Oscar Actors: Bates, Kathy–Social Background, Career, Awards (Cumulative Advantage, Tony, Emmy)

Kathy Bates Career Summary

Photo: Dolores Claiborne

Career Summary:

Age at Screen Debut: 23

Age at First Oscar: 42

Number of Oscar nominations: 4; 1 lead and 3 supporting.

Tony Awards: 1 nomination

Emmy Awards: 2 awards, 14 nominations

Career Span: 50 years


Cumulative Advantage: Sequence of Awards:

1983: Tony nomination (age 35)

1988: Obie Award

1990: Best Actress Oscar

1998: Supporting Actress nomination

2002: Supporting Actress nomination

2011: Emmy nomination

2012: Emmy Award

2014: Emmy Award

2019: Supporting Actress nomination; NBR Award

The list excludes Golden Globes and critics awards.


Short Biography

Kathleen Doyle Bates was born in Memphis, Tennessee on June 28, 1948.

She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an Oscar Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards.

Bates studied theatre at the Southern Methodist University before moving to New York to pursue an acting career. She landed minor stage roles before being cast in her first screen role in Taking Off (1971), directed by Milos Forman.

Her first Off-Broadway stage performance was in the 1976 production of “Vanities.” Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, she continued to perform on screen and on stage, and garnered a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in in 1983 for her performance in ‘night, Mother.  She won an Obie Award in 1988 for her performance in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.

Bates’ performance as Annie Wilkes in the horror film Misery (1990), marked her Hollywood breakthrough, winning the Best Actress Oscar.

Further acclaim came for her starring role in Dolores Claiborne (1995) and The Waterboy (1998), and supporting roles in Fried Green Tomatoes (1991).

Titanic (1997), in which she portrayed Molly Brown, became the highest-grossing film to that point.

Multiple Oscar Nominations:

Bates received 3 nominations for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, for Primary Colors (1998), About Schmidt (2002), and Richard Jewell (2019).

Bates’ TV work has resulted in 14 Emmy nominations, including two for her leading role on the NBC series Harry’s Law (2011–2012). She won the Primetime Emmy Award for Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her appearance on the ninth season of “Two and a Half Men” (2012) and the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for her portrayal of Delphine LaLaurie on the third season of “American Horror Story” (2014).

She also received accolades for her portrayal of Miss Hannigan in the 1999 TV adaptation of “Annie.”

Her directing credits include several episodes of the HBO television series Six Feet Under (2001–2003) and the TV film “Ambulance Girl” (2005).

Bates was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the youngest of 3 daughters of mechanical engineer Langdon Doyle Bates (July 28, 1900 – March 6, 1989) and homemaker Bertye Kathleen (née Talbert; January 26, 1907 – February 15, 1997). Her paternal grandfather was lawyer and author Finis L. Bates. Her great-great-grandfather was an Irish emigrant to New Orleans, Louisiana, who served as President Andrew Jackson’s doctor.

She graduated early from White Station High School (1965) and from Southern Methodist University (1969), where she studied theatre and became a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority.

She moved to New York City in 1970 to pursue an acting career.

Bates is an alumna of the William Esper Studio for the performing arts in Manhattan, New York City.