'Desperate Housewives' actress Kathryn Joosten dies of lung cancer
Kathryn Joosten, a character actress best known as the crotchety, yet loveable, Karen McCluskey on Desperate Housewives and the president's secretary on The West Wing, has died. She was 72.
Joosten, who had battled lung cancer for 11 years, died Saturday at her home in Los Angeles, her publicist Nadine Jolson said. Joosten "was surrounded by love and humor 'til the end," her family said in a statement. "We are laughing through our tears."
Joosten won two Emmy awards for her portrayal of Mrs. McCluskey, who kept a close eye on her Wisteria Lane neighbors on Desperate Housewives. The hit show ended its eight-year run on ABC less three weeks ago with a series finale in which Joosten's character died of lung cancer.
Joosten was a psychiatric nurse and single mother in suburban Chicago when she began her acting career at 42. She said she received her first break when she was hired to be a street performer at Disney World in Orlando.
Joosten was an advocate for lung cancer awareness and research and sat on the board of governors for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She is survived by her sons, Jonathan and Timothy.