Darlene Cates weighed in at 575 pounds (261 kilograms) when she portrayed bedridden Bonnie Grape in the 1993 movie, but she has shed almost half her bulk in a bid to avoid death and return to acting.
The Dallas Morning News reports the 64 year old has overcome diabetes and has started physical therapy, but she is still unable to walk and has had four surgeries to aid her weightloss in recent years.
Cates is now determined to lose another 100 pounds (45 kilograms), and leave the bedroom that has become a prison for her in recent years.
She tells the publication, “I’m ready to blow this joint.”
She admits letters from fans of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape have kept her positive over the years and inspired her drastic weightloss.