Kathy Bates has been honored numerous times for her work on stage, screen and television. She 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 1999, she received Oscar®, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations and won a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® and a Critics Choice Award for her performance in Mike Nichols’ “Primary Colors.” Bates more recently earned her third Oscar nomination for her role in Alexander Payne’s About Schmidt, for which she also garnered Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations and won a National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her film work has also been recognized with Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations for Jon Avnet’s Fried Green Tomatoes, and she also shared in 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 Midnight in Paris.
Bates won rave reviews and her second Emmy® award as the deliciously evil “Madame LaLaurie” in the third installment of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story: Coven on FX and has just been nominated for a Golden Globe® for her portrayal of Ethel Darling in the fourth installment: Murphy’s American Horror Story: Freakshow. Prior to that, she starred in two seasons as “Harriet ‘Harry’ Korn,” a curmudgeonly ex-patent lawyer in David E. Kelly’s hit NBC television show Harry’s Law garnering her an Emmy® nomination for Lead Actress in a drama series.
Recently, Bates was seen in Tammy with Melissa McCarthy, Valentine’s Day; The Blind Side; Stephen Frears’ period drama Cheri, in which she starred with Michelle Pfeiffer; Sam Mendes’ acclaimed drama Revolutionary Road, which reunited her with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet; the sci-fi remake The Day the Earth Stood Still, which opened at the top of the box office; and the independent drama Personal Effects, with Pfeiffer and Ashton Kutcher, as well as the animated short Cadaver. Upcoming projects include BoyChoir with Dustin Hoffman and The Great Gilly Hopkins with Danny Glover and Octavia Spencer.
Among Bates’ long list of film credits include P.S. I Love You, Fred Claus, Failure to Launch, Little Black Book, Dragonfly, American Outlaws, The Waterboy, The War at Home, Dolores Claiborne, A Home of Our Own, Prelude to a Kiss, Shadows and Fog, At Play in the Fields of the Lord, Dick Tracy, Men Don’t Leave, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Straight Time and Taking Off. Bates lent her voice to Jerry Seinfeld’s animated comedy Bee Movie, as well as Charlotte’s Web and The Golden Compass.
On television, in addition to her current projects, Bates appeared in Syfy’s Alice, playing the “Queen of Hearts,” for which she earned an Emmy Award nomination for her performance. She won a Golden Globe and a SAG Award and earned an Emmy Award nomination for the 1996 HBO film The Late Shift. Her television honors also include Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for her performance in the musical Annie; another SAG Award nomination for her role in the telefilm My Sister’s Keeper; and four additional Emmy Award nominations for her work on the projects 3rd Rock from the Sun, Six Feet Under, Warm Springs, and Ambulance Girl, which she also directed. She also guest starred on Mike & Molly, The Office and Two and a Half Men, winning her first Emmy® award for her work on the latter.
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 for the episode entitled “Twilight.” Her directing credits also include episodes of such series as Oz, NYPD Blue and Homicide: Life on the Street.
Bates first gained the attention of critics and audiences on the New York stage. 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 Obie Awards for her performance as “Frankie” in the original Off-Broadway production of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune as well as for her portrayal of “Elsa Barlow” in Athol Fugard’s The Road to Mecca, which Bates also starred in when filmed.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Bates received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1970 from Southern Methodist University, which awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2002.