Contact: Victoria Winkelman or Kami Duncan
SMU Meadows School of the Arts
(214) 768-3785 or (214) 768-2788


May 8, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates (SMU Class of 1969) will participate in a public symposium held in her honor at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts at 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 17, in the Greer Garson Theatre, 6101 Bishop Blvd.

The symposium, “Reminiscence and Rumination: A Dialogue Starring a Cast of Real Characters,” will feature the actress’s fellow Meadows graduates John Arnone (‘70), the Tony Award-winning set designer, and playwright Jack Heifner (‘68), author of “Vanities,” the off-Broadway hit about three Texas cheerleaders that launched Bates’ career in 1976. “Vanities” featured sets designed by Arnone and was directed by the late Garland Wright (SMU ‘69), and it became one of the longest-running plays in off-Broadway history. Carole Brandt, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts, will moderate the symposium. The event is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required and are available from the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787. Seating is limited.

The symposium will be followed by a reception in the theatre lobby at 3:30 p.m.

Bates also is scheduled to give the commencement address at SMU on May 18 and will receive an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the university.

About Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1948. After earning a B.F.A. in theatre from the Meadows School of the Arts, she lived in New York and Washington, D.C., making her living waiting tables and working in the payroll department at the Museum of Modern Art while auditioning for parts. She worked in children’s theater and dinner theater and even spent one summer as a singing waitress in the Catskills.

She got her first major break with “Vanities,” and spent the next 15 years working on and off-Broadway. She earned a Tony Award nomination for her role as the suicidal daughter in the Pulitzer Prize-winning “ ‘night, Mother” and both an Obie Award and a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for her portrayal of the down-and-out waitress in “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.”

In 1990, Bates won the Academy Award for Best Actress for “Misery.” She has appeared in more than 50 motion pictures, including the Academy Award-winning “Titanic” (1997), “Dolores Claiborne” (1995) and “Fried Green Tomatoes” (1991). In 1999 she won the Screen Actors Guild Award and was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for her work in “Primary Colors.”

Bates also has played a range of roles on television and directed episodes of such popular shows as “Homicide,” “NYPD Blue” and “Six Feet Under.” She also directed her first feature film, “Dash and Lilly,” which premiered on A&E and was nominated for numerous Emmy awards.

Bates will soon be seen in the movies “Love Liza,” “About Schmidt” and “Who Shot Victor Fox?”