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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Kathryn Joosten


Kathryn Joosten,December 20, 1939 – June 2, 2012 was an American television actress best known for her regular role as Karen McCluskey in Desperate Housewives, for which she won two Emmy Awards, and for her recurring role in The West Wing as Dolores Landingham.

In 2005 and 2008, Joosten won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress - Comedy Series for her portrayal of Karen McCluskey in Desperate Housewives.

It was not until the mid-1990s that Joosten made the move to Hollywood, where she took guest roles in television series such as Roseanne, Home Improvement, Picket Fences, Murphy Brown, ER, Seinfeld, Frasier, Just Shoot Me!, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dharma & Greg, Las Vegas and The Drew Carey Show. In the 1997 episode of Frasier, 'Roz's Turn', Joosten appeared as Vera, the mother and personal secretary of Frasier's conniving agent, Bebe Glazer, played by Harriet Sansom Harris. The pair would later be reunited to play opposite neighbors in Desperate Housewives.

In 1999, Joosten took the role for which she is best-known, as Delores Landingham, secretary to President of the United States Josiah Bartlet (played by Martin Sheen) in The West Wing. Joosten played the role for two seasons, until her character's death in a car crash in 2001. She would return to the show twice more in flashback episodes.

Joosten's role on The West Wing gave her an entrance into more significant guest roles on notable television series. Since 2001, she appeared on TV in such shows as Scrubs (appearing in "My Old Lady", which won a Humanitas Prize as well as reappearing in two later episodes), My Name is Earl, Spin City, The X-Files, Judging Amy, Monk, Charmed, Will & Grace, Malcolm in the Middle, Grey's Anatomy, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Reba, So Little Time, Gilmore Girls, The Closer and a recurring role as one of the less intimidating incarnations of God seen by the title character (played by Amber Tamblyn) on the TV series Joan of Arcadia.

Health

Joosten has appeared in numerous television commercials such as those for V8 and Fiber One. In 2007, in an appearance on The View, she revealed that she was a lung cancer survivor, after many years of smoking (which she subsequently quit), and gave some tricks for trying to beat the habit of smoking. Coincidentally, her guest roles on My Name is Earl and Grey's Anatomy revolved largely around her character attempting to quit smoking.

In 2001, she quit her 45 year smoking habit when she was diagnosed with lung cancer. In September 2009, Joosten was diagnosed with lung cancer for a second time. She subsequently underwent surgery and four rounds of chemotherapy, and was officially declared cancer-free in January 2010.

Joosten made a guest appearance on CBS daytime soap The Bold and the Beautiful on Feb. 7 as part of the show's 6000th episode, which featured several other real-life lung cancer survivors discussing their experiences with two of the show's characters played by Susan Flannery and Jack Wagner who are also dealing with lung cancer.

Joosten was named the national spokesperson for the Lung Cancer Profiles campaign on behalf of Pfizer.

Death

Joosten died of lung cancer on the morning of June 2, 2012. Her death happened 20 days after the onscreen death of her character Karen McCluskey on the final episode of Desperate Housewives.
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