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Kathy Bates      

Academy Award-Winning Actress; Cancer Survivor & Chairperson for the Lymphatic Education & Research Network

Kathleen "Kathy" Bates is an actress and director. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, three American Comedy Awards, two Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, an Obie Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

However, when Bates speaks, she is applauded not only as an Oscar winner and one of Hollywood's most sought-after performers but for what might be the most challenging and inspirational role of her career: cancer survivor. Diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003 and breast cancer in 2012 -- for which she underwent a double mastectomy -- she is now in remission and more upbeat than ever.

Bates has been honored numerous times for her work on stage, screen, and television. Throughout the 2000s, Bates worked consistently in Hollywood cinema, often playing supporting roles in number of mainstream films, such as Rumor Has It, Failure to Launch, P.S. I Love You, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Blind Side, and Valentine's Day.

From 2010 to 2011, she had a recurring guest role on the American version of "The Office" as Jo Bennett. In 2012, Bates made a guest appearance on "Two and a Half Men" which resulted in Bates winning her first Emmy Award, in the category of Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, following nine nominations.

In 2013, she began starring in the "American Horror Story" series' third season, "Coven," as Delphine LaLaurie. For that role, she won her second Emmy Award, in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie. She received further Emmy Award nominations for each season she returned.

On September 20, 2016, Bates received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her work in the film industry.

Bates has successfully battled ovarian cancer since her diagnosis in 2003. In September 2012, she revealed via Twitter that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer two months earlier and had undergone a double mastectomy. In 2014, at the New York Walk for Lymphedema & Lymphatic Diseases, Bates announced via pre-recorded audio that, due to the double mastectomy, she has lymphedema in both arms. That year, Bates became a national spokesperson for lymphedema and chairperson for the Lymphatic Education & Research Network's (LE&RN) honorary board.

In 2018, Bates led advocates in a Capitol Hill Lobby Day to garner congressional support for further research funding. The next day, May 12, Bates addressed supporters at the first-ever DC/VA Walk to Fight Lymphedema & Lymphatic Diseases at the Lincoln Memorial. She was awarded the 2018 WebMD Health Heroes "Game Changer" Award for her role in raising awareness of this chronic lymphatic disease.

Bates, who was raised in Memphis, Tennessee, studied theatre at Southern Methodist University before moving to New York City to pursue a career as an actress.

Speech Topics

Blind-Sided: When Cancer Comes Calling

Kathy Bates's frank and funny talk takes audiences from her diagnosis with ovarian cancer in August of 2003 through her treatment and current remission. Bates encourages audiences to face cancer with candor, which she hopes will lead to greater awareness, earlier diagnosis, and greater treatment.


Maggie Smith, Kathy Bates, Laura Linney Join 'The Miracle Club ...
Oscar-winners Maggie Smith and Kathy Bates and Golden Globe winner Laura Linney have joined the cast of comedy "The Miracle Club."
Kathy Bates talks lymphedema and double mastectomy
Kathy Bates discusses her lymphedema with Kelly Clarkson and gives advice to young women on their health.

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