Orange Is the New Black Actress Kathryn Kates Dead at 73 After Lung Cancer Battle

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Orange Is the New Black Actress Kathryn Kates Dead at 73 After Lung Cancer Battle
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Hollywood has lost one of its stars.

Orange Is the New Black alum Kathryn Kates died peacefully Saturday, Jan. 22 after "a long, hard-fought battle with lung cancer," her agency confirmed to NBC. She was 73.

"Kathryn was our client for many years, and about one year ago, after finding out that the lung cancer she was treated for 20 years ago had returned, we grew even closer," Headline Talent Agency told NBC. "She was incredibly brave, thoughtful, wise and loving. Kathryn approached every role she ever played, as well as her daily life with the greatest of passion. We will do our best to honor her incredible legacy. The world truly lost one of the good ones."

Born in New York, Kates moved to Los Angeles in 1974 to pursue her passion, going on to be a founding members of The Colony Theatre, where she produced and starred in The Grapes of Wrath and The Martian Chronicles among other plays.

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By 1982, she landed her first movie with Life of the Party: The Story of Beatrice starring Carol Burnett, following it up with Jinxed! starring Bette Midler. Over the years, she appeared in several TV shows including Seinfeld and Orange Is the New Black, in which she portrayed Amy Kanter-Bloom, the mother of Larry (Jason Biggs). Other roles included neighbor Mrs. Carrabino on Lizzie McGuire, Mrs. Saperstein on Shades of Blue and Judge Marlene Simons on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Kathryn Kates
Walter McBride/WireImage

Recently, Kates portrayed Angie DeCarlo in The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark and Sofia in the short film Greetings From Sarajevo, for which she won a Best Actress award at the NYCTV Festival. Though she bounced between L.A. and NYC, she ultimately settled down in Florida. At the time of her passing, she was surrounded by her sister, her brother and his wife.

"She will always be remembered and adored in our hearts as the powerful force of nature she was," her agency wrote on Instagram. "She loved this craft and had enough patience to fill 10 ships. A true icon. We will miss you."

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family).

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