Actress Kathryn Joosten Died at 72

Kathryn Joosten, a character actress best known as the crotchety, yet
lovable, 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’s “Desperate Housewives” co-stars took to Twitter to express their condolences.

“Rest in peace, she was an amazing woman and a wonderful actress,” Felicity Huffman wrote.

Brenda Strong said in a tweet: “Wisteria Lane won’t be the same without you.”

Joosten was a psychiatric nurse and single mother in suburban Chicago
when she began her acting career at 42. She wrote on her website that
she pursued her childhood dream of acting after getting involved with
her hometown theater in Lake Forest, Ill.

Through the years, she found steady work appearing in such popular
shows as “Dharma & Greg,” “Ally McBeal” and “Scrubs.” She became a
familiar face to fans of NBC’s “The West Wing” when she appeared as
Dolores Landingham, President Jed Bartlet’s trusted secretary.

people in Hollywood think of me as a model for dramatic midlife
transitions: suburban housewife to Emmy-winning actress,” she wrote on
her website. “But I never plotted a master plan for following my

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.