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Also Known As: Kathleen Doyle Bates, Bobo Bates, Bobo Bates Died:
Born: June 28, 1948 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Memphis, Tennessee, USA Profession: actor, director, songwriter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

To the general moviegoer, Kathy Bates seemed to materialize from nowhere, giving an Academy Award-winning performance as a psychotic literary fan-turned-kidnapper in the screen adaptation of Stephen King's "Misery" in 1990. Unbeknownst to those outside theater circles, Bates had already enjoyed an over 20-year career as a Tony Award-winning actress on Broadway. Even more impressive, she was over 40 when she first made a dent in Hollywood; a town with a poor track record for accepting anyone who is past society's idea of "a woman's prime" - never mind if she was also plus-sized. But this challenge gave the honest, unflinching actress opportunities to sink her teeth into eccentric character roles like her revered turn in "About Schmidt" (2002), as well as charismatic supporting roles in "Titanic" (1997) and "Primary Colors" (1998). Bates enjoyed a third career incarnation as a director, beginning with network police dramas, before earning acclaim both behind and in front of the camera on HBO's darkly comic "Six Feet Under" (HBO, 2001-05). Her work in films like the marital drama "Revolutionary Road" (2008), the crowd-pleasing "The Blind Side" (2009), and as the star of the legal drama series "Harry's...

To the general moviegoer, Kathy Bates seemed to materialize from nowhere, giving an Academy Award-winning performance as a psychotic literary fan-turned-kidnapper in the screen adaptation of Stephen King's "Misery" in 1990. Unbeknownst to those outside theater circles, Bates had already enjoyed an over 20-year career as a Tony Award-winning actress on Broadway. Even more impressive, she was over 40 when she first made a dent in Hollywood; a town with a poor track record for accepting anyone who is past society's idea of "a woman's prime" - never mind if she was also plus-sized. But this challenge gave the honest, unflinching actress opportunities to sink her teeth into eccentric character roles like her revered turn in "About Schmidt" (2002), as well as charismatic supporting roles in "Titanic" (1997) and "Primary Colors" (1998). Bates enjoyed a third career incarnation as a director, beginning with network police dramas, before earning acclaim both behind and in front of the camera on HBO's darkly comic "Six Feet Under" (HBO, 2001-05). Her work in films like the marital drama "Revolutionary Road" (2008), the crowd-pleasing "The Blind Side" (2009), and as the star of the legal drama series "Harry's Law" (NBC, 2010- ) kept the performer in high esteem with both critics and audiences. Still in her prime, Bates continued to break the Hollywood law of averages by letting her talent rather than her age define her as an actress.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
  Talking With (1995) Director
3.
  Dash and Lilly (1999) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Tammy (2014)
3.
4.
 Valentine's Day (2010)
5.
 Personal Effects (2009)
6.
 Chéri (2009)
7.
 Blind Side, The (2009)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Memphis, TN
1970:
Moved to NYC to pursue career
1971:
Feature film debut in bit role as a singer auditioning in Milos Forman's "Taking Off"; also wrote song "And Even Horses Had Wings" she performed in film; credited as Bobo Bates
1973:
Stage debut as a duck in "Virginia Folk Tales" at Wayside Children's Theatre in Middletown, VA
1976:
Off-Broadway debut as Joanne, one of the Texas Southern belles in the three-character drama "Vanities"
1977:
Reprised her stage role in L.A. production of "Vanities"
1977:
Made TV debut on an episode of "The Love Boat" (ABC)
1978:
Was a member of the company of the Actors Theatre of Louisville (Kentucky); appeared in Beth Henley's "Crimes of the Heart"
:
Acted on stage in "The Art of Dining"
1980:
Made Broadway debut in support of Jane Alexander in the short-lived production "Goodbye Fidel"
1981:
Appeared in the Actors Theatre of Louisville production of "Extremities"
1982:
Originated role of Stella May in the short-lived Broadway production of "Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean"; staged by Robert Altman; reprised part in Altman's film version
1983:
Starred on Broadway in "'night Mother"; received Tony nomination for her portrayal of a depressed woman bent on suicide
1984:
Played Belle, the cellmate of Erica Kane on the ABC daytime drama "All My Children"
1986:
TV-movie debut, "Johnny Bull" (ABC)
1987:
Cast in supporting role in the CBS miniseries "Murder Ordained"
1987:
Starred off-Broadway and in Los Angeles (1988) in "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune" in a role written for her by playwright Terrence McNally
1988:
Replaced Amy Irving in the off-Broadway production of Athol Fugard's play "The Road to Mecca"; reprised role in 1981 feature version
1988:
Appeared in a two-part episode of the ABC drama "China Beach"
1990:
Made breakthrough screen performance as obsessed fan Annie Wilkes in feature adaptation of Stephen King's "Misery"
1991:
Co-starred with Jessica Tandy in "Fried Green Tomatoes"
1992:
Played supporting role in "Prelude to a Kiss"
1994:
Made uncredited appearance in the ABC miniseries "Stephen King's The Stand"
1995:
Starred as the title character, a woman accused of murder in the feature adaptation of King's "Dolores Claiborne"
1995:
TV directorial debut, the PBS production "Talking With"; also acted in one segment
1996:
Helmed episodes of "Homicide: Life on the Street" and "NYPD Blue"
1996:
Portrayed Jay Leno's manager Helen Kushnick in the HBO movie "The Late Shift"
1996:
Cast as the tenacious police woman investigating the disappearance of the school's headmaster in the remake of "Diabolique"
1997:
Directed the failed pilot "Fargo"
1997:
Portrayed 'The Unsinkable Molly Brown' in James Cameron's blockbuster "Titanic"
1998:
Delivered a scene-stealing supporting turn as a political advisor Libby Holden in "Primary Colors"
1998:
Directed an episode of the HBO series "Oz"
1998:
Portrayed Adam Sandler's mother in the suprise hit "The Waterboy"
1999:
Helmed the TV-movie "Dash & Lilly" (A&E) about Dashiell Hammett and Lillian Hellman
1999:
Starred as Miss Hannigan in Disney's remake of "Annie" (ABC)
2001:
Portrayed the mother of the James brothers in the revisionist Western "American Outlaws"
2002:
Co-starred in the television feature "My Sister's Keeper"
2002:
Landed recurring role as Bettina on the acclaimed HBO series "Six Feet Under"; also directed episodes
2002:
Played a fan who helps the male lover of a murdered pop star investigate the killing in "Who Shot Victor Fox?"
2002:
Had a bravura turn as the future in-law to Jack Nicholson in "About Schmidt"
2004:
Played Queen Victoria in the Disney live action feature "Around the World in 80 Days" based on the classic novel by Jules Verne
2004:
Starred with Brittany Murphy in the romantic comedy "Little Black Book"
2005:
Earned an Emmy nomination for her role as FDR's physical therapist in the HBO Films original movie "Warm Springs"
2005:
Cast in Rob Reiner's "Rumor Has It" with Kevin Costner and Jennifer Aniston
2006:
Earned an Emmy nomination for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for "Ambulance Girl"
2006:
Voiced Bitsy the cow in live-action/computer-animated feature film "Charlotte's Web," based on the book by E.B. White
2007:
Voiced one of the winged characters in the computer-animated "Bee Movie"
2007:
Cast as Mother Claus opposite Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti in the comedy "Fred Claus"
2008:
Cast as the Secretary of Defense in the remake of the 1951 science fiction movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still"
2008:
Re-teamed with "Titanic" co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet for "Revolutionary Road"
2009:
Co-starred with Michelle Pfeiffer in Stephen Frears' "Cheri"
2009:
Co-starred as Miss Sue, Oher's tutor in "The Blind Side" opposite Sandra Bullock
2010:
Played a 'love therapist' in the Garry Marshall directed romantic comedy "Valentine's Day"
2009:
Played the Queen of Hearts in SyFy's "Alice"
2011:
Cast as Gertrude Stein in Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris"
2011:
Landed first role as a series regular in "Harry's Law" (NBC)
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in Drama Series
2012:
Co-starred in the romantic drama "A Little Bit of Heaven"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Southern Methodist University: Dallas , Texas - 1969

