Born into a military family in Huntsville, Alabama -- his father was an army vet who had served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, while his mother held a somewhat mysterious job in the Department of Defence -- Reg E. Cathey spent much of his early childhood living on a rural farmhouse in Germany. There, he watched American TV shows dubbed into German and first became theatre-struck at the age of nine after attending a USO performance of "Guys and Dolls". That same year, he also took up playing the saxophone. That he became an actor and not a jazz musician was happenstance, but, as he once admitted "he was no Lester Young". An incisive and eloquent personality with a uniquely expressive baritone voice, Cathey was to bring a soulful dignity and often unexpected sense of humour to a wide variety of roles on both stage and screen.
Cathey attended the University of Michigan and later studied acting at the Yale School of Drama. The theatre remained his lifelong passion and New York his pr