Leonardo DiCaprio Honors Late ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’ Actress Darlene Cates

Leonardo DiCaprio remembered Darlene Cates, the actress who portrayed his and Johnny Depp’s mother in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, in a Facebook post on Tuesday after she passed away over the weekend.

“Darlene was the best acting mom I ever had the privilege of working alongside. Her endearing personality and incredible talent will live on in the memories of those who knew her, and those who loved her work,” DiCaprio wrote in his Facebook tribute. “My thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time.”

Cates’ sister, Sheri Cates Morgan, shared a Facebook post on Tuesday confirming the news of her Darlene’s death.

“It is with a bitter-sweet heart that we share that our precious wife, mother, and Gaga, Darlene Guthrie Cates, was called Home, somewhat unexpectedly, peacefully in her sleep Sunday morning, March 26th,” wrote Sheri.

Cates was 69 years old at the time of her passing.

DiCaprio portrayed Cates’ son Arnie in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape while Depp was cast in the title role as his older brother, Gilbert. She later went on to appear in the TV series Touched By An Angel and the 2001 film, Wolf Girl.