Kathy Bates’ 5 best-ever roles

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Kathy Bates has been enjoying a richly deserved career renaissance since exploring her potential in various TV shows from “Two and a Half Men,” “Harry’s Law” and, now, “American Horror Story” — winning an Emmy Award in August for her chilling performance as the vindictive, racist socialite Delphine LaLaurie on the Ryan Murphy Gothic anthology series.

This season on “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” Bates is playing circus performer Ethel Darling, the Amazing Bearded Lady, a woman with a past of abuse and suffering. As usual with any Bates performance, she can make you empathize with life’s outcasts, imbuing even the most unfortunate, dangerous people — like Annie Wilkes in “Misery” — with relatable human traits that make them unforgettable.

In honor of her work on “AHS,” we thought a tribute to her best films was in order.