Actress Kathy Bates was the guest speaker at the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation's 32nd annual luncheon on Oct. 2 at the Hilton Chicago. Earlier in the day, the Purse-Sue The Cure purse auction filled the ballroom with items, including more than 200 handbags.
During the luncheon, Bates described hearing the news of her cancer and concerns of lumina ( the swelling of arms and feet ). She learned about lymph nodes and worked with a doctor to get her health under control.
The Golden Globe winner returned to work and mentioned how Ryan Murphy helped her career by casting her as Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie in American Horror Story when she was in a lull. After the third season she went on to film the fourth for Freak Show, in which she played a bearded lady.
The Tennessee native currently stars in the Netflix series Disjointed as the owner of a medical-marijuana dispensary in California. She joked, "As they say, when they go low, we get high!" She stated she enjoys playing before a live audience for the first time in her varied career.
Politically, Bates is a gay-rights supporter. She appeared on a video for the Orlando shootings ( telling stories of the victims ) and played a lesbian in the movie Tammy.
In 2014, the two-time cancer survivor became the national spokesperson for lymphedema and, in 2016, the talented performer received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Proceeds from the luncheon went to support breast-cancer research. For more information, visit LynnSage.org or call 312-926-7133.
Text and photos by Jerry Nunn