Cathey was perhaps best known for his roles as Freddy Hayes on House of Cards and Norman Wilson on The Wire, winning an Emmy for the latter in 2015.
Throughout his career, he also appeared in series like Law & Order, 30 Rock, Grimm and Oz, as well as many films.
House of Cards distributors Netflix issued a statement on Friday (February 9), saying staff were heartbroken by the news of Cathey's death. It read, "Reg was the kindest man, the most giving actor, a true gentlemen. Our sympathy goes to his family."
A number of other colleagues and admirers have also expressed their sympathies for the late actor. Read a selection of tributes from social media below.
Reg Cathey, 1958-2018. 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. Reg, your memory is a great blessing. pic.twitter.com/OHEUbAhTg0— David Simon (@AoDespair) February 9, 2018
Reg Cathey was 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.— Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) February 9, 2018
Rest In Peace, Reg. pic.twitter.com/p9DXFgDevP
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 pic.twitter.com/PiwDy0kVFC— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) February 10, 2018
There are words. Reg E Cathey was one of the kindest, funniest, talented badasses I have ever had the honor of knowing. We lost a really good man today. You will be missed brother.— Michael Kelly (@michaeljkellyjr) February 10, 2018
Go gentle into that good night my brother. It was an honor spending time with you on set. Getting to know you as a person and an artist. You will be missed. Condolences to your family. I salute you. #Reg E. Cathey😢 https://t.co/4tNWpRoZrm— Mike Colter (@realmikecolter) February 10, 2018
Reg E. Cathey has passed . RIP Dirty Dee. Great actor great Man. pic.twitter.com/EgvBPstSaI— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) February 10, 2018
I was always so happy to see Reg E. Cathey in ANYTHING— Mara "Get Rid of the Nazis" Wilson (@MaraWilson) February 10, 2018
Reg. E. Cathey... just such a sweet man and a phenomenal actor. A member of the tribe has gone home. May he rest. https://t.co/oD6Jz3tDvO— Uzo Aduba (@UzoAduba) February 10, 2018
Reg E. Cathey was a voice of the political revolution, and someone I had the honor of working with during my 2016 campaign. He will be greatly missed. Jane and I send our deepest condolences to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/UWHwHcQODM— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 10, 2018