Kathryn Joosten, who is probably best known for her work on both “Desperate Housewives” and “The West Wing”, passed away on Friday due to complications from lung cancer. According to TMZ, Joosten, who won Emmys in 2005 and 2008 for her turn as Karen McCluskey on “Housewives”, with was her family and friends at the time of her death. She was 72.
Joosten was born in Eustis, Florida in 1939. Before she embarking on a career in acting, she worked as a psychiatric nurse at Michael Reese Hospital. Following the divorce from her husband at the age of 42, Joosten began participating in productions at the local community theater. In 1995, she made the journey to Hollywood, where she picked up small roles on such memorable television programs as “Roseanne”, “Home Improvement”, “Seinfeld”, “Frasier”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, and “The Drew Carey Show”.
In 1999, Joosten landed one of the biggest roles of her career, portraying the president’s personal secretary on the hit show “The West Wing”. She enjoyed a two-season run with the program until her character’s demise in 2001. After appearing on several popular network shows, which included a short stint as God on the Amber Tamblyn series “Joan of Arcadia”, Joosten snagged the role of Karen McCluskey on “Desperate Housewives” in 2005.
Although I’m sure some of Joosten’s fans thought the movie was beneath her, I did enjoy her contribution to director Mary Lambert’s goofy made-for-tv movie “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid”, a film which (finally) brought together the talents of Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. If you like your monster flicks infused with a goofy, low-budget sensibility, you can’t do much better than this.
If you haven’t made it all the way through the aforementioned program, there’s a pretty big spoiler ahead, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. Curiously, Joosten’s passing came only 20 days after the on-screen death of her “Housewives” character, who also died of lung cancer.
Twitter users have once again taken to the site to express their condolences. Have a look at what some folks are saying about the actress’ death below.
RIP Kathryn Joosten (Karen McCluskey) died on Series Finale, and she died in real life at 72 of lung cancer ! We’ll Miss You !!!
Kathryn Joosten. Classy lady, grateful and proud to have worked with her.
So sad to read that actress Kathryn Joosten passed away. Mrs. Landingham from The West Wing is one of my all time favorite TV characters.