Darlene Cates ' most cherished possession is a note from Leonardo Dicaprio, praising her for her performance in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? Cates played the role of Bonnie (Leo's mum in the film), a woman who hasn't left the house in years, due to depression, following her husband's suicide. Leonardo DiCaprio received his first ever Oscar nomination for his performance in the role and was gracious enough to write his co-star a note, which read "I'm not really the best in expressing my words in writing but you are the most special person I have ever [met]. I'll always remember you as the best acting mamma I ever had. You triumphed in your role."
Twenty years down the line, Darlene has a history of illness behind her and her weight, which prevents her from leaving the house, had soared to a staggering 575lbs. Now, though, she has lost 250lbs and I hoping to lose more. When she's lost the weight, she says, she wants to return to acting. "I can do moms real well. I don't have to delve very deep to find Mom in there," she told Dallas Morning News. Before she can start acting, again, though, she needs to make sure that she recovers completely from her health scares. She's had four lots of surgery, which kept her hospitalized for around 11 months, until November 2011.
For now, then, she will have to make do with memories of her former movie glory. "I can always tell when (Gilbert Grape) has been on TV," she says, because her Facebook friend requests suddenly sky-rocket!
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