|Born:||June 28, 1948|
Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Kathleen Doyle "Kathy" Bates (born June 28, 1948) is an American actress and director.
After several small roles in film and television, Bates rose to prominence with her performance in Misery (1990), for which she won both the Academy Award for Best Actress and a Golden Globe. She followed this with major roles in Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) and Dolores Claiborne (1995), before playing a featured role as Margaret "Molly" Brown in Titanic (1997). During this time she began her directing career, primarily in television.
She won a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance in Primary Colors (1998), for which she also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for About Schmidt (2002). Her television work has resulted in seven Emmy Award nominations. Diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003, Bates has stated that she has made a full recovery.
Bates was born in Memphis, Tennessee, one of three daughters of Bertye Kathleen (née Talbot), a homemaker, and Langdon Doyle Bates, a mechanical engineer. Bates is the youngest of three daughters. Her sister Patricia Bates Smith lives in Florida and her other sister, Mary Bates Wehbi lives in Los Angeles. Bates niece Linda Wehbi was her assistant for many years. Her great-great-grandfather was an immigrant from Ireland to New Orleans and served as President Andrew Jackson's doctor. She attended Southern Methodist University, majoring in theatre and was a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, and graduated in 1969. She moved to New York City in 1970 to pursue an acting career.
Her Broadway appearances include Lanford Wilson's Fifth of July and the Robert Altman-directed Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean opposite Karen Black and Cher. She received a Tony Award nomination in 1983 for her stage role in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play night, Mother opposite Anne Pitoniak. The production of night, Mother ran for more than a year. One of her other successful New York stage productions was, Off-Broadway, in Terrence McNally's Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune which ran 533 performances. McNally specifically wrote the play for Bates and F. Murray Abraham, who had to drop out and was replaced by Kenneth Welsh. The play was later filmed as Frankie and Johnny, starring Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Bates' first feature film was the 1971 Miloš Forman comedy Taking Off (credited as "Bobo Bates"), wherein she sings an original song "Even Horses Had Wings". Bates next feature was the 1978 Dustin Hoffman vehicle Straight Time. (In 1990, she would appear again with Hoffman in Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy as a stenographer.) Bates continued to appear in little-seen films such as Summer Heat and The Morning After while guest-starring in television shows such as L.A. Law before landing the role of obsessed fan Annie Wilkes, who holds her favorite author (played by James Caan) captive, in the 1990 thriller Misery. Based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, she received her first Academy Award nomination for that role, winning Best Actress. Soon after, she starred with Jessica Tandy in the acclaimed 1991 movie Fried Green Tomatoes.
In 1995, she turned in another applauded portrayal as the title character in Dolores Claiborne, a film adaption of another Stephen King novel, although she was not nominated for an Oscar. In 1997, Bates played Margaret "Molly" Brown in James Cameron's Titanic. Based on the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic, the film went on to become the highest-grossing film of all time, grossing more than $1.8 billion in box-office receipts worldwide.
Bates also excelled in her role as the acid-tongued "dustbuster" political advisor Libby Holden in the 1998 drama Primary Colors, which was adapted from the book in which political journalist Joe Klein recounted his experiences on the Presidential campaign trail in 1991-1992. For this performance, she received the her second Academy Award nomination, for Best Supporting Actress, though she did not win. She was nominated again, in 2002, for About Schmidt, and did not win. More recently, she and Terry Bradshaw played the parents of Matthew McConaughey's character in the 2006 film Failure to Launch. Bates was also featured in an uncredited cameo in the miniseries of Stephen King's The Stand.
Bates was nominated Emmy Award seven times: Outstanding actor in a Miniseries or a Movie, for her performance as Jay Leno's manager Helen Kushnick in HBO's The Late Shift (1996), and, twice again in the same category; as Miss Hannigan in Disney's remake of Annie (1999) and for the HBO Franklin Roosevelt biopic Warm Springs (2005). She was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for Lifetime Television's Ambulance Girl (2006), which she also directed.
She appeared on 10 episodes of the HBO cable television series Six Feet Under for which she received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, as Bettina, in 2003. She also was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for 3rd Rock from the Sun in 1999, the same year that she was nominated for Outstanding Directing in a Miniseries or Movie for the Dashiell Hammett-Lillian Hellman biopic Dash & Lilly.
Starting in the 1990s, Bates forged a formidable career as a director. She has directed episodes of Homicide: Life on the Street, NYPD Blue, Oz, Six Feet Under, and Everwood. Bates has also directed the TV movies Dash and Lilly and the self-starring Ambulance Girl.
She directed and co-starred in Have Mercy (2006) with Melanie Griffith. In 2008, she re-teamed with her Titanic co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road.
In 1977, she made her soap opera debut as Phyllis on NBC's soap opera The Doctors. In 1983/1984, she played prison inmate Belle Bodelle on All My Children.
Bates married Tony Campisi in 1991; they divorced in 1997. She resides in Hancock Park, Los Angeles.
She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003, but the information did not become public knowledge until 2008 when she stated that after five years in remission she believes she has made a full recovery.
Bates is the Executive Committee Chair of the Actors Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors.