Darlene Cates, The Mother in 'Gilbert Grape,' Dies at 69 - NBC Connecticut

Darlene Cates, The Mother in 'Gilbert Grape,' Dies at 69

The film, directed by Lasse Hallstrom, won acclaim for its sensitive portrayal of a troubled but loving family in a small Iowa town

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Make This Mountain Resort Your Outdoor Playground This Summer
    WireImage
    Johnny Depp and Darlene Cates during Screening of "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" - December 12, 1993 at Paramount Theater in Los Angeles, California, United States.

    Darlene Cates, who played the housebound mother in the 1993 film "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," has died.

    Cates died in her sleep Sunday morning at her home in Forney, Texas, according to her son-in-law, David Morgan. She was 69.

    Cates was cast in the film as the morbidly obese mother of Johnny Depp, in the title role, and his younger brother, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. She had been spotted by the film's screenwriter, Peter Hedges, while appearing on the "Sally Jessy Raphael" talk show, where she discussed her struggles with her weight.

    The film, directed by Lasse Hallstrom, won acclaim for its sensitive portrayal of a troubled but loving family in a small Iowa town.

    'Late Night': A Closer Look at Trump's Summit With Putin

    [NATL] 'Late Night': A Closer Look at Trump's Summit With Putin

    Seth Meyers takes a closer look at President Donald Trump meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland and delivering one of the most surreal performances by a president in modern American history.

    (Published Tuesday, July 17, 2018)

    Cates later appeared on episodes of the series "Picket Fences" and "Touched By an Angel."