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House of Cards actor Reg E Cathey has died aged 59

The nine-time Emmy nominee played the role of Freddy Hayes in the Netflix series House of Cards.

Image: Zuma Press/PA Images

ACTOR REG E Cathey, who had roles in the hit series House of Cards and The Wire, has died, a Hollywood TV series creator reported. He was 59.

Cathey’s death was first reported late last night on Twitter by The Wire creator David Simon.

No cause of death was given. According to the TMZ celebrity website, Cathey died at his New York home of lung cancer.

A nine-time Emmy nominee, Cathey won the coveted award in 2015 for a role in the Netflix series House of Cards as Freddy Hayes, owner of a barbecue restaurant that Kevin Spacey’s character Frank Underwood frequents. In the show, Hayes ends up with a job in the White House.

Cathey, gifted with a deep baritone voice, was also known for his role as Baltimore political operative Norman Wilson in the HBO series The Wire, and as warden Martin Querns in the prison drama Oz.

“Reg Cathey, 1958-2018,” Simon tweeted.

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.

House of Cards writer Beau Willimon described him as “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.

Producer Wendell Pierce also paid tribute to him:

We lost a masterful actor, a sonorous voice, a great colleague, and a kind friend. A more gregarious human being you could not find.
A man whose presence was always a blessing and joy. I’m hard pressed to remember a moment of anger. A beautiful human being who will be missed

Cathey was born in Huntsville, Alabama, and spent his formative years in Germany with his military family. He later studied acting at Yale.

After working in theater he began taking roles in Hollywood productions in the 1990s, with appearances in TV shows and movies like The Mask.

“Reg was the kindest man, the most giving actor, a true gentleman,” Netflix said in a statement about Cathey’s death.

© – AFP 2018, with reporting from Gráinne Ní Aodha

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