Former Lake Forest Housewife Turned TV Star Dies of Cancer

Kathryn Joosten was better known as Mrs. McCluskey from "Desperate Housewives".


You probably knew her better as Mrs. McCluskey from the hit TV series, "Desperate Housewives".

But Kathryn Joosten was once a suburban housewife living in Lake Forest raising two kids in the 1980s.

The 72-year-old had been battling lung cancer for 11 years and finally succumbed Saturday, dying at her Los Angeles home.

In addition to her role as Karen McCluskey on "Desperate Housewives", Joosten also played the president's secretary on "The West Wing".

Her acting bug began in community theater in Lake Forest, according to her website. She was freshly divorced and raising two sons, and she paid the bills by hanging wallpaper and painting some of the mansions in Lake Forest, and working as a sales person at the Welcome Wagon.

She eventually made her way to Hollywood after a stint at Disney World/MGM, and began with small parts on TV that eventually would lead to theater roles, national television commercials, drama series and pilots.

Woosten won two Emmy awards for her portrayal of Mrs. McCluskey, who died in the season finale of "Desperate Housewives," which ended an eight-year run on ABC last month. Her character's battle with cancer was a story line in the show.

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.

Riftvalley Consortium June 04, 2012 at 01:08 PM
link with like minded to share
Nancy June 10, 2012 at 02:25 AM
RIP---I didn't know you were ill when I saw the finale od DH. I grew fond of your character over the years. God Bless you! You will be missed.


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