mostlycloudy
Friday July 3rd, 2015 2:17AM

'Housewives' actress Kathryn Joosten dies at 72

By The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES - Kathryn Joosten, a character actress best known as the crotchety, yet loveable, 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 "was surrounded by love and humor `til the end," her family said in a statement. "We are laughing through our tears."

Joosten won two Emmy awards for her portrayal of Mrs. McCluskey, who kept a close eye on her Wisteria Lane neighbors on "Desperate Housewives." The hit show ended its eight-year run on ABC last month with a series finale in which Joosten's character passed away. Her character's battle with cancer was a story line in the show.

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.

She said she received her first break when she was hired to be a street performer at Disney World in Orlando. She worked odd jobs to make ends meet and moved to Hollywood in 1995. She said she landed her first small role within months on the comedy "Family Matters."

Over 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.

"Some 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 dreams."

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.

She is survived by her sons, Jonathan and Timothy.

Plans for a memorial service were pending.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Doctors: Blood clot located in Clinton's head
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton developed a blood clot in her head but did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage, her doctors said Monday. They say they are confident that she will make a full recovery.
3:55PM ( 2 years ago )
Illinois Sen. Kirk to return a year after stroke
Nearly a year after a stroke left him barely able to move the left side of his body, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is expected to climb the 45 steps to the Senate's front door this week - a walk that's significant not just for Illinois' junior senator, but also for medical researchers and hundreds of thousands of stroke patients.
3:54PM ( 2 years ago )
U.S. News
Couch names administrative team
Ahead of his scheduled swearing in Friday, Hall County Sheriff-elect Gerald Couch named his top administrative team Monday.
6:28PM ( 2 years ago )
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 2 years ago )
Hall Co. officials launch health-based initiative for employees
Hall County officials believe healthy county employees will be of greater service to the county. With that in mind, they have created a health-based fitness initiative to provide free fitness training for county workers.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
Federal report: Polar bears in peril due to global warming
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Polar bears are at risk of dying off if humans don't reverse the trend of global warming, a blunt U.S. government report filed Thursday said."The single most important step fo...
8:25PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest on train derailment: 5,000 evacuated in Tennessee
MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — 6 p.m.An official in eastern Tennessee says smoke has stopped rising from the site where a CSX train car derailed and caught fire, forcing the evacuation of thousands of reside...
6:05PM ( 8 hours ago )
Obama draws sharp contrasts with 'mean' Republicans
LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — Wading into presidential politics, President Barack Obama on Thursday promoted his brand of middle-class economics by drawing sharp contrasts with "mean" Republicans in a state...
5:36PM ( 8 hours ago )
Jim Webb, Iraq war critic in Senate, running for president
WASHINGTON (AP) — Jim Webb, a decorated Vietnam veteran and accomplished novelist who became a fierce critic of the Iraq war in the Senate, announced Thursday that he's challenging Hillary Rodham Clin...
5:08PM ( 9 hours ago )
Top Republican doubts Senate will confirm ambassador to Cuba
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that his chamber is unlikely to approve an American ambassador to Cuba, dishing out a quick rebuff to President Barack Obama and...
4:28PM ( 9 hours ago )