Kathy Bates Lost 80 Pounds & Lives with ‘Inflamed’ Arms at 74 — Despite Pain, She Feels Stronger Now

Kathy Bates, a.k.a; Evelyn Couch, from "Fried Green Tomatoes," lives her life to the fullest despite swollen hands and writhing in excruciating pain.

The star amazed fans at 74 with her incredible energy and impressive ability to sing.

The actress lost a relationship that lasted 19 years—she divorced the man with whom she wanted to have children. She's come a long way since then and defeated cancer twice.

Born on June 28, 1948, in Memphis, Tennessee, Kathleen "Kathy" Doyle Bates is a film and television actress and director mainly known for starring in comic and dramatic roles.

Bates has bagged multiple laurels in her over 50-year-long career, including an Oscar, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and two British Academy Film Awards. She has also received nominations for a Tony Award.

Bates is the youngest of three siblings—all girls—and was born to Bertye Kathleen Talbot and Langdon Doyle Bates. Her mother was a homemaker, while her father was a mechanical engineer. Her grandfather, Finis L. Bates, was an author.

Their on-screen encounter and friendship brought together two Oscar winners, with Tandy grabbing the Best Actress award for "Driving Miss Daisy."

The star's ancestral roots combine English, Irish, Scottish, and German. One of her ancestors was an Irish emigrant from New Orleans and served as the doctor to Andrew Jackson, America's seventh president.

Bates is said to be the first female to win an Oscar for Best Actress in a Thriller/Horror for her performance as Annie Wilkes in the 1990 movie, "Misery." In addition to playing the unhinged and obsessed fan and former nurse, Wilkes, Bates starred as the unsinkable Molly Brown in "Titanic."

Another one of her memorable roles comes from the 1999 film, "Fried Green Tomatoes," directed by Jon Avnet and starring Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker, and Jessica Tandy.

Bates played the tedious and trapped Southern housewife Evelyn Couch in the film, written by Fannie Flagg. During one of her nursing home visits, her character (Evelyn) crosses paths with Ninny Threadgoode (played by Tandy) and is mesmerized by her tales about life in her hometown of Whistle Stop, Alabama.

Even though the town and its old ambiance have changed with the passing of the railroads, Ninny's memory serves as a fresh source of the bygone era, helping Evelyn bounce back from her midlife crisis.

As Ninny recalls the tales of her high-spirited and strong-willed sister-in-law, Idgie Threadgoode (played by Masterson), who ran a small cafe in Alabama in the 1920s, and the connection Idgie shared with her friend Ruth (played by Parker)—Evelyn is inspired to make changes to her own life.

Motivated and pumped by Idgie's adventures and independent side, it isn't long before Evelyn starts to take control of her life. Feeling she's the only one who can turn things around, she renounces her candy bars for aerobics. But that isn't all she does.

Evelyn also stops appeasing her good-for-nothing husband and starts working as a cosmetics sales lady. Most importantly, she becomes dedicated in her companionship to Ninny, much like Idgie and Ruth's bond.

When Bates and Tandy paired for the 90's dramedy, they enchanted people with their brilliant performance. Their on-screen encounter and friendship brought together two Oscar winners, with Tandy grabbing the Best Actress award for "Driving Miss Daisy."

Evelyn's spectacular transformation in the movie from being an obedient wife to a strong, independent, and career-oriented woman won her immense love, praise, and appreciation worldwide. Bates also ended up earning a Golden Globe nomination for her iconic role.

After playing Evelyn's seemingly mad, adorable, and solid character, Bates has come a long way in her career and life. She has also turned into a strong and resilient woman in real life, taking pride in her journey.

In March 2023, Bates stunned the audience with her mesmerizing performance of Naughty By Nature's "Hip Hop Hooray" on Lip Sync Battle. The 74-year-old legendary star dressed casually for the occasion, stealing the show with her liveliness and energy.

For over ten minutes, the "Dolores Claiborne" alum kept the audience entertained and enthralled, with many waving their hands sidewards. Even the jury members, including Chrissy Teigen, were thrilled by the high-spirited performance.

ot every woman can dare to rock the stage in her 70s, and Bates undoubtedly did an amazing job, garnering support and love from her fans far and wide. "Kathy Bates is so Awesome!!!" wrote one user. A second one added, "Way to go to Kathy that was awesome."

A third user chimed, "Ms. Bates rocks everything she does! Thank you for this." A fourth user commended Bates' performance while referring to her health issues, saying, "And to think she was really sick with [lymphedema] when they filmed this! Kathy is incredible."

"Yaaaay Kathy Bates I love the energy they're all bringing," commented a fifth user. Oh my goodness I didn't know Ms Kathy bates was so cool and down with it [sic]!!!!!!" expressed another shocked netizen. "Love this woman an all her movies [sic]," mentioned another one of Bates' many fans.

What many don't know is that the multi-talented actress endures pain on a daily basis after beating cancer twice. Bates' stage performance in the wake of her illness is nothing short of phenomenal!

Kathy Bates Has Loving Family That Supports Her despite Broken Marriage

Bates has been known for her romantic connection to actor Tony Campisi, who starred in "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1999) and "Spider-Man 2" (2004). He also appeared in "A Home of Our Own" (1993) with Bates. Other than acting in movies and television, Campisi is also an avid motorcyclist.

Campisi and Bates were in a serious, long-term relationship before they took things to the next level. In April 1989, the pair celebrated 11 years of being together and in love and got engaged after years of convincing one another that marriage was essential only if they were planning a family together.

Per Bates and Campisi, their decision was not influenced because they wanted to have kids. The couple said their work wasn't conducive to children because they never knew when and where they'll be working on a given day.

