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13 June 2nd, 2012 Desperate Housewives’ Kathryn Joosten Dies At Age 72 After Long Battle with Lung Cancer!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Very sad news to report tonight, as news spread across the entertainment world.   Kathryn Joosten who played Mrs. McCluskey on Desperate Housewives died today in Los Angeles at age 72 after her long battle with lung cancer surrounded by her family at the time of her death.  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 in 2005 and 2008 for her portrayal of Karen McCluskey.  Desperate Housewives ended its eight-year run last month with a series finale in which Joosten’s character passed away.  Karen’s battle with cancer was a storyline in the show.

Prior to her Housewives success, Joosten was best known for playing Mrs. Landingham, secretary to Martin Sheen’s President Bartlet, on The West Wing.  She also had roles on such shows as Scrubs, My Name Is Earl, Joan of Arcadia, and Dharma & Greg.

Recently, soap fans saw Kathryn in a special guest appearance for the The Bold and the Beautiful’s 6,000th episode as Stephanie (Susan Flannery) formed a support group to help her deal with her cancer diagnosis.  Stephanie had real-life cancer survivors in her home to hear their stories.  Joosten played herself.  Kathryn also appeared on General Hospital during her career.

Desperate Housewives executive producer Marc Cherry released a statement today about the death of Kathryn Joosten,  “The character of Mrs. McCluskey was created for a single episode.  We then cast Kathryn Joosten and she infused the part with so much feisty wit and curmudgeonly bravado, we knew we had to move her onto Wisteria Lane for the run of the series. I will forever miss her, as a co-worker and as a friend.”

On-Air On-Soaps sends our thoughts and prayers to Joosten’s family and friends.

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  1. David Larsson says:

    Rest in Peace.


  2. Grace says:

    I thought she was superb and so courageous & gracious in the finale. It had to be difficult to play out those scenes knowing it was just a matter of time before it was really going to be happening. RIP – Kathryn


  3. Eileen Hargis says:

    She was one of the ones we will forever remember, she left her mark, tje best any of us can wish to do.


  4. ethel says:

    my thoughts & prayers are with her family…………..♥


  5. Kristen says:

    May Kathryn’s family & friends be comforted in knowing the impact she had on so many.
    I was always thrilled to watch her in any role! Bravo Kathryn for a life well lived! You will be missed.


  6. barbara t says:

    She was a sweetheart, RIP Mrs Mclusky & Kathryn Joosten. I loved when she stuck her nose in everyone’s business.


  7. SZima says:

    I fell in love with her on The West Wing…she was so good on that show. And she brought her magic to Desperate Housewives…and I’m sure to every other role she played. She will be missed!


  8. RLeternal says:

    Such a wondeful lady. Loved her character of Mrs. KM on DH very much. RIP! Kathryn. You will be remembered by your fans world-wide for a very, very long time.


  9. Derrick says:



  10. Christine says:

    I feared when I heard her cancer came back that it would not be good. I am very saddened to hear she lost the battle with her lung cancer.

    I watched several seasons of Desperate Housewives, but stopped a few years ago so I did not know that they killed off her character too. I agree with Grace, that had to be hard playing out those scenes. So sad.


  11. Susan M. says:

    Never watched Desperate Housewives……………My friend watched it… Wasn’t interested enough to watch………………


    barbara t replied

    I watched it till this last season, because I was boycotting abc/disney, It was good but sometimes it was dumb, However Mrs.Mcklusy was a riot, she won a emmy for her role, I always said that’s because she was the only one on that show that was the REAL actress, Ok bree and the one with all the kids, and Vanessa Williams could act to but the rest, Questionable.


  12. Christy says:

    oh, she sure will be missed! She was such a hoot to watch, and did a fine job at serious acting as well. She’s out of pain, but I bet she has everyonein in stiches up “there”!


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