Veteran actress Kathy Bates diagnosed with serious chronic health condition

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Actress Kathy Bates has been a prominent figure on television and in movies for decades. She’s renowned for portraying strong characters, and in real life, she’s equally formidable.

In 1970, Kathy Bates headed to New York to pursue her acting career. She looks back on that time, reflecting on how she was never considered an ingenue, but she managed to make it work. “I was never an ingenue,” she states. “I’ve always just been a character actor.

When I was younger, it was a real problem because I was never pretty enough. It was tough, not just due to the lack of work, but also because you have to confront how people perceive you,” Bates said.

Her Broadway career took off in 1980 when she played Stella May in “Come Back To The Five And Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.” She occasionally lost out on film adaptations of characters she portrayed. But when she turned 42 years old, her career skyrocketed almost overnight, thanks to her role as a psychotic fan in “Misery,” which earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress.

She talked about the kinds of roles she received, saying, “You’re either young and glamorous and you get the lead, or it’s the opposite: you’re not attractive enough. So you’re playing the friend, or the killer, or the lesbian, or the doctor, or whatever,” she said. “But the one who gets to play the young, pretty, gets-the-boy-at-the-end role doesn’t have any power. And vice-versa: a character can have power, but not femininity.”

She ventured into directing, working on episodes for shows like “Homicide: Life On The Street,” “NYPD Blue,” “Oz,” and the highly successful TV series “Six Feet Under.”

In her personal life, the actress has faced health setbacks. She battled cancer twice, first in 2003 with ovarian cancer and then with breast cancer in 2012.

After her breast cancer surgery, Kathy Bates began to speak about her diagnosis of lymphedema and became a spokesperson for the Lymphatic Education & Research Network.

She revealed she lost 80 pounds over the last few years and must wear compression sleeves to prevent arm swelling. She wears them when flying or doing strenuous tasks, as her condition flares up without them.

Bates has learned to slow down to manage her condition better, stating, “If I can stop rushing, relax my shoulders, straighten my spine, breathe deeply, and focus on each little moment of completing a task, I have more confidence in my ability to live with LE. The pandemic forced me to slow down.”

She advises others with the condition not to let it hinder them from living life. The actress noted, “Going out in public wearing a compression garment, especially when people aren’t educated about LE, can sometimes be more painful than the disease itself. However, hiding at home and living a sedentary life will only make things worse for your body and brain.”

She emphasizes the importance of not allowing your condition to define you, something she practices herself.

Kathy Bates advocates for more research into lymphedema and securing funding for raising awareness about the condition.

Her diagnosis hasn’t slowed her down; she continues to take on roles she enjoys and does the work she wants to do.

The actress has not only learned to live with her condition but also how to thrive despite it.