Less than three weeks after her character on Desperate Housewives died of lung cancer, Kathryn Joosten has lost her own fight with the disease she’d been fighting off and on for over a decade. The 72-year-old award-winning actress passed away at home on Saturday, surrounded by her family.
She was best known in Hollywood for her acerbic nosy neighbor antics on Desperate Housewives and secretarial support during her time in the office of The West Wing.
A single mother of two following a traumatic divorce to an alcoholic, Joosten found solace, purpose, happiness and much lauded success after deciding to pursue acting at the age of 42. In her previous life she worked as a psychiatric nurse -- a skill set that undoubtedly proved invaluable in Hollywood.
Since her initial bought with lung cancer in 2001, Joosten has been outspoken about the ill effects of being a smoker as well as a supporter of various lung cancer related organizations and charities.
Indicative of the good fortune that befell her burgeoning career, her Houswives character was originally only slated for a one-episode appearance.
People magazine published a statement from Housewives creator Marc Cherry. "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." We are certainly glad they decided to let her move in to the neighborhood.
Judging from the statement her family has released to the press, it’s safe to assume that Joosten was not only a great actress and an inspiring woman, but also a really good time., “We are laughing through our tears. We love you, Kathy, thanks for everything."