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Subject: Actress Darlene Cates

Dies at 69
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Date Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 07:30:10am


Actress Darlene Cates has died aged 69.
Cates was best known for her critically acclaimed role as Gilbert's mother Bonnie Grape in 1993 hit drama What's Eating Gilbert Grape.

She died unexpectedly in her sleep on Sunday morning.
'It is with a bitter-sweet heart that we share that our precious wife, mother, and Gaga, Darlene Guthrie Cates, was called Home, somewhat unexpectedly, peacefully in her sleep Sunday morning, March 26th .' her daughter Sheri wrote on Facebook.

'We take comfort in knowing that she is no longer in pain and is in the arms of our Heavenly Father, breaking away only to dance with our Savior, Jesus. (Dancing was something she talked about loving to do "back in the day"!)'
Screenwriter Peter Hedges discovered Cates on an episode of the Sally Jessy Raphael talk show.
The show was titled Too Heavy to Leave Their House.
Hedges proposed that she play the morbidly obese mother to title character Gilbert (Johnny Depp).
After Gilbert Grape Cates made a couple of appearances in TV shows Picket Fences (1994) and Touched by an Angel (1996).

Born and raised in Texas, Cates started overeating after her parents divorced when she was 12, which lead to her becoming obese.
In 1981 she underwent gastroplasty, going from 410lbs to 310lbs but gained the weight back and more to a total weight of 550lbs.
In 2012 Cates vowed to act again after losing 240lbs.
After describing a series of surgeries and near-death experiences that left her unable to walk, Cates told Dallas Morning News at the time that she was determined to resume her acting career.

In the role of Bonnie Grape, the actress said she was able to connect to the story of an obese woman, trapped inside her own home due to her condition.
The critically-acclaimed Lasse Hallström drama follows Gilbert [Depp] as he takes care of his mother and his autistic brother Arnie [DiCaprio] - but his responsibilities present a dilemma when he meets a young girl [Juliette Lewis].
The film won DiCaprio his first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the age of 19.
Cates is survived by her husband Robert and three children Sheri, Mark and Chris as well as four grandchildren.

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Subject Author Date
IMDbLinkTuesday, March 28, 07:31:19am
I loved "What's Eating Gilbert Grape." A touching performance. (NT)Rest in PeaceTuesday, March 28, 09:00:34am
Looks like her third film performance will be released later this year. (NT)It's to bad she was unable to find more work.Tuesday, March 28, 09:19:03am
How does one GAIN 200lbs+ AFTER gastric bypass surgery??And more criminal, who are her ENABLERS to accomplish such a dysfunctional feat??Tuesday, March 28, 12:34:37pm

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