Kathy Bates Talks Cancer, Ghost Appearance on CBS

It has been announced that Kathy Bates will appear on CBS' "Two and a Half Men" as Charlie Sheen's ghost in April.

She has also appeared on Anderson Cooper's talk show, which will air Thursday, to open up about her very private battle with ovarian cancer. When asked why she kept her diagnosis a secret, Bates replied, "I was advised to. I was contracted to go into a movie at that time, 'Little Black Book' with Brittany Murphy, who I miss very much."

"My doctors at that time, they had to get insurance approval and all of that, so I was very quiet about it and had to go back to work right away," she explained. This was in 2004, and Bates has since been in remission.

"I've been in remission for 5 ½ years now, so that's great," she told Meredith Vieria in 2009.

"When I was going through it, I think I just needed to go through and not really deal with anything but what I had in front of me. I even got to the point where I didn't go with my friends to chemo. I went by myself. I just had to really do it on my own," she explained.

Yet now she is speaking out about her experience in order to help other women "because early detection is the key in this kind of cancer. I was so lucky to find it early. Paying attention to your body and paying attention to certain symptoms and being aware-it saved my life."

Bates told Cooper, "I admire people who have been open, like Melissa Etheridge and women I see walking around facing it without wigs and all of that stuff. I think I'd be more courageous next time."

While Bates is busy at work on the NBC series "Harry's Law," she is also taking the time to play a very unique role on "Two and a Half Men." Charlie Sheen's character is scheduled to return this season, with Bates playing his ghost. The first episode of Bates' ghoulish character will air on April 30.