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Darlene Cates dead, DiCaprio Facebook tribute go viral, funeral service details awaited

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Darlene Cates death hasn’t come as a surprise to many. She was not keeping well and had a permanent obesity problem since her childhood. Reports suggest that depression over her parents’ separation at a tender age of just 12 might have forced her to overeat and gain so much weight. She was 69 at the time of her death.

Darlene Cates, who played the role of Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio‘s house-bound and obese mother in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape reportedly passed away peacefully, in her sleep on March 26.

There is no denying the fact that given her weight problem, she had a rather good life, enjoying many years in the full public glare, acting with ‘larger than life’ presence wherever she went.





Despite undergoing weight loss surgery, Cates weight issue couldn’t be solved. At one point she weighed around 185Kg and went under knives. But instead of solving her weight issue, it became worse later, when she weighed upward of 250 kg. Darlene Cates started her film career with “Gilbert Grape” as the morbidly obese mother of Depp, in the title role, and his younger brother, played by DiCaprio. 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.

In a moving tribute to his onscreen ‘mother’ DiCaprio paid wrote on Facebook, “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.”

In a report, TMZ said that the actress died in her sleep on the morning of Sunday, March 25. They did not give any further details. Her biography says that the actor was born in Borger, North Texas, and grew up in Dumas. In the meantime, her family hasn’t spoken about her funeral service details.

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