Leonardo DiCaprio Honors Late 'Gilbert Grape' Co-Star Darlene Cates, Calls Her 'Best Acting Mom'

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Leonardo DiCaprio is honoring one of his favorite co-stars. After it was announced on Monday that actress Darlene Cates had passed away at the age of 69, the Oscar winner, who played her son in 1993’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape took to Facebook to remember her legacy.

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“Darlene was the best acting mom I ever had the privilege of working alongside,” he wrote. “Her endearing personality and incredible talent will live on in the memories of those who knew her, and those who loved her work. My thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time.”
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Cates’ daughter, Sheri Cates Morgan, announced her passing on Facebook this week, writing, “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.”

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Morgan added, “We take comfort in knowing that she is no longer in pain and in the arms of our Heavenly Father, breaking away only to dance with our Savior Jesus. (Dancing was something she talked about loving to do ‘back in the day’!).”

Earlier this year, DiCaprio's Growing Pains co-star, Alan Thicke, died, and according to the late actor's son, Carter Thicke, the Oscar winner was "amazing" to his family. Check out ET's exclusive interview with Carter: