As reported by TMZ, the actress passed away peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, March 26.
Darlene was best known for playing the housebound mother Bonnie in the 1993 classic What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.
Darlene's daughter Sheri Cates Morgan confirmed the sad news in a Facebook post on Monday.
“It is with a bitter-sweet heart that our precious wife, mother and Gaga, Darlene Guthrie Cates, was called Home, somewhat unexpectedly, peacefully in her sleep Sunday morning, March 26th,” she wrote.
“We take comfort in knowing that she is no longer in pain and is 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’!) For those who have already sent your love, texts and prayers, thank you.”
The 69-year-old is survived by her husband, Bob, her daughter, Sheri, her sons, Mark and Chris, and several grandchildren.
Darlene had fond memories of working with Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Speaking of the four month shoot, she remarked about Johnny, "He would always come up and give me a kiss."
Meanwhile Johnny was equally smitten, quipping, "You look into those eyes and melt. She is, like, my prom queen.”