Actress Kathryn Kates has passed away. The native New Yorker lost her long battle with cancer in Florida at 73 years old.
“Our mighty @officialkathrynkates has passed away,” they wrote. “She will always be remembered and adored in our hearts as the powerful force of nature she was.”
“She loved this craft and had enough patience to fill 10 ships,” the statement continued. “A true icon. We will miss you.”
In addition to “Seinfeld,” the late acting talent also had recurring roles in the Netflix hit “Orange Is the New Black” and “Law & Order: SVU.” One of her last roles was as Angle DeCarlo in “The Sopranos” spin-off movie titled “The Many Saints of Newark.”
Who Was Kathryn Bates?
According to her official bio, Kates was “probably best known for her recurring role on Seinfeld in the iconic episodes ‘The Marble Rye’ and ‘The Dinner Party’ (The Babka episode).”
“Kathryn is active in the New York theater scene and is often featured in commercials, films, cable & television series, and off & off-off Broadway theater productions,” it continued.
In 1974, Kates moved from New York to Los Angeles to continue her acting career. She became one of 25 actors to become a Founding Member of The Colony Theater. The group “took up residence at The Studio Theatre in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles and for the next 25 years produced award-winning theatre.” From 1975 to 1981, Kates and Barbara Beckley produced all of the company’s plays.
According to her biography, Kates also had a special relationship with actor John Larroquette.
“She has the distinction of being the only actress to ever play opposite John Larroquette as his mother, lover, and wife: as his mother in Enter Laughing (Cast Theatre, 1974); his wife in A Company of Wayward Saints (Colony Theatre 1978); and his lover in The Lady’s Not For Burning (Colony Theatre, 1979).”
In addition to her film and television roles, Kates also appeared in many of The Colony’s L.A. Drama Critics’ Circle award-winning productions, including “The Grapes Of Wrath” and Ray Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles” (El Rey Theatre with Ed Harris).
Kathryn Bates Had A Recurring Role In ‘Orange Is The New Black’
Fans might remember her for her role as Jason Bigg’s mother in “Orange Is The New Black,” which was written by Jenji Kohan.
In addition to the Netflix hit, Kates was also cast as a series lead in the CBS/Showtime pilot, “Gurland on Gurland,” playing Myrna Birnbaum, which was written, directed, and produced by Andrew Gurland, and executive producer Glenn Gordon Caron.
Kates also had a recurring role on the Disney series “Lizzie McGuire” as her neighbor Mrs. Carrabino. She also appeared as Mrs. Luckovich on “Pan Am” in 2011, as June Starr in “Judging Amy with Tyne Daly” in 2003, as Ginny in “Caroline in the City” with Lea Thompson, as Mrs. Bowman in “Hudson Street with Tony Danza” in 1996, and as Mable Maloney in a two-part Matlock special, “The Witness Killings” in 1991.
Kates has received numerous awards for her acting, including the Drama Logue Award for Best Actress for her role as Ruby in Marsha Norman’s “Getting Out” in 1982, and a Best Supporting Actress nomination from the Midtown International Theater Festival (MITF) in New York City for her work in “Gray Matters” as agent Miriam Berger in 2010.
Kates later moved back to New York City in 2006, where she appeared in over twenty off and off-off Broadway productions. She also toured Europe with Saviana Stanescu’s Waxing West.
Many Took To Social Media To Express Condolences For The Late Kathryn Kates
The incredible @kathrynjkates passed away. Kathryn Kates was someone I knew via my daughter having worked with her & we kept in touch. I greatly admired her work & she knew it. I told her many times and I’m glad I did – outspoken, true, caring, memorable actress in every part.
— Elle Jones (@ellej0nes) January 23, 2022
I am so upset to hear about the passing of Kathryn Kates, an actress of tremendous empathy, vigor and joy. She played “Sheyne” in the 2018 reading of my musical “Rubble Rubble.” She was so kind to me, and I always assumed we’d make something together again. I will miss her. 💔 pic.twitter.com/BDM2UioX6r
— Long COVID Killjoy (@dangerfishback) January 23, 2022
— Rising Phoenix Rep (@RPRTheater) January 23, 2022
We are 💔 to learn of the passing of Kathryn Kates. She made us laugh on two episodes of Seinfeld but leaves a legacy of kindness and humanity to all those she touched. RIP Kathryn pic.twitter.com/VY1oRceFpf
— This Podcast is Making Me Thirsty – Seinfeld (@ThisThirsty) January 24, 2022
Farewell, Kathryn Kates, who sold the babka on Seinfeld. https://t.co/rFmoQPS1Yk
— Jon Weisman (@jonweisman) January 26, 2022