Emmy winner Kathryn Joosten, whose emotional death scene as Karen McKluskey gave Desperate Housewives‘ recent series finale its biggest emotional punch, died yesterday of lung cancer in Westlake Village, CA. She was 72.
Joosten won her Emmys in 2005 and 2008 in the Oustanding Guest Actress in a Comedy for her portrayal of Wisteria Lane’s crankiest (but still loveable) resident.
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.
Joosten, who didn't begin her acting career until she was 42 famously told interviewers through the years that Housewives‘ creator Marc Cherry had promised never to kill off Mrs. McCluskey, seeing how many of her prior characters hadn’t survived to their shows’ series finales.
According to her rep, Joosten was surrounded by family at the time of her death.