Born on 13 December 1947, Cates was an American actress. Her birth name was Rita Darlene Guthrie. She rose to fame after her appearance in the 1993 movie, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. She died in her sleep on March 26, 2017. Darlene’s age at the time of death was 69.
Throughout her life, Cates struggled a lot with obesity. At one time, her weight reached 600 pounds. Doctors warned her to lose weight. Because she was overweight, Cates was cast to play Lionardo Dicaprio and Johnny Depp’s obese housebound mother.
In fact, the movie, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, was nothing short of a fact. Cates really had to stay at home for 5 years because she couldn’t move. She wasn’t even able to walk. Throughout her life, Darlene tried a lot of ways to cope with obesity. Some worked while others didn’t.
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Darlene’s Struggle with Obesity
Since her teen years, Cates struggled with being overweight and unable to do most activities that other kids did. She remained this way for a better part of her life before realizing that obesity was eating her inside. And decided to lose weight.
Cates decided to go on different diets but they never seemed to work. In other words, it was way too hard to stick to a single diet plan. Then she opted for surgery. In 1984, Darlene underwent gastric bypass surgery and ended up losing 100 pounds.
However, it didn’t work out in the long term as well. “That thing that made you fat in the first place? They don’t cut that out during surgery,” Cates told People. Right after a couple of months, Cates started gaining the lost weight back.
After the failure of the surgery, Darlene became so depressed and even stopped trying to go out. She said, “I felt forsaken by God.” However, it took a lot of time but something changed and Cates tried to lose weight again.
Darlene’s Huge Weight Loss
After being obese for a couple of decades, Cates decided to shed pounds in 2012. And the motivation behind this was her deteriorating health. After having health issues because of her weight, Cates was rushed to the hospital, where she was advised to lose weight as soon as possible.
She heeded the advice of the doctor and embarked on her weight loss journey. After undergoing weight loss surgery and adopting a strict diet, Cates ended up losing 240 pounds. This had a very big impact on her health, which had now started to improve.
Darlene Cates’ Death
Unfortunately, even after losing that much weight, Cates had health issues. She died on March 26, 2017. Nothing is known about her death publicly except that she died in her sleep. Darlene’s daughter, Sheri Cates Morgan, announced the news of her mother’s death in a Facebook post.
Before & After Weight Loss
Before losing weight, Cates weighed 575 pounds. After losing 240 pounds, her weight fell to 330 pounds.
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The news of Cates’ death saddened her fans all over the world. Throughout her acting career, Cates entertained us with her outstanding acting. She will be remembered in our hearts and her work will continue to entertain thousands of people.