Date of Birth: June 28th 1948
Bates was born in Memphis, Tennessee to Bertye Kathleen (née Talbot), a homemaker, and Langdon Doyle Bates, a mechanical engineer. Bates graduated from White Station High School in Memphis. She attended Southern Methodist University, majoring in theatre and was a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, and graduated in 1969. She moved to New York City in 1970 in order to pursue an acting career.
Bates was nominated for the Emmy Award seven times: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie, for her performance as Jay Leno's manager Helen Kushnick in HBO's The Late Shift (1996), and, twice again in the same category; as Miss Hannigan in Disney's remake of Annie (1999) and for the HBO Franklin Roosevelt biopic Warm Springs (2005). She was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for Lifetime Television's "Ambulance Girl" (2006), which she also directed. She appeared in ten episodes of the HBO cable television series Six Feet Under for which she received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, as Bettina, in 2003. She also was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for 3rd Rock from the Sun in 1999, the same year that she was nominated for Outstanding Directing in a Miniseries or Movie for the Dashiell Hammett-Lillian Hellman biopic Dash & Lilly.