Kathy Bates, who announced yesterday (September 12) that she was undergoing a double masectomy to combat breast cancer, was a late comer to stardom, but once she got her break she became one of Hollywood's most respected actresses.
Born in 1948, until the 1990s Bates was mainly known for her minor roles in TV series, as well as a few parts in films that didn't excite audiences.
What changed her forunes was her role in 1990's 'Misery,' starring as a psychotic fan of a novellist in the adaptation of Stephen King's 1987 novel, she starred opposite James Caan in a role that won her huge critical acclaim and a Best Actress Oscar. In the movie she imprisoned Caan's novelist.
Kathy Bates in 'Revolutionary Road' (Photo: WENN)
She followed this up by showing her versatility in a comic role as a housewife in 'Fried Green Tomatoes', a role for which she won America's other major film award, the Golden Globe.
After critical success came roles in major movies, carving out a reputation as an actress with an ability to take on parts that required forthrightness and comic ability, as well as an ability for to imbue her characters with a brutal honesty.
Bates starred as Molly Brown in James Cameron's 'Titanic', a strong minded woman looked down upon by the other first-class passengers.
Perhaps her greatest comic performance came as a renegade election strategist in 1998's 'Primary Colours' in which she starred opposite John Travolta portraying a thinly veiled representation of then US President Bill Clinton.
Later work included another Oscar nomination for 'About Schmidt' and a spot in Sam Mendes' 'Revolutionary Road', as well as a return to TV in Six Feet Under.
Amazingly Bates has battled and beaten cancer once before, after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003, a fact not revealed by the private star until 2009. Yesterday she revealed on Twitter that she would undergo the operation to prevent the spread of breast cancer.
PHOTOS: Kathy Bates' amazing career