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Kathy Bates

Academy Award-winner Kathy Bates has a new hit show, “Harry’s Law,” which airs at 10 p.m. Mondays on NBC. Bates plays a veteran patent lawyer who finds herself bored with her profession and takes on a new challenge — setting up shop in a bad neighborhood and becoming a legal crusader for its residents.

Here she talks to Bankrate about her financial struggles and splurges.

How did you support yourself back when you were struggling?

I waited tables and worked as a temporary office assistant. I ended up working for the Museum of Modern Art in their payroll department for a while. I also had a job as a singing waitress in the Catskills one summer.

Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates

How did you deal with the 9-to-5 office routine?

Not very well. I don’t like getting up early. Of course, I’m in a business now where I have to get up at the crack of dawn to go to work, and sometimes I would long for the 9 to 5 in terms of just hours as opposed to the 14-hour days. But at the time, I didn’t deal with it well at all. I was kind of a rebel — a bit of a hippie. I wore strange things to work. I didn’t like wearing suits, and didn’t own a suit, or anything like that. I didn’t have that kind of money.

Now that you’re more successful, what do you like to splurge on?

When I turned 50, I bought myself a Jaguar convertible. That was my big splurge.

Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates

So are you generally still as frugal as you were in your 9-to-5 days?

Only recently. I’ve enjoyed myself over the years and had a lovely lifestyle, and now in the last couple of years, I’ve gotten much more frugal in terms of saving money for retirement. I don’t need more things. I try not to spend money if I can help it.

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Kathy Bates

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