Kathryn Kates, Orange Is the New Black and Seinfeld star, dies aged 73

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Actress Kathryn Kates, best known for roles in Seinfeld, Law & Order: SVU, and Orange Is the New Black has died at the age of 73.

According to her representatives, she passed away on Saturday after a "hard-fought battle with lung cancer."

Kathryn Kates
Kathryn Kates passed away after a battle with lung cancer. Photo: Getty

"Kathryn has been our client for many years, and we have grown much closer to her in this last year since she knew of her cancer returning," Headline Talent said in a statement shared by Deadline.

"She was always incredibly brave and wise and approached every role with the greatest of passion. She will be greatly missed."

Originally from New York, Kathryn starred as a counter clerk in two episodes of Seinfeld: 'The Dinner Party' and 'The Rye'.

She played the mother of Jason Biggs' character on the popular TV series OITNB, and also had guest roles on Lizzie McGuire, Judging Amy and Matlock.

Most recently she was seen as Angie DeCarlo in The Sopranos spin-off movie The Many Saints Of Newark.

Kathryn also headlined many of the Colony Theatre’s LA Drama Critics’ Circle award-winning productions, including Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles with Ed Harris. She served as the main understudy for the 2017 Broadway production Significant Other and had roles in multiple regional tours and off-Broadway shows.

Kathryn Kates in episode of Seinfeld
Kathryn Kates has roles in Seinfeld, Law & Order: SVU and Lizzie McGuire. Photo: NBC

In a post on their Instagram page, her agency shared another tribute, writing: "Our mighty [Kathryn Kates] has passed away. She will always be remembered and adored in our hearts as the powerful force of nature she was. She loved this craft and had enough patience to fill 10 ships. A true icon. We will miss you."

The day after she died, Kathryn's Instagram account shared a video of the star performing a Sonnet.

"Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there. I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain," the clip was captioned.

"When you awaken in the morning's hush, I am the swift uplifting rush, Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there. I did not die," the caption continued.

"Keep me alive in your beautiful hearts with unforgettable memories. Teach others what you've learned from me and I will live in forever."

Kathryn leaves behind her sister Mallory and her brother Joshua.

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