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Kathryn Kates: Orange Is The New Black and Seinfeld star dies from cancer aged 73 - life and career highlights

The actress was a recurring cast member on Orange is the New Black alongside Jason Biggs and Todd Susman

American actress Kathryn Kates has passed away at the age of 73, her talent agency has confirmed.

Kates was known to some for her appearances in TV shows like Orange is the New Black and Seinfeld, films like The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark, and many theatre roles with Colony Theatre Productions.

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Who was Kathryn Kates - and what did she star in?

Kates was an American actress who was born in New York City, the second daughter of Louis Kates and actress Madlyn Cates.

She kickstarted her career in LA, and was one of 25 actors who founded The Colony Theatre

She produced and starred in a number of Colony Theatre productions, including The Martian Chronicles, A Company of Wayward Saints, The Grapes of Wrath, Getting Out, The Lady’s Not for Burning, The White Liars and Women of Manhattan.

Kates also appeared in a number of films and TV shows throughout her acting career.

Kathryn Kates and her Orange is the New Black co-star Todd Susman (Photo: Netflix)

She had a recurring role in the Netflix prison drama Orange is the New Black as the mother of Jason Biggs’ character. Another memorable performance included as the Counter Woman in Seinfeld, who pops up in fan favourite episodes like The Dinner Party and The Rye.

Other performances include starring in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Good Fight, Hunters, Friends from College, Shades of Blue, Small Miracles and Lizzie McGuire.

She won an award for best actress from the Drama Logue Awards as Ruby in Getting Out, and also received a Best Supporting Actress nomination from the MITF in New York for Gray Matters as Miriam Berger.

When did she die?

The actress passed away on Saturday 22 January, following a battle with lung cancer.

Kates’ talent agency, Headline, announced her death in a statement released on Instagram.

Headline Talent Agency posted a picture of Kates, with the caption: “Our mighty @officialkathrynkates has passed away.

“She will always be remembered and adored in our hearts as the powerful force of nature she was.

“She loved this craft and had enough patience to fill 10 ships. A true icon. We will miss you.”

Speaking to People, Kates’ representative at Headline Talent Agency, Erica Bines, said that she had died on Saturday, following a “hard fought battle with lung cancer”.

Bines added that a memorial for the actress has been planned for the spring.

The day after her death, a video was posted to her Instagram account in which she performed Sonnett 77.

The accompanying caption read: “Do not stand at my grave and weep

“I am not there. I do not sleep.

“I am a thousand winds that blow.

“I am the diamond glints on snow.

“I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

“I am the gentle autumn rain.

“When you awaken in the morning’s hush

“I am the swift uplifting rush

“Of quiet birds in circled flight.

“I am the soft stars that shine at night.

“Do not stand at my grave and cry;

“I am not there. I did not die.

“Keep me alive in your beautiful hearts with unforgettable memories. Teach others what you’ve learned from me and I will live in forever.”

Kates is survived by her sister Mallory, brother Joshua, sister-in-laws Sue Ann and Gloria, and nephew Ben.

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