Kathy Bates

An outstanding actress who built an impressive résumé on New York City stages long before making her mark in Hollywood, Kathy Bates was born June 28, 1948, in Memphis, Tenn. After graduating from Southern Methodist University, she headed to the Big Apple and first tasted success with an off-Broadway production of "Vanities."

In 1971, Bates debuted on film in Taking Off, but her big-screen appearances remained sporadic until she struck gold almost 20 years later with her starring role as the unhinged Annie Wilkes in Misery. Her career-defining performance earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Bates won a Golden Globe a year later for Fried Green Tomatoes and followed up with Dolores Claiborne (1995) and the blockbuster Titanic (1997). She snagged two more Oscar nods for Primary Colors (1998) and About Schmidt (2002), and in 2010 added to a long list of Emmy honors with a nomination for the futuristic miniseries "Alice."