Updated: Dec 30, 2019
Kathy Bates "Phil's In The Blanks..."
A glimpse into her family life and education while living in Memphis, Tennessee
How she discovered acting and the skills to create a blank canvas
Being cast in American Horror Story and playing a character of great depth
Watching the Dr. Phil: “I really love watching people's expressions what they don't say and that fascinates me”
Growing up with her two sisters, thinking she was limited to a career as a secretary or a teacher
Her strong desire to always perform
Feeling on the stage: “... later when I got very serious about it, which was at SMU I remember going on stage once and just feeling everything relax and I thought.. OK now I'm home”
Isolated existence in Hollywood
Surviving ovarian and breast cancer
Connect With Kathy
Learn More About Living life with Lymphedema
Lymphedema is a condition caused by blockages in the lymphatic system, which prevent fluid from draining well, leading to swelling, usually in the arms and legs
Bates is proud of her role as both a champion and spokesperson for LE&RN: Lymphatic Education and Research Network.
LE&RN is a nonprofit organization established in 1998 –
LE&RN is dedicated to fighting lymphatic disease and lymphedema through education, research and advocacy.
LE&RN funds research fellowships, has a patient registry tissue bank, publishes the only peer-review scientific journal in the field, established the only US university professorship in lymphatic medicine – which is at Stanford University.
More About Kathy Bates
Honored numerous times for her work, Kathy is an undeniable force on stage, screen and television. Bates won an Academy Award® and a Golden Globe® for her portrayal of obsessed fan ‘Annie Wilkes’ in Rob Reiner’s 1990 hit Misery, based on Stephen King’s novel. In 1995, Bates appeared in the title role of King’s Dolores Claiborne.
In 1999, for her performance in Mike Nichols’ Primary Colors, she received Oscar®, Golden Globe® and BAFTA nominations and won a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® and a Critics Choice Award.
Bates earned her third Oscar® nomination for her role in Alexander Payne’s About Schmidt, for which she won a National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress as well as Golden Globe® and SAG Award® nominations.
Her film work has also been recognized with Golden Globe® and BAFTA Award nominations for Jon Avnet’s film of Fanny Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes, and she also shared a SAG Award® nomination with the ensemble cast of James Cameron’s all-time, top-grossing blockbuster Titanic as well as a nomination for the ensemble of Woody Allen’s biggest success, Midnight in Paris.
Bates received her star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame on September 20, 2016.
Additional film credits include: The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock; Stephen Frears’ period drama Cheri, in which she starred with Michelle Pfeiffer; Sam Mendes’ drama Revolutionary Road, which reunited her with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, Adam Sandler’s The Waterboy, Robert Altman’s Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Straight Time with Dustin Hoffman and Milos Forman’s Taking Off.
On television Bates has received 14 Emmy® nominations, winning her first in 2003 playing ‘Ghost of Charlie Harper’ in Chuck Lorre’s in Two and a Half Men. Bates won rave reviews and her second Emmy® as the deliciously evil ‘Madame LaLaurie’ in Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story: Coven on FX. She received two more Emmy® nods for ‘Ethel’ in American Horror Story: Freak Show and ‘Iris’ in Hotel.
For the 1996 HBO film, The Late Shift, Bates won a Golden Globe® and a SAG Award® as well as an Emmy® nomination. Her television honors also include Emmy®, Golden Globe® and SAG Award® nominations for her performance in the musical Annie.
Upcoming, Bates will appear alongside Kit Harington in the Xavier Dolan drama The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. In the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic On the Basis of Sex, starring Felicity Jones, Bates plays ACLU activist Dorothy Kenyon. The John Lee Hancock drama The Highwaymen opposite Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson and is set to star in The Laureate, a drama about British poet and novelist Robert Graves from writer-director William Nunez.
Bates has also been honored for her work behind the camera as a director. She helmed the A&E telefilm Dash and Lilly, starring Sam Shepard and Judy Davis, which earned nine Emmy® nominations, including one for Bates as Best Director. She also directed five episodes of the acclaimed HBO series Six Feet Under, earning a Directors Guild of America Award® nomination for the episode entitled “Twilight.” Her directing credits also include episodes of such series as Oz, Homicide: Life on the Street, PBS: Great Performances and NYPD Blue.
Bates first gained the attention of critics and audiences on the New York stage starring as “Joanne” in Jack Heifner’s Vanities, one of the longest running plays in Off-Broadway history. She was nominated for a Tony® Award for her portrayal of the suicidal daughter in the original Broadway production of Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play `night, Mother. She has been honored with an Obie® Award for her performance as “Frankie” in the original Off-Broadway production of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. She portrayed “Elsa Barlow” in Athol Fugard’s The Road to Mecca and starred with Fugard and Yvonne Bryceland in the film.
For the past several years, Bates has served as a Spokesperson for the Lymphatic Education and Research Network (LE&RN). LE&RN is an internationally recognized non-profit organization founded in 1998 to fight lymphatic diseases and lymphedema through education, research and advocacy. With chapters throughout the world, LE&RN seeks to accelerate the prevention, treatment and cure of these diseases while bringing patients and medical professionals together to address the unmet needs surrounding lymphatic diseases, which include lymphedema and lipedema.
Bates currently resides in Los Angeles