Job Actress
Years active 1937-1953
Known for Meddlesome matrons, monstrous matriarchs
Top Roles Sophie Bellop, Mme. Dilyovska, Tiare Johnson, Mrs. Amanda Roanoke, Mrs. Castle
Top GenresComedy, Romance, Drama, Musical, Film Adaptation, Crime
Top TopicsBook-Based, Romance (Comic), Romance (Drama)
Top Collaborators (Producer), (Director), (Producer), (Producer)
Shares birthday with Wallace Reid, John Williams, Harvey Lembeck  see more..

Florence Bates Overview:

Character actress, Florence Bates, was born Florence Rabe on Apr 15, 1888 in San Antonio, TX. Bates appeared in over 75 film and television roles. Her best known films include Mr. Lucky, Since You Went Away, Saratoga Trunk, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, I Remember Mama, Portrait of Jennie, A Letter to Three Wives, On the Town and Rebecca. Bates died at the age of 65 on Jan 31, 1954 in Burbank, CA .


Formidable was about the only word for the dominant, galleon-shaped Florence Bates who was much in demand in the 1940s. Her matrons were meddlesome and her matriarchs monstrous. She was once a lawyer (how the opposition must have suffered), but her Edythe Van Hopper in Alfred Hitchcock's "Rebecca" set her galloping through a gallery of gorgons and gargoyles. Died from a heart attack.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Illustrated Dictionary of Film Character Actors).



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By Christy Putnam on Nov 10, 2013 From Christy Putnam

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Florence Bates Quotes:

Mrs. Jekes: I just can't understand a man fiddling away his time just painting things. Of course he did shovel some snow to pay part of last month's rent.
Mrs. Bunce: Painting things? Women? Women in the...
Mrs. Jekes: Mrs. Bunce, we agreed that he was a gentleman and gentleman just don't paint "women in the... "
Mrs. Bunce: [flustered] No, of course not.

Clio Dulaine: If you mean to harm me, she'll be likely to kill you. She'll make a little figure like you out of soap and she'd stick little pinns into it, and you'd sicken and die.
Sophie Bellop: Not me. I've had pins stuck in me all my life and knives and everything up to pickaxes.

Innkeeper: After great effort, I, Hercules Schneider, have found you the only carriage in Pecs. Of course, the horses may not be the best in the world...
Countess Mathilde: Can they walk?
Innkeeper: Oh, yes, Madam!
Countess Mathilde: That's all that's necessary. Point them to Paris and start them moving.
Innkeeper: Tonight, madam?
Countess Mathilde: Certainly, tonight!
Innkeeper: But it's dark!
Countess Mathilde: You don't say. It usually is at night.

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Florence Bates Facts
Became the first woman lawyer in Texas in 1914 at the age of 26.

She was forever knitting, even during breaks when filming.

Great-grandmother of actress/comedian Rachel Hamilton.

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