Orange is the New Black and Seinfeld star Kathryn Kates passes away from cancer at 73 1

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

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Orange is the New Black and Seinfeld star Kathryn Kates dies from cancer at 73 as tributes are paid to ‘incredibly brave and wise’ star

  • The actress’ representatives at Headline Talent Agency confirmed the ‘incredibly brave and wise’ star passed from cancer in Florida on Saturday  
  • The statement read: ‘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’ 
  • ‘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 
  • Kates started guest starring on TV shows in the early 1990s, including two episodes of Seinfeld as ‘Counter Woman’
  • 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.


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Orange Is The New Black and Seinfeld actress Kathyn Kates has died aged 73 following a battle with cancer.  

The actress’ representatives at Headline Talent Agency confirmed the ‘incredibly brave and wise’ star passed from cancer in Florida on Saturday, in a statement provided to Deadline.

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It is unclear what type of cancer Kates suffered from – the statement indicates that she had previously beat the disease before the cancer returned this past year.

Tragic loss: Orange Is The New Black and Seinfeld actress Kathyn Kates (pictured as Counter woman in Seinfeld in 1994)  has died aged 73 following a battle with cancer

Tragic loss: Orange Is The New Black and Seinfeld actress Kathyn Kates (pictured as Counter woman in Seinfeld in 1994)  has died aged 73 following a battle with cancer

The statement read: ‘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.

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

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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’).  

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.

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Career:  She played Amy Kanter-Bloom, the mother of Jason Biggs' Larry on Orange Is the New Black

Career:  She played Amy Kanter-Bloom, the mother of Jason Biggs’ Larry on Orange Is the New Black

Icon: Kathryn played the role in Seinfeld in 1994 episode The Dinner Party and 1996 episode The Rye

Icon: Kathryn played the role in Seinfeld in 1994 episode The Dinner Party and 1996 episode The Rye

Talented actress: The star is pictured in 2019's Tarab as Dalayl

Talented actress: The star is pictured in 2019’s Tarab as Dalayl 

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.

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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 (pictured)

Shades: She also played Mrs. Saperstein on Shades of Blue (pictured)

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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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 guest starred in five episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Judge Marlene Simmons (pictured)

Judge: She guest starred in five episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Judge Marlene Simmons (pictured)

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