KATHRYN Kates a veteran actress known for her roles in Orange Is the New Black, Seinfeld and Law & Order: SVU has died at the age of 73.

Kates’ death was confirmed by her reps at Headline Talent Agency, who said the character actress died Saturday of cancer in Florida.


“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,” said Headline Talent in a statement.

“She was always incredibly brave and wise and approached every role with the greatest of passion. She will be greatly missed.”

Kates was a native New Yorker who had a few small roles in the early 1980s before appearing on major programs such as Matlock, Thunder Alley and Seinfeld.

Throughout the ’90s and into the 21st century, Kate would be seen on Caroline in the City, Lizzie McGuire, Judging Amy, Rescue Me and others.

She is perhaps well known for her recurring roles on popular programs such as Orange Is the New Black, where she played Jason Biggs’ mother, Amy Kanter-Bloom.

She also appeared as Mrs. Saperstein, the mother of Detective David Saperstein, in Shades of Blue and Judge Marlene Simons in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. 

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In her recent roles, Kates won Best Actress at the NYCTV Festival for her performance in the short film Welcome to Sarajevo.

She also played Angie DeCarlo in The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel to David Chase’s The Sopranos.

Kate was also a theater actress for many years, working as an understudy in Significant Other and appearing in many Off-Broadway shows. 

She was a founding member of the Colony Theatre in Los Angeles, serving in multiple offstage roles for over 25 years.

Kates is survived by her sister, Mallory, and brother, Joshua.


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