Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards and The Wire actor, dead at 59

Tributes are pouring in after actor Reg E. Cathey, known for his work on House of Cards and The Wire, died at the age of 59.

Emmy-winner known for his baritone voice and playing working-class characters

Actor Reg E. Cathey, known for his work on House of Cards and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks among other roles, died at the age of 59. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Reg E. Cathey, an Emmy-winning actor known for his work on Netflix's House of Cards and HBO's The Wire, has died at the age of 59.

The Wire creator David Simon announced his death in a tweet on Friday. He called Cathey a "fine, masterful actor" and "delightful human being."

"On wit alone, he could double any man over and leave him thinking," Simon wrote.

HBO confirmed the death in a statement but no other details were given. 

"There is a reason we turned to him time and time again in movies, series and miniseries," the HBO statement said. "He was uniquely talented and ever the gentleman."

Cathey played barbecue rib shack owner Freddy Hayes on House of Cards and won an Emmy for the guest role in 2015. He also played Norman Wilson for two seasons of the crime drama The Wire, from 2006-2008.

Other credits included the film American Psycho and the acclaimed prison series Oz. Some of his most recent work involved a role in the movie adaptation of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, in which he played Zakariyya Lacks and Marvel's Luke Cage, which was his final role.

Cathey won an award for guest actor in a drama for House of Cards at the 2015 Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, Calif. ( Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

The actor, who was born in Huntsville, Ala., was known for his baritone voice and working-class characters. Samuel L. Jackson and Luke Cage star Mike Colter were among those who posted tributes.

"Go gentle into that good night my brother," wrote Colter. "It was an honour spending time with you on set."

With files from the Associated Press

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