Hollywood was left reeling this week when reports revealed actress Kathryn Kates had died of cancer at the age of 73, as Fox News reported.
Over the course of a roughly four-decade career, Kates gained fame as a character actor playing bit parts and supporting roles in dozens of TV shows and films, including Matlock, Shades of Blue, Orange is the New Black, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
She also appeared in the recent Sopranos prequel called The Many Saints of Newark, according to her IMDb page.
Decades in film, TV
Citing representatives at the Headline Talent Agency, Deadline was the first to report that Kates had died Saturday at her home in Florida.
“Kathryn has been our client for many years, and we have grown much closer to her in this last year since she knew of her cancer returning,” the agency said in a statement. “She was always incredibly brave and wise and approached every role with the greatest of passion. She will be greatly missed.”
According to Deadline, Kates’ acting career began in the early 1980s but really took off in the 1990s, when she began to appear on more television programs and took a few recurring supporting roles in shows including Seinfeld.
In addition to roles on TV and in film, Kates was also involved in theater in both New York City and Los Angeles.
“Losing her is heartbreaking”
According to People, Kates’ death was confirmed by Erica Bines of Headline Talent Agency, who said the actress died following “a hard-fought battle with lung cancer.” Bines said a memorial service would be planned for this spring.
“She was surrounded by her incredible family when she peacefully passed,” Bines said, according to Fox.
“She wasn’t just a dear client of ours but also our friend,” she added. “Losing her is heartbreaking, but there’s no doubt that her immense talent will live on for generations to come.”
Kates’ manager, Bob McGowan, also spoke with People about the tragic news. “My heart is broken, she was the best,” he wrote in an email to the magazine. “The entire time she was sick, she never complained,” McGowan added.
According to Deadline, Kates is survived by her sister and brother and their spouses, as well as a nephew.