reg E. Cathey: Barry K. Word". IMDb. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  18. ^ Colurso, Mary. "Alabama ties: Tony Hale, Laverne Cox, Reg E. Cathey among nominees for 2014 Emmy Awards". Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  19. ^ "The Wire star hopes to appear in Fair City". RTÉ Arts. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. June 3, 2009. Retrieved June 3, 2009.
  20. ^ Siegel, Tatiana. "Fox's 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Adds 'The Wire's' Reg E. Cathey". The Hollywood Reporter. May 8, 2014.
  21. ^ Lammers, Timothy (February 10, 2018). "Reg E. Cathey's Final Role Was Playing Luke Cage's Father in Season 2". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on February 11, 2018. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
  22. ^ 'House of Cards' Star Reg E. Cathey Dead At 59
  23. ^ TMZ 'House of Cards' Star Reg E. Cathey Left Behind Nearly $500,000". TMZ. June 18, 2018.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa "Filmography for Reg E.Cathey". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved February 12, 2018.

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