Kathy Bates is an American actress, and a stage and television director best known for her roles in the movies Misery, Dolore Claiborne, Titanic and About Schmidt.
She also starred in the legal comedy-drama television series Harry's Law as Harriet "Harry" Korn, a curmudgeonly ex-patent lawyer who was recently fired from her cushy job and forced to search for a fresh start.
Bates has been honoured 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 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 recognised 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.
Bates was seen in 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.
Bates' long list of film credits includes 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 the small screen, Bates appeared in the FX mini-series Alice, in which she plays the Queen of Hearts. 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 honours 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.
Bates has also been honoured 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 the telefilm Fargo, and 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 also won an Obie Award for her performance as Frankie in the original off-Broadway production of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.
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.
In 1991, Bates married actor Tony Campisi, with whom she had lived for 12 years previously. They divorced in 1997.
Bates is the Executive Committee Chair of the Actors Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors.
Her nickname is Bobo. She was often mistaken for comedian Roseanne Barr, who in turn spoofed Bates' role in Misery in a Saturday Night Live sketch.