American Horror Story Wiki
American Horror Story Wiki

Kathleen Doyle Bates (born June 28, 1948) is an award-winning American actor of stage, film, and television.


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.

Work on American Horror Story[]

Kathy Bates portrayed a fictionalized Madame Delphine LaLaurie, a racist slaveowner in colonial Louisiana who butts heads with Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen 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.

Bates returned as hirsute Ethel Darling in the fourth season, Freak Show. She is credited with the honorary "with" in the opening sequences of both third and fourth season. Bates revealed that Ethel Darling was her favorite character, and that while preparing for the role, she perfected her Baltimore accent by singing the National Anthem in a Massachusetts accent every morning.

Kathy Bates starred as concierge Iris of the Hotel Cortez 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 credited with the honorary "and". She briefly reprised her role as LaLaurie in the season finale, "Apocalypse Then". Together with Sarah Paulson, she appeared in every single episode of the season.

In February 2020, Ryan Murphy confirmed her return for the tenth season, Double Feature, although she was forced to drop out due to health concerns and her role of Belle Noir was given to Frances Conroy.


  • Bates is one of the six members of the AHS Repertory Company to be credited in the main cast in every season she appeared in.
  • Kathy Bates is one of the twenty-five cast members that portrayed the same character in different seasons.
  • 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 colony.
  • Kathy Bates said that Ryan Murphy resurrected her career.[1]
  • Cult marked the first American Horror Story chapter without Bates since 2013's Coven.[2]


Episode appearances for Kathy Bates
Story or Series Character Episodes
Coven Delphine LaLaurie
Freak Show Ethel Darling
Hotel Iris
Roanoke Agnes Mary Winstead
Apocalypse Ms. Miriam Mead
Apocalypse Delphine LaLaurie Apocalypse Then

From Chapter 1 to 5, Agnes Mary Winstead re-enacts The Butcher in "My Roanoke Nightmare".




  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.