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Kathryn Joosten Would Have Turned 78 This Year. Take A Moment To Enjoy 5 Facts About Her Life and Career!

December 18, 2017

Kathryn Joosten was a beloved character actress who won over the hearts of millions with her gentle smile and wonderful skills. During her 17 year career on the screen, she was a very prolific actress, with 119 credits to her name! You might recognize her from shows such as "The West Wing," "Desperate Housewives," or even "Scrubs." She hasn’t only starred in television shows, she also was in the 2005 film, "Wedding Crashers!" We hope you enjoy these five facts about the wonderful actress’s life!

1. Kathryn Joosten didn’t start acting until 1982 when she was 42 years old! That was only in community theatre, and it wasn’t until 1995 that she moved to Hollywood to pursue it professionally! Her early years were spent in Chicago, working at Michael Reese Hospital as a psychiatric nurse.


2. While working as a nurse, she lived in nearby Lake Forest, Illinois. She married a psychiatrist, and they had two sons, Jonathan and Timothy. Unfortunately, she divorced her husband in 1980, which laid the footwork for her path to fame and success. When she passed in 2012, she left behind her two sons and two grandkids.


3. Kathryn was a chain smoker in her younger years but quit in 2001 after smoking for 45 years, after being diagnosed with lung cancer. She soon went into remission, but it returned in September of 2009. After surgery and four rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, she was proclaimed cancer-free in January 2010. She became an outspoken person against smoking and even became the national spokesperson for the Lung Cancer Profiles campaign. She was always more than willing to speak openly about her smoking and would always offer tips on quitting when she gave interviews.


4. During her career, Kathryn won three awards for her wonderful work. She won her very first award in 2005, a Primetime Emmy! The award is for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her work as Mrs. McClusky in "Desperate Housewives." She received the same award in 2008, and was nominated for it again in 2010! In 2012, she was finally nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, having moved up from the guest actress label during the show’s sixth season.


5. On the morning on June 2, 2012, lung cancer took her life. She had fought it valiantly for eleven years, but cancer won in the end. Sadly enough, her death came a mere 20 days after her onscreen death on Desperate Housewives. Her character on the show, Karen McCluskey, also died from cancer. For viewers in the United Kingdom, they saw her onscreen death a day after her actual death.


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