Kathyrn Kates, ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Actress, Dies at 73

The actress had been battling lung cancer

kathryn kates
Courtesy of Kathryn Kates (Wikimedia Commons)

Kathryn Kates, who played Amy Kanter-Bloom, the mother of Jason Biggs’ character Larry on “Orange is the New Black,” has died after a “a long, hard-fought battle with lung cancer,” her agency confirmed to TheWrap on Wednesday. She was 73.

“Kathryn was our client for many years, and about one year ago, after finding out that the lung cancer she was treated for 20 years ago had returned, we grew even closer,” Headline Talent Agency said in a statement. “She was incredibly brave, thoughtful, wise and loving. Kathryn approached every role she ever played, as well as her daily life with the greatest of passion. We will do our best to honor her incredible legacy. The world truly lost one of the good ones.” 

Kates, who moved from New York to Los Angeles in 1974, was one of the founding members of Burbank’s The Colony Theatre, where she produced and starred in plays including “The Grapes of Wrath” and “The Martian Chronicles.” She died Saturday, according to Headline Talent Agency.

Her film roles include 1982’s “Life of the Party: The Story of Beatrice,” starring Carol Burnett and “Jinxed!” with Bette Midler. She was also known for her roles as Judge Marlene Simons on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and neighbor Mrs. Carrabino on Disney Channel’s “Lizzie McGuire,” and a two-episode stint on “Seinfeld.”

Her most recent film was “The Sopranos” sequel, “The Many Saints of Newark” where she played Angie DeCarlo. She won a Best Actress award at the NYCTV Festival for her role in 2021’s short film “Greeting From Sarajevo.”

Her talent agency also paid tribute to Kates on Instagram. “Our mighty @officialkathrynkates has passed away,” the agency wrote.

“She will always be remembered and adored in our hearts as the powerful force of nature she was. She loved this craft and had enough patience to fill 10 ships. A true icon. We will miss you.”