Reg E. Cathey

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Reg E. Cathey
Born (1958-08-18) August 18, 1958 (age 58)
Huntsville, Alabama, U.S.
Education University of Michigan
Yale School of Drama
Occupation Actor
Years active 1984–present

Reg E. Cathey (born August 18, 1958) is an American actor. He is best known for his roles as Norman Wilson in The Wire, Martin Querns in Oz, Dr. Franklin Storm in the 2015 reboot of The Fantastic Four, and Freddy Hayes in House of Cards, the latter earning him three consecutive Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, including a win in 2015.[1]

Early life[edit]

Cathey was born in Huntsville, Alabama, and spent his childhood in West Germany.[2] Cathey graduated J.O. Johnson High School,[3] where he acted in plays such as To Kill a Mockingbird.[4] He subsequently studied theatre at the University of Michigan and the Yale School of Drama.[1]


One of Cathey's earliest roles was starring in the children's television show Square One. 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 killed by the title character.[4] 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.[5] 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.

Cathey hunches over the reading table as his character, Ajax, commits suicide using the microphone as an improvised sword, during a Theatre of War performance at the Combat Center Base Theater, on January 1, 2000.

On Between the Lions, he played King Ray in the story of "Rumpelstitlkstin" in the episode, "Hay Day".

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.[6]

Since September 2009, Cathey has played the role of Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding in a theatrical production of The Shawshank Redemption at Wyndham's Theatre, London.[7] 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"). This was followed by a guest appearance on Law & Order: Criminal Intent as a talented, charismatic and egotistical professor of American Studies suspected of involvement in a murder to advance his career. He also played boxing promoter Barry K. Word on the FX series Lights Out.

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 and third seasons of House of Cards earned him an Emmy nomination and a win for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.[8]

Cathey has expressed a wish to appear in the soap opera Fair City.[9]

Cathey co-starred in Josh Trank's Fantastic Four (2015), as Dr. Franklin Storm, the father of The Invisible Woman and The Human Torch.[10]



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


Year Title Role Notes
1984 A Doctor's Story Richie Television movie
1987 Spenser: For Hire Shepard Episode: "The Man Who Wasn't There"
1987–92 Square One TV Various 24 episodes
1990 Great Performances Guildenstern Episode: "Hamlet"
1991 Eyes of a Witness prosecuter 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"
1997–98 Arli$$ Alvin Epps 3 episodes
1998 Homicide: Life on the Street Bernard Weeks Episode: "Full Court Press"
2000 The Corner Scalio 6 episodes
2000–03 Oz Martin Querns 8 episodes
2000 Homicide: The Movie Bernard Weeks Television movie
2001 Boycott E.D. Nixon Television movie
2002 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Professor Roland Sanders Episode: "Anti-Thesis"
2004 Law & Order Gerald Episode: "Darwinian"
2004 The Jury Mr. Grove Episode: "Mail Order Mystery"
2005 Third Watch Jaime Castro Episode: "Welcome Home"
2006–08 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 Lights Out Barry K. Word 12 episodes
2012 Person of Interest Davidson Episode: "Blue Code"
2012 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Barry Querns 4 episodes
2013 Grimm The Baron/Baron Samedi 3 episodes
2013–16 House of Cards Freddy 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 Det. Julius Bonner 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"
2016 Inside Amy Schumer Adviser Episode: "Madame President"
2016–present Outcast Chief Giles 10 episodes
2017 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Zakariyya Lacks Television movie


  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ "The Wire: Out of Character with Reg E. Cathey (HBO)". YouTube. April 11, 2008. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  3. ^ Kezo, Jeannie (2007-09-20). "A New World on the Huntsville Horizon". Valley Planet. Archived from the original on 2009-06-09. 
  4. ^ a b "From Huntsville to Hollywood". The Huntsville Times. December 10, 1993.
  5. ^ "The Wire: Homepage". HBO. 2012-03-20. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  6. ^ "Entertainment: The People Speak". Los Angeles Times. December 12, 2009. 
  7. ^ Billington, Michael (2009-09-13). "Review: The Shawshank Redemption". The Guardian. 
  8. ^ Colurso, Mary. "Alabama ties: Tony Hale, Laverne Cox, Reg E. Cathey among nominees for 2014 Emmy Awards". Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "The Wire star hopes to appear in Fair City". RTÉ Arts. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2009. 
  10. ^ Siegel, Tatiana. "Fox's 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Adds 'The Wire's' Reg E. Cathey". The Hollywood Reporter. May 8, 2014.

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