04:06 PM EDT 10/21/2013


What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Credit: Ron Galella/WireImage
575-Lb. Mom from Gilbert Grape Is Now Half Her Size

Darlene Cates Loses 250 Lbs., Sets Sights on Acting Again

Originally posted 08/09/2012 08:55AM

Darlene Cates was unforgettable in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, playing Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio's morbidly obese mother Bonnie, who hasn't left the house in years while in the grips of depression following her husband's suicide.

Now, almost 20 years and a number of health problems later, Cates, 64, has lost nearly 250 lbs. – and is feeling optimistic that she might act again.

"I can do moms real well. I don't have to delve very deep to find Mom in there," the Forney, Texas, resident tells the Dallas Morning News in a new interview.

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