Character actress Kathryn Joosten, who played the snoop Karen McCluskey on Desperate Housewives and the president’s secretary on The West Wing, died today in Los Angeles after battling lung cancer for years. She was 72. She won two Emmys for the Desperate Housewives role. Her character also battled cancer and passed away in the series finale in May. In addition to her other major role as Mrs. Landingham on The West Wing, she had a recurring gig in Dharma & Greg and guest starred in Ally McBealScrubs and My Name Is Earl. Joosten, who had a career as a psychiatric nurse before turning to acting, was also active in animal rights causes.

Additionally Joosten served as a Governor for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Performers Peer Group. She completed two terms and was in her third at the time of her death. In his condolences statement TV Academy COO Alan Perris said she was “an exceptional representative of the performers peer group and spirited contributor to our organization. She will be missed.” A lengthy interview Joosten did with TV Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television will be posted Monday, June 4th, at EmmyTVLegends.org.

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