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 Kathryn Joosten

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Kathryn Joosten

  • Birth 20 Dec 1939 Eustis, Lake County, Florida, USA
  • Death 1 Jun 2012 Westlake Village, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered
  • Memorial ID 91200500

Actress. Prolific character actress. Best known for her roles as 'Karen McCluskey' on "Desperate Housewives" and 'Dolores Landingham' on "The West Wing." Kathryn Joosten was a late comer to acting when she began at age 42. Prior to this she worked as a psychiatric nurse working in an institution for disturbed teenagers. After divorcing her alcoholic husband in 1980, she realized her life-long dream of acting by joining the Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago, Illinois. Her first break was a small guest spot on the sitcom "Family Matters." Following that appearance until 2012 she could be seen on numerous television series, including "Seinfeld," "Dharma & Greg," and "Will & Grace." In 1999, she received her biggest acting role to date playing President Bartlet's secretary on "The West Wing." She remained for two seasons resulting in the death of her character, which she felt was a bad decision. In 2005, she landed the role of Wisteria Lane's lovable curmudgeon 'Karen McCluskey' on "Desperate Housewives." She secretly made a deal with show creator Marc Cherry that her character could not be killed during the run of the show. She received two Emmy Awards for guest actress in 2005 and 2008. Her character did die of lung cancer on the show's May 13, 2012 finale while listening to Johnny Mathis' "Wonderful, Wonderful." A lung cancer survivor, Joosten advocated lung cancer awareness and was featured in a public service announcement following the airing of the final episode. In a May 15, 2012 interview with "Entertainment Weekly," she stated she planned to continue acting and looked forward to her next role, sadly her death came just weeks later.

Bio by: The Perplexed Historian


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: The Perplexed Historian
  • Added: 2 Jun 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 91200500
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Kathryn Joosten (20 Dec 1939–1 Jun 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 91200500, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes scattered.