Darlene Cates (1947–2017)


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Cates' acting career ignited after she appeared on an episode of Sally Jessy Raphael (1983), titled "Too Heavy to Leave Their House". Shortly after, author and screenwriter Peter Hedges proposed to her that she play Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio's morbidly obese and housebound mother in What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)--Cates accepted. Her ... See full bio »

Died:

(age 69) in Forney, Texas, USA

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Known For

Picket Fences Sophie Wallace
(1994)
Mother Mother
(2014)
Wolf Girl Athena the Fat Lady
(2001)

Filmography

Hide Hide Show Show Actress (5 credits)
 2014/III Mother (Short)
Mother
 2001 Wolf Girl (TV Movie)
Athena the Fat Lady
 1996 Touched by an Angel (TV Series)
Claudia Bell
- Statute of Limitations (1996) ... Claudia Bell
 1994 Picket Fences (TV Series)
Sophie Wallace
- Squatter's Rights (1994) ... Sophie Wallace
Hide Hide Show Show Self (2 credits)
 1994 The Word (TV Series)
Self
- Episode #4.15 (1994) ... Self
 1992 Sally Jessy Raphael (TV Series)
Self
- Too Heavy to Leave Their House (1992) ... Self
Hide Hide Show Show Archive footage (1 credit)
 2015 No Small Parts (TV Series documentary)
Self
- Darlene Cates (2015) ... Self

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Personal Details

Publicity Listings:

1 Article | See more »

Height:

5' 9" (1.75 m)
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Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

I wish everyone that's kind of hiding away at home still could understand or could have the same experience that I did. Once I did the [Sally Jessy Raphael (1983)] show, all of a sudden I realized that if I went out and people stared at me, I wouldn't know if they were staring at me because I was fat or because they recognized me from being on TV. That empowered me. See more »

Trivia:

In 1992 she received her high school diploma via correspondence courses and emerged from her house after a five-year period of reclusion. See more »

Star Sign:

Sagittarius

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