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Darlene Cates (1947–2017)


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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Watch on TV

What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Fri, Mar 29 11:00 AM EDT on TMC (662)

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Known For

(1993)
Billboard Penny
(2019)
Picket Fences Sophie Wallace
(1994)
Mother Mother
(2014)

Filmography

Hide Hide Show Show Actress (6 credits)
 2019 Billboard (completed)
Penny
 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
 1993 What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Bonnie Grape
Hide Hide Show Show Self (2 credits)
 1994 The Word (TV Series)
Herself
- Episode #4.15 (1994) ... Herself
 1992 Sally Jessy Raphael (TV Series)
Herself
- Too Heavy to Leave Their House (1992) ... Herself
Hide Hide Show Show Archive footage (1 credit)
 2015 No Small Parts (TV Series documentary)
Herself
- Darlene Cates (2015) ... Herself

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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:

Has one daughter, Sheri Ann (b. January 1966), and two sons: Mark (b. October 1967) and Chris (b. 1971) See more »

Star Sign:

Sagittarius

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