Kathleen Doyle Bates (born June 28, 1948) is an award-winning American actor of stage, film, and television who portrayed Madame Delphine LaLaurie in the third season of American Horror Story, subtitled Coven, for which she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie. She returned as hirsute Ethel Darling in the fourth season, Freak Show and concierge Iris in the fifth season, Hotel. In Roanoke, she was Agnes Mary Winstead, the in-universe actress who portrayed "The Butcher", the hostile lost colony leader in "My Roanoke Nightmare". After a one year hiatus, she returned as Ms. Miriam Mead, a sadistic warden in the eighth season, Apocalypse. In February, Ryan Murphy confirmed her return for Season 10.


Kathy Bates is well-known for her versatility in films ranging from children's movies, ("Fred Claus"), to adult romance ("P.S. I Love You"). She is most notable for her Oscar-winning portrayal of Annie Wilkes in Stephen King's Misery, marking the second victory for an actress in a horror film (after Ruth Gordon in 1968's Rosemary's Baby).

She received a Tony Award nomination for her 1983 performance in the Broadway play ʼNight, Mother. She won a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance in Primary Colors (1998), for which she also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for About Schmidt (2002).

Her television work has resulted in twelve Emmy Award nominations, two of which were for her starring role on the television series Harry's Law. She won another Emmy Award in 2012 for her portrayal as the ghost of Charlie Harper on CBS comedy series Two and a Half Men, a role formerly portrayed by Charlie Sheen. In 2014, she won the Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie Emmy award for her role as Delphine LaLaurie in American Horror Story: Coven. In 2015, her role as Ethel Darling in American Horror Story: Freak Show earned her a nomination for the same award, along with co-stars Angela Bassett and Sarah Paulson. To date, Bates' television work has resulted in 14 Emmy Award nominations.


  • She is one of the five members of the AHS Repertory Company to be credited in the main cast in every season she appeared in.
  • Since joining the cast, she has portrayed six significant characters on the series: Delphine LaLaurie, Ethel Darling, Iris, The Butcher (re-enactment), Agnes Mary Winstead and Miriam Mead.
  • So far, three characters played by Bates had supernatural connotations. Delphine LaLaurie and Iris were immortals, due to a curse and a blood virus respectively. She also portrayed The Butcher, a ghost who was the leader of the Roanoke community.
  • Bates and Sarah Paulson are the only two cast members to appear in all episodes of Apocalypse.
  • Kathy Bates said that Ryan Murphy resurrected her career.[1]
  • While preparing for the role of Ethel Darling, she perfected her Baltimore accent by singing the National Anthem in a Massachusetts accent every morning.
  • She is credited with the honorary "with" in the opening sequences of seasons three and four.
    • She is credited with the honorary "and" in the opening sequence of season eight.
  • Cult marked the first American Horror Story chapter without Bates since 2013's Coven.[2]



Freak Show






  1. Chi, Paul (November 22,2016). How American Horror Story Got Kathy Bates Her Groove Back. Vanity Fair. Retrieved on August 3, 2018.
  2. Nemetz, Dave (July 31,2017). American Horror Story: Kathy Bates Won't Return for Next Season's Cult. TV Line. Com. Retrieved on August 5, 2017.
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