Desperate Housewives, The West Wing: Kathryn Joosten Dies at 72

desperate housewives Actress Kathryn Joosten died yesterday at the age of 72, following a long battle with lung cancer. She was reportedly surrounded by her family at the time of her passing.

Her Desperate Housewives character, cantankerous Karen McKlusky, died in the show’s series finale which aired a few weeks ago. She won two Emmys for her work on the dramedy and was nominated three times.

Before moving to Wisteria Lane, Joosten was best known for her role as Mrs. Dolores Landingham, the no-nonsense executive secretary to President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) on The West Wing. After two seasons, that character died suddenly after being hit by a drunk driver. She was seen in flashbacks in seasons three and four.

Joosten also had recurring roles on shows like Scrubs, Joan of Arcadia, My Name Is Earl, General Hospital, and Dharma & Greg.

Of Joosten’s passing, co-star Dana Delany tweeted, “She was a salt-of-the-earth nurse who became a brilliant actor. Her comic timing was nonpareil.” The actress followed that up with, “Kathryn spoke openly and passionately about her fight with lung cancer. It is our loss that she is gone.”

Brenda Strong wrote, “To the memory of an extraordinary woman, actress and friend. Rest in Peace Kathryn Joosten. Wisteria Lane won’t be the same without you.”

What do you think? What do you remember best about Joosten’s work? Her roles on Desperate Housewives, The West Wing, or something else?

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5 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. China (I'm serious, no joke) says

    I loved her in Desperate Housewives. She was such a great actress, and I can’t believe that she is gone now. And I think that it’s ironic that her character, Mrs. McCluskey, also died of cancer. Anyway, I don’t know anyone who was hooked on to Desperate Housewives that won’t miss Kathryn Joosten. She was one of the good ones! To Kathryn! And her giving of comedy, awareness, and many more great things.

  2. Pamela says

    Mrs. Landingham was one of the best roles on The West Wing. Her relationship with the President was one of the most tender … and she was the source of so much comic relief. Her timing and delivery was unmatched in a fast paced show full of wit and humor. I loved her on Desperate Housewives – again, she showed her acting chops and held her own in a cast of great actors. She will be missed. RIP Kathryn, and like Rob Lowe said … tell Leo we love and miss him too.

  3. Shane says

    I never knew Kathryn Joosten, but she always seemed to be a very down-to-earth, honest and kind person in interviews and in the work she did outside of television. Her work with lung cancer organizations, such as the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, helped to raise awareness that anyone can get lung cancer—even non-smokers. We should all be aware of any symptoms that may signal early symptoms of lung cancer and not be afraid to ask for a CT scan—X-rays rarely catch early lung cancer. Rest in peace, Kathryn.

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