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Seinfeld : and ‘Orange Is the New Black’ actress Kathryn Kates dead at 73

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Kathryn Kates, a New York native and actress known for her appearances on “Seinfeld,” “Orange Is the New Black” and “Law & Order: SVU,” has died in Florida after a battle with cancer. She was 73 years old.

Recently seen as Angie DeCarlo in “The Sopranos” spinoff “The Many Saints of Newark,” the actress’s death was conformed by her representatives on Monday.

“Our mighty @officialkathrynkates has passed away. She will always be remembered and adored in our hearts as the powerful force of nature that she was,” Headline Talent Agency announced Monday.

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

Kates moved from her native New York to Los Angeles in 1974 to pursue her career as a professional actress. Once on the West Coast, she became an influential figure in the local theater scene, most notably as the founder of the acclaimed Colony Theater in Burbank, California, according to her official biography.

Kates went on to headline many of The Colony’s LA Drama Critics’ Circle Award-winning productions, including Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles with Ed Harris. Over the decades, The Colony evolved from a small ensemble of actors to a well-established, award-winning and nationally recognized theater renowned for high-quality productions and listed in the Encyclopedia Britannica Almanac as one of “The 25 Companies of notable theater in the USA .”

In addition to roles in multiple regional tours and off-Broadway shows, Kates was the main understudy in the 2017 Broadway production of “Significant Other.”

During her nearly five-decade career, the raven-haired beauty quickly amassed an expanding television resume with roles on such network series as “Matlock,” “Caroline in the City,” “Rescue Me” and “Lizzie McGuire.”

She’s also had recurring roles on a number of recent TV hits: playing Amy Kanter-Bloom, the mother of Jason Biggs’ character on Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black,” as well as another mother role on Jennifer Lopez’s NBC cop drama. “Shades of Blue” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” in which she sat in the dock as Judge Marlene Simons.

For some fans, though, she’ll always be best remembered for guest-starring on two classic episodes of NBC’s “Seinfeld”: 1994’s “The Dinner Party” and 1996’s “The Rye.”

“Kathryn has been our client for many years, and we have grown much closer to her in the last year since she learned her cancer had returned,” representatives for the veteran actress later told Deadline in a statement. “She was always incredibly brave and wise and approached each role with the utmost passion. We will miss her very much .”

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

 

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