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Orange is the New Black and Seinfeld star Kathryn Kates passes away from cancer at 73


Orange is the New Black and Seinfeld star Kathryn Kates passes away from cancer at 73


The acting world is in mourning on Tuesday, with word that longtime character actress Kathryn Kates passed away at 73 years of age.

The actress’ reps at Headline Talent Agency confirmed that she passed from cancer in Florida this past Saturday, via Deadline.

While it’s unclear what kind of cancer she suffered from, their statement indicates that she had beat it in the past before the cancer returned this past year.

R.I.P.: The acting world is in mourning on Tuesday, with word that longtime character actress Kathryn Kates passed away at 73 years of age

R.I.P.: The acting world is in mourning on Tuesday, with word that longtime character actress Kathryn Kates passed away at 73 years of age

‘Kathryn has been our client for many years, and we have grown much closer to her in this last year since she knew of her cancer returning,’ the statement began. 

‘She was always incredibly brave and wise and approached every role with the greatest of passion. She will be greatly missed,’ they concluded.

Kates was born in New York City to Louis Kates and actress Madlyn Kates, who had a memorable line in Mel Brooks’ 1968 classic The Producers (‘I’m not a madame, I’m a concierge’).

Client: 'Kathryn has been our client for many years, and we have grown much closer to her in this last year since she knew of her cancer returning,' the statement began

Client: ‘Kathryn has been our client for many years, and we have grown much closer to her in this last year since she knew of her cancer returning,’ the statement began

Despite her New York roots, her career began in earnest in Los Angeles, where she was one of the 25 founding members of The Colony Theater, alongside John Larroquette.

She produced all of the company’s plays in the first six years from 1975 to 1981 along with Barbara Beckley.

She started venturing into television and movies in the early 1980s with small roles in the TV movie Life of the Party: The Story of Beatrice, Jinxed and The Taming of the Shrew.

Career: Despite her New York roots, her career began in earnest in Los Angeles, where she was one of the 25 founding members of The Colony Theater, alongside John Larroquette

Career: Despite her New York roots, her career began in earnest in Los Angeles, where she was one of the 25 founding members of The Colony Theater, alongside John Larroquette

Kates started guest starring on TV shows in the early 1990s such as Matlock and Thunder Alley, along with her memorable role as a ‘counter woman’ in two episodes of Seinfeld, where George (Jason Alexander) is trying to procure a marble rye.

The actress also appeared in movies The Nurse and Asylum, while guest starring on Lizzie McGuire, Judging Amy, Rescue Me, Pan Am and Small Miracles.

She also played Mrs. Saperstein on Shades of Blue and Amy Kanter-Bloom, the mother of Jason Biggs’ Larry on Orange Is the New Black.

Shades: She also played Mrs. Saperstein on Shades of Blue and Amy Kanter-Bloom, the mother of Jason Biggs' Larry on Orange Is the New Black

Shades: She also played Mrs. Saperstein on Shades of Blue and Amy Kanter-Bloom, the mother of Jason Biggs’ Larry on Orange Is the New Black

She also guest starred in five episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Judge Marlene Simmons and most recently played Angie DeCarlo on The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark.

The actress relocated back to New York City in 2006 and appeared in over 20 Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway productions while also touring Europe. 

She is survived by her sister Mallory and brother Joshua. 

Judge: She also guest starred in five episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Judge Marlene Simmons and most recently played Angie DeCarlo on The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark

Judge: She also guest starred in five episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Judge Marlene Simmons and most recently played Angie DeCarlo on The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark

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