Leonardo DiCaprio pays tribute to Gilbert Grape co-star Darlene Cates; calls her 'best acting mum'
Leonardo DiCaprio worked with Darlene Cates in the first film that won him an Oscar nomination.
Darlene Cates, who was best known for her performance in the film What's Eating Gilbert Grape, passed away on 26 March 2017. Leonardo DiCaprio, who was her co-star in the film, posted an emotional message following her demise.
In it, he called her the "best acting mum" he has worked with since the beginning of his career. "Her endearing personality and incredible talent will live on in the memories of those who knew her, and those who loved her work," he said in the post.
What's Eating Gilbert Grape was the first film that Cates starred in. In the film, she plays the mother of the titular character and his brother, played by Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio respectively.
Cates was recognised by the screenwriter of the film, Peter Hedges, who had watched her performance in an episode of The Sally Jessy Raphael Show where she addressed the topic of her weight and how it had affected her life. Her death was announced by her sister Sheri on Facebook. She was last seen in the TV series Wolf Girl in 2001.
What's Eating Gilbert Grape was the first time that Dicaprio was nominated for an Oscar. He essayed the role of a child with a developmental disability in the film.