Seasoned actress Kathy Bates has seen much success on the small screen in the last decade, earning herself Emmys for her work on "Two and a Half Men" and "American Horror Story" as well as a slew of other nominations. But the versatile star's big-screen achievements shouldn't be overlooked, even in lieu of her recent move to Netflix to play a cannabis dispensary owner on "Disjointed." With her new TV series set to premiere on Aug. 25, let's highlight Kathy's film career with a look at her major movie roles ranked from worst to best.
No. 17: "Fred Claus"
Not that we have anything against Santa Claus or classic Christmas movies in general, but the 2007 flick "Fred Claus" just didn't stack up. And neither did Kathy Bates in the role of Mother Claus. With her family essentially being frozen in time, adapting their North Pole roles to modern day life was way too far-fetched a storyline for us to enjoy.
No. 16: "Bad Santa 2"
Unfortunately, Kathy Bates didn't learn her lesson the first time she played Mrs. Claus and gave it an unsuccessful second go in the 2016 comedy flop "Bad Santa 2," in which she played Sunny Soke, the foul-mouthed, estranged mother of Billy Bob Thornton's Willie Soke. The two con artists reunite to pull off a job, going undercover as the Claus family. Maybe Kathy will hang up her Christmas outfit for good this time.
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No. 15: "A Home of Our Own"
"A Home of Our Own" wasn't a blockbuster hit, but it wasn't bad either. The 1993 drama showcased Kathy Bates in a maternal light, which gave her room to shine as Frances Lacey, a widowed mother of six struggling to support her family in the '60s. She stood out as a resilient, hard-working single mom who decided to pick up and leave Los Angeles to bring her brood to Idaho in hopes of building a better life. It wasn't her best work, but we applaud all of that female empowerment.
No. 14: "The Family That Preys"
Kathy Bates must have used her soap opera experience from the '80s to find inspiration for her character, socialite Charlotte Cartwright, in the melodramatic 2008 Tyler Perry flick "The Family That Preys." She fit into the scandalous soap-style plot as the matriarch of a wealthy family and its Cartwright Construction empire. She won us over with her half-humble side, escaping the drama on a road trip with her working-class single-mom best friend. Still, the role was a bit too daytime-TV for our liking.
No. 13: "My Sister's Keeper"
Taking on the role of a character with mental illness requires a lot of talent as an actor, and Kathy Bates clearly has what it takes. She brilliantly portrayed Christine Chapman, who suffers from schizophrenia, in the 2002 TV movie "My Sister's Keeper." She accurately depicted the struggle for independence in the face of brain disease. But the made-for-TV Hallmark movie was ultimately a bit cliche.
No. 12: "The Blind Side"
Kathy Bates might have had a smaller role in "The Blind Side," but boy was it mighty. She played Miss Sue, the driven, outspoken tutor hired to help get high school football player Michael's GPA out of the gutter so that he could stay on the team. The 2009 Oscar-nominated film was based on the true story of Michael Oher, who struggled to excel after being adopted out of foster care and ended up making it to the NFL with the love and support of his new family. Even with less screen time, her acting chops stood out.
No. 11: "The Waterboy"
Kathy Bates' sense of humor most definitely came out with her outlandish role in the 1998 comedy "The Waterboy," even though the movie itself got some flack. She played Helen Boucher, an insanely controlling and overprotective mother to Adam Sandler's socially challenged Bobby Boucher. Her kooky, neurotic and intensely fierce scenes totally made the movie worthwhile.
No. 10: "Midnight in Paris"
Kathy Bates went whimsical for her work in Woody Allen's 2011 fantasy film "Midnight in Paris," which starred Owen Wilson. She played the biographical role of early 1900s novelist and art collector Gertrude Stein, who hobnobs with the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso in the imaginative time-travel work. Her spot-on portrayal made us feel like we were right there hanging out with some of the fine art world's greats.
No. 9: "At Play in the Fields of the Lord"
Kathy Bates dug deep, and actually got pretty muddy, for her role in the 1991 adventure drama "At Play in the Fields of the Lord." She portrayed Christian missionary Hazel Quarrier, who travels deep into the Brazilian Amazon with her family to spread the gospel to a tribe of natives. Her character unravels after losing her son to malaria, resulting in a profoundly deep and dramatic performance.
No. 8: "The Late Shift"
Don't mess with Kathy Bates! In 1996, she took on the biographical role of Helen Kushnick, Jay Leno's aggressively shrewd agent, in the HBO film "The Late Shift." Her character made some serious waves at the TV network using strong-arm tactics to get her client installed as the host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" following Johnny Carson's retirement. We had no idea Kathy could be so cutthroat. The fierce role even earned her a Golden Globe, and we don't think she bullied anyone into giving it to her.
No. 7: "Titanic"
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet stole the show in the 1997 romantic disaster film "Titanic." But they weren't the only actors with memorable roles in the epic movie. Kathy Bates played larger-than-life Margaret "Molly" Brown, a new-money first class passenger with a roaring personality. Her exuberant demeanor and vulgar antics set her apart from the rest of the wealthy travelers and definitely left an indelible mark on the film.
No. 6: "Revolutionary Road"
Kathy Bates teamed up with Kate Winslet more than a decade after "Titanic" in the 2008 drama "Revolutionary Road." She played Helen Givings, a local realtor who befriends a couple after helping them find a home, in the '50s-set film. She introduced the couple to her son, who had been declared insane, in an effort to improve his well-being. But it was her ability keep a brave face throughout the film, even while watching her new friends' marriage completely crumble, that was most remarkable.
No. 5: "About Schmidt"
Kathy Bates definitely has a knack for playing eccentric moms! In the 2002 comedy "About Schmidt," Jack Nicholson's character, Warren Schmidt, goes to visit his daughter's future mother-in-law, Roberta Hertzel, played by Kathy. Her wildcard character convinces Warren to join her in the hot tub where she shamelessly — and, might we add, nakedly — makes a pass at him. Kathy's bizarre portrayal earned her Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for best supporting actress.
No. 4: "Primary Colors"
Kathy Bates was also nominated for a Golden Globe for her work as Libby Holden, a private investigator, in the 1998 political drama "Primary Colors." Hired by a Democratic candidate for the presidency, she ruthlessly digs up dirt to destroy anyone who could get in his way. But her tormented character is driven to suicide after realizing the unethical depths to which her employer was willing to go to make it to the White House. Her performance was scandalously riveting.
No. 3: "Dolores Claiborne"
Kathy Bates again played a mother in the 1995 thriller "Dolores Claiborne," but in this instance, she took a much more serious approach. Her character, Dolores, desperately fights to prove her innocence when she's accused of murdering her elderly employer. Her struggle is compounded by old accusations that she also murdered her husband, who we ultimately find out was abusive and had molested their daughter. She really got inside the tormented role.
No. 2: "Fried Green Tomatoes"
Kathy Bates earned another Golden Globe nod for her work in the 1991 dramedy "Fried Green Tomatoes." She played 40-something Evelyn Couch, an unhappy housewife who sparks a life-changing friendship with a elderly woman she meets at a nursing home. Their unlikely bond helps the once-timid character find her voice.
No. 1: "Misery"
Kathy Bates' breakout role in the 1990 thriller "Misery" allowed her to deliver, in our opinion, her very best performance to date. After all, it earned her both an Oscar and a Golden Globe. She played psychopath Annie Wilkes, a crazed fan who takes a famous novelist hostage in her remote home. Her sick, obsessive nature mixed with bouts of pure rage is downright horrifying and impossible to forget.