Why Kathy Bates kept her cancer private
March 21st, 2012
11:04 AM ET

Why Kathy Bates kept her cancer private

More than eight years after battling ovarian cancer, Kathy Bates is sharing her story.

The Oscar-winner opened up about her struggle for the first time on “Anderson” - Anderson Cooper’s daytime talk show - to air on Thursday.

“I was contracted to go into a movie at that time,” Bates said, referencing her 2004 flick “Little Black Book,” in which she starred alongside Brittany Murphy (who died in December 2010 at 32 years old). “But my doctors at the time, they had to get insurance approval and all of that so, you know, I was very quiet about it. And I had to go back to work right away.”

On her decision to stay mum, the “Harry’s Law” actress said, “I don’t know how to explain it. Nobody else really knows what you’re going through except another cancer patient. Even though your family is supportive and surrounds you, I just got to a point where I would go to chemo by myself and just really go through it on my own. I guess it’s something that I felt I had to face on my own.”

And while Bates doesn’t regret the way she handled the situation, she said, “If I go through it again, I think I’d probably be a lot more open about it.

Filed under: Celebrities

soundoff (39 Responses)


    June 30, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |

    June 30, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |

    So sorry for her illness...she was never quite right was she.

    June 30, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. She's useless...she blocked stuff..we have outside machines and we'll head back in...GO TAKE CARE OF YOUR MAN'S DIK...ITS DEPRIVED.


    June 30, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |

    June 30, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kathy Bates is not FAT HACKING BLOCKING HOE.


    June 30, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cleotilde Thomaston

    Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread within the pelvis and abdomen. At this late stage, ovarian cancer is difficult to treat and is often fatal. ;-..:

    Have a good weekend <http://picturesofherpes.co

    June 30, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Annette

    Kathy is a phenominal actress. I wish her quick recovery and healing.

    September 17, 2012 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. Basil999

    Kathy, as a recent 1st time breast cancer survivor I wish you well. Now that you are open about your condition, please use your ability to be in the public eye to continue the awareness of breast cancer. That is the greatest gift you can give.

    September 14, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  10. buffalogal36

    May GOD'S healing hands and mercy be with you during this time of strife and turmoil. Disregard comments like those of cnredd and others like him/her who think they know it all. Your decisions were just that, YOURS, You are one of the most talented actors ever, and I have been an avid follower of all your movies, because I know they will be well done and great to watch. Harry's Law is fantastic. I will add you to my prayers and may GOD's mercy and love see you through this.

    September 13, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ThinkAgain

    Best wishes to Ms. Bates – she's one of my favorite actresses!

    September 13, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  12. get rid of cancer

    It's actually a nice and useful piece of info. I am happy that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

    April 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • donna murray

      I am glad Kathy Bates chose a double mastectomy. If I had it to do over, I would have done the same, having been diagnosed twice. I wish her the best. Let's all pray for a cure soon.

      September 12, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Samantha

    @tc, I am so very sorry for your loss. Thats the worst thing about ovarian cancer, most women dont know they have it until its too late. I know there are no words of comfort for you and yours but Ill have you in my prayers.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tc

    We found out my wife had ovarian cancer on Dec. 20, 2006. She died 100 days later. All my best to one of greatest actresses alive today. May she be around for years to come.

    March 21, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • @tc

      I am very sorry for your loss. I've lost 2 family members to cancer. I know the devastation of this disease.

      March 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • 9 toes

      Ha ha!

      March 22, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
    • P. Knighton

      She is the best and one tough lady. My daughter is running in a 5k race for BC. Now she has 1 more name she is running for!

      September 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Samantha

    Lori and Jan, I wish you both the best and hope you both are here for a long time to come! Science has made some amazing advances in the last several years and Ill keep you both in my prayers. Kathy Bates is such an amazing talent that she can go from Annie Wilkes to Delores Claiborne to Harry Korn and not carry over anything from the previous character. I hope shes around for a while as well!

    March 21, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • ccrizz

      Well spoken.sammi! She's so entertaining! She'll be okay. It's a private matter . She needs privacy.Hollywood must be stressful!paparazzi!nosey idiots!

      March 21, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Jan

    I to have been battling ovarian cancer (stage 4) for the last 5 years. This is what the doctors call "The Silent Killer" for women. I have always liked Kathy Bates and have been watching "Harry's Law" since the beginning. My hat goes off to her and all women who are fighting ovarian cancer.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • @Jan

      Best wishes to you, also. Just know, there are those of us on this blog who really do care.

      March 21, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |


    March 21, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • ccrizz

      And u have no brains u idiot!u have saggy ugly bal s! She's a great talent! Something u could never fathom u dope!

      March 21, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • granny25

      your a depraved loozer.

      September 13, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Terri


      If you truly believe in God and that he is amazing and HE rules, you would not have made such a derogatory comment to your fellow human being. God save you.

      September 13, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  18. KATH

    Kathy Bates has been one of my favorites since 'MISERY'...!! She is an amazing actress and it would be horrible if WE lose her. SO VERY PROUD OF HER...!! It wasn't leaked, either–and THAT is AMAZING!!

    March 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Lori Bari

    As a woman with Stage IV colon cancer, I understand her completely. I am grateful that she is bringing awareness of the actual emotions that become your constant companion during this voyage!

    March 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • @Lori

      Best wishes to you. May you beat this dreaded disease!

      March 21, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mercyless

      May the blessing of the Divine be always with you and within you. Even though I don't know you, I'm sending lots of love and light to you now as you continue this journey. Just really wanted to say that to you. Let your heart be joyfilled even at this time. Many, many, many blessings on you, dear one.

      March 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mercyless

      For Lori -

      May the blessing of the Divine be always with you and within you. Even though I don't know you, I'm sending lots of love and light to you now as you continue this journey. Just really wanted to say that to you. Let your heart be joyfilled even at this time. Many, many, many blessings on you, dear one.

      March 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  20. CN Red

    If only she could keep her many chins private.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Here's a suggestion: if her weight bothers you, don't read articles about her, and don't see her movies. The rest of us think she's an amazing actress.

      March 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • CN Red

      Wait. You're name is EDWIN?! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL ! ! ! OMG ! ! ! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ! ! !

      March 21, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • ccrizz

      Cn red ha lol u r a nuisance!

      March 21, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Lucy

    She is truly one of the best and she has an Oscar to prove it. I can understand her not coming forward on her health issues. The wolves start circling when illness shows it's head.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  22. Rebbeca

    She is such a class act and an incredible actress! Hope she stays healthy so she can entertain us for many years to come.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |

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