Notes

"You're either young and glamorous and you're going to get the lead and get the man at the end of the picture, or it's the opposite: you're a character actress, you're not attractive enough for the other role, and so you're playing the friend or the killer or the lesbian or the doctor or whatever. But the one who gets to play the young, pretty, gets-the-boy-at-the-end role doesn't have any power. And vice-versa: a character can have power, but not femininity."---Kathy Bates, quoted in INTERVIEW, 1990.

"I have always had a problem with my weight. I'm not a stunning woman. I never was an ingenue; I've always just been a character actor. When I was younger it was a real problem, because I was never pretty enough for the roles that other young women were being cast in. The roles I was lucky enought to get were real stretches for me; usually a character who was older, or a little weird, or whatever. And it was hard, not just for the lack of work but because you have to face up to how people are looking at you. And you think, 'Well, y'know, I'm a real person.'"---Kathy Bates quoted in 'I Was Never an Ingenue' by David Sacks, NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, January 27, 1991.

"The Oscar changed everything. Better salary, working with better people, better projects, more exposure, less privacy."---Bates to DAILY NEWS, March 9, 1998.

"I really love movie crews. They just work so hard, and we sometimes take them for granted."---Bates quoted in USA TODAY, March 30, 1998.

What happened after losing Best Supporting Actress to Catherine Zeta-Jones in March 2003: "Meryl Streep sailed by, grabbed my arm, and said, 'Let's go have a drink.' We slammed our bags onto the bar and she said, 'Two vodkas.' It was a real Bette Davis/Joan Crawford moment, it just took the sting out of losing."---Bates quoted to Entertainment Weekly, June 27/July 4, 2003.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Tony Campisi. Actor. Together from c. 1977; married in April 1991; divorced in 1997.
companion:
Bernard Hill. Actor. Appeared together in "Titanic".

Family close complete family listing

father:
Langdon Doyle Bates. Mechanical engineer. Deceased.
mother:
Bertye Kathleen Bates. Died on February 15, 1997 at age 91.
sister:
Mary Bates. Older.
sister:
Patricia Bates. Older.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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