Interestingly enough, the duo's loved ones reportedly compelled them to walk down the aisle, with Bates' sisters saying she was getting on in age to don a white gown and Campisi's sisters constantly nagging him to set a wedding date. "It took us 11 years to get this far, so they're all worried now, you know," shared Campisi at the time.

After living together and being deeply in love for 12 years, Bates and Campisi tied the knot in April 1991. During their marriage, the Memphis native called her husband a sweet man who helped her stay sane during her Oscar win and everything it entailed for her acting career.

Exchanging wedding vows was a big step for the couple who once believed they didn't need a piece of paper to express their love. Perhaps it was being apart for extended periods that helped bring them together for good.

While ringing in their tenth relationship anniversary, Bates and Campisi realized they had been in the same place at the same time for over five years. Still, it wasn't until fate conspired in their favor that their paths actually converged.

Campisi, who co-starred with Bates in "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune" at the Body Politic Theater in Chicago in 1989, revealed that he had never thought they would work together. But when they finally did, he was over the moon to work with one of the top actresses in America.

Regarding their professional lives, Campisi explained how there was a time when they had to stay in different places for extended periods, which taught them to be independent and carve their own lives. But when the pair eventually started working together, they were ecstatic and relieved.

Despite their predictable personal relationship, Campisi once confessed to being utterly clueless about what Bates would do on stage. Similarly, the "Misery" alum shared how Campisi was full of surprises.

While rehearsing a scene, Bates said she saw her then-beau peeling off the sandwich's crust. Shocked and curious, she asked Campisi what he was doing, and he said he didn't like the crust. ''Eleven years I've known you, and I didn't know you don't like the crust," added Bates.

It didn't take long for the once marriage-aversive pair to be vocal about their relationship. In a 1992 interview, Campisi expressed how marriage had changed things for him and his then-wife. He explained how he and Bates felt committed to staying in the same place and not being apart for too long.

Campisi also admitted at the time how Bates' Oscar win had influenced her schedule and everything in her life. Still, the couple made an effort to spend maximum time together.

Unfortunately, in 1997, Campisi and Bates divorced, ending their childless marriage of almost six years and their love relationship of nearly 19 years.

In an interview in March 2019, Bates made a shocking discovery, saying she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer 16 years ago. "I think it's made me stronger, so I'm one of the lucky ones," stated "The Highwaymen" star.

When Bates received her cancer diagnosis in 2003, she recalled feeling surprised. Then in 2012, she developed breast cancer—having had a family history of the disease. "The Waterboy" star recounted feeling unwell at the time, thinking her ovarian cancer had returned. However, her MRI revealed a tumor in her left breast.

Coping with breast cancer was more challenging for Bates than ovarian. In addition to being in unbearable pain, she had to worry about losing a noticeable part of her body.

Sadly, that wasn't her only ordeal. She also developed lymphedema—characterized by lymph fluid accumulating in the fatty tissues under her skin, leading to pain and swelling. The condition is said to be a complication patients face after cancer treatment.

Bates explained that removing the lymph nodes was the only way to lessen pain and swelling and keep cancer from spreading. She also called the experience psychologically traumatizing and worse than having cancer.

In a July 2022 interview, the "Harry's Law" star shared a health update and said her lymphedema was under control. The two-time cancer survivor revealed that she had lost 80 pounds in the past few years, which eased the swelling and pain in her arms.

However, Bates noted that she still had to use her compression sleeves when doing arduous tasks. Despite being independent, the actress confessed to struggling with painful and "inflamed" arms. At the same time, she expressed gratitude for being able to afford medical treatments, specialized garments, and therapy.

Despite having no children and her ex-husband disappearing from her life, Bates has a loving family who always supports her, including her grandpa Finis and siblings, Mary and Patricia Bates.

The "Alice" alum explained how her loving niece kept her company during the coronavirus pandemic, bringing her food and helping her manage the house chores. "I don't know what we would have done without her," expressed Bates.

She also revealed how her family motivated her to stay healthy and keep her weight in check, for which she worked very hard.

Leading Star of the New "Matlock" Series Found New Hobbies

Despite her harrowing health ordeal, Bates has remained cheerful and full of life, following in the footsteps of her memorable character, Evelyn. To keep herself healthy and energetic, the "Disjointed" alum avoids being stressed by doing breathing exercises and relaxing her body.

Bates has also adopted gardening and finds solace in raising violets and nurturing plants. She also enjoys watching over her green babies and notes how her dog envies them for getting her attention in the morning.

In recent times, Bates has worked both as an advocate for lymphatic diseases and a philanthropist, donating $1 million to Hurricane Katrina victims.

The "Tammy" star has shared how the National Institute of Health has begun researching to find treatment for lymphedema and other lymph-related conditions.

Being close friends with some of the A-list Hollywood stars, including Jack Nicholson, Adam Sandler, Elizabeth Perkins, John Travolta, Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, and Kate Winslet, Bates has enjoyed doing a variety of roles, including unconventional ones.

In 2014, she commented on playing a lesbian character, saying she took pride in the reputation she had earned, despite her age.

Having no plans of slowing down anytime soon, the actress shared in a July 2022 interview that she was ready to travel to Dublin to do a movie with Laura Linney and Maggie Smith.

Sources reported that Bates would soon be seen as the leading star in a new CBS "Matlock" series. She will star as Madeline "Matty" Matlock, a remarkable lawyer in her 70s who became successful early on and resumes work at an established law firm.

We hope Bates continues entertaining her fans with her lively demeanor and vibrant spirit!