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Leonardo DiCaprio Remembers ‘Gilbert Grape’ Co-Star Darlene Cates as His ‘Best Acting Mom’

”Her endearing personality and incredible talent will live on,“ actor says of his onscreen mother from 1993 movie

Leonardo DiCaprio took to Facebook on Tuesday to honor his deceased “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” co-star Darlene Cates, calling her “the best acting mom I ever had the privilege of working alongside.”

“Darlene was the best acting mom I ever had the privilege of working alongside,” he wrote. “Her endearing personality and incredible talent will live on in the memories of those who knew her, and those who loved her work.”

The actor concluded, “My thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time.”

News broke Monday night that Cates had died at age 69 via a Facebook post by her daughter Sheri Cates Morgan, who wrote, “Darlene was the best acting mom I ever had the privilege of working alongside. Her endearing personality and incredible talent will live on in the memories of those who knew her, and those who loved her work. My thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time.”

Darlene Cates was discovered by “Gilbert Grape” screenwriter Peter Hedges, who saw her on the “Sally Jessy Raphael” show. Her episodes was titled, “Too Heavy to Leave Their House.”

Following 1993’s “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” which starred DiCaprio and Johnny Depp, Cates appeared on one episode apiece of “Picket Fences” and “Touched By an Angel.”