Kathy Bates has been honored 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 more recently 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 recognized 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 comes to American Horror Story: Coven after recently starring as “Harriet ‘Harry’ Korn” in the hit NBC television drama Harry’s Law, written and executive produced by David E. Kelley, for which she was nominated for an Emmy for the second consecutive year. Bates won the Emmy for best guest appearance in a comedy series for her portrayal as “Charlie Sheen’s ghost” on Two & A Half Men for the 2012 season.
Bates was seen in the Woody Allen directed Midnight In Paris; A Little Bit of Heaven; Wedlocked; Valentine’s Day; The Blind Side; Stephen Frears’ period drama Cheri; Sam Mendes’ acclaimed drama Revolutionary Road, which reunited her with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet from Titanic; 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.
Among Bates’ long list of film credits are 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 television, in addition to her current projects, Bates appeared in the FX miniseries Alice, playing the Queen of Hearts, for which she earned an Emmy Award® nomination for her performance. 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 honors 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 honored 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 her a Directors Guild of America nomination for the episode entitled Twilight. Her directing credits also include 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 has been honored with Obie Awards for her performance as Frankie in the original off-Broadway production of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune as well as for her portrayal of Elsa Barlow in Athol Fugard’s The Road to Mecca, which Kathy also starred in when filmed.
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.