Darlene Cates


Age: 69

actress who played the housebound mother in the 1993 film What's Eating Gilbert Grape when she was cast in the film as the morbidly obese mother of Johnny Depp in the title role and his younger brother played by Leonardo DiCaprio after she had been spotted by the film's screenwriter Peter Hedges while appearing on the Sally Jessy Raphael talk show, where she discussed her struggles with her weight (the film won acclaim for its sensitive portrayal of a troubled but loving family in a small Iowa town), who later appeared in episodes of the TV series Picket Fences and Touched by an Angel.

Cause of Death: In her sleep

Born: December 13, 1947

Died: March 26, 2017

Forney, Texas