Kathryn Joosten

Kathryn Joosten


12/20/1939, Chicago, Illinois, USA



Birth Name

Kathryn Rausch



Also Known As

Kathryn Josten, Kathryn Joostyn, Katherine Joosten
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User Rating
71 votes



Kathryn Joosten is a two time Emmy Award winning actress. Joosten did not begin to hone her craft until the 1980s, after she started taking acting classes in Chicago at the age of 42. Before she found a career in showbiz, Joosten worked as a psychiatric nurse.

By the…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Kathryn began her acting career in 1984 with the role of Mrs. Clark in the film Grandview U.S.A. alongside Jamie Lee Curtis and Patrick Swayze.

    • In one of her two appearances on The View Karen revealed to the world that she was a lung cancer survivor.

    • Kathryn was nominated in 2008 for a SAG Award along with her Desperate Housewives castmates for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.

    • When her mom was dying, Kathryn vowed that someday she would pursue her dreams of acting.

    • She began acting at the age of 45.

    • In 2005,  Kathryn won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series playing Karen McCluskey on Desperate Housewives. Kathryn won again for the same category and the same show in 2008.

    • She has appeared in over a dozen plays, six movies, eleven national television commercials, two pilots, ten drama series and over twenty sitcoms.

    • In his autobiographical novel "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius," (p.33, "Mistakes We Knew We Were Making) David Eggers reveals that Kathryn Joosten hung the wallpaper in his bedroom when he was a child.

  • Quotes

  • Kathy Joosten: Talented, lovely, intelligent, classy.

    What a joy she was on TV! I'm sure she must've been an amazing and strong woman. Not many people can accomplish such a steady and successful TV career after 50 with no Hollywood connections. But she was slowly adapting to this whole business thing and a few years later (after Murphy Brown, Frasier, ER, West Wing, Joan of Arcadia etc.) she landed the part of Karen McCluskey on this little ABC's iconic show 'Desperate Housewives' where her guest star role turned into a recurring and later a supporting regular role on the show. She totally owned that part (although many fans still think of her as Ms. Landingham from 'West Wing') and was nominated for 3 Emmys (won two of them). Desperate Housewives ended it's run on May 13, 2012 and Mrs. McCluskey dies of lung cancer in the last minutes of the series finale.

    But sadly, life imitates art here and not in a good way. Kathy died barely three weeks after that on June 1, 2012 of lung cancer. She did so much to let the public know about this disease and the fight (even hers) against it. No, she didn't loose her battle. She fought up until the very last minute. I will always remember this classy lady who was never afraid to speak her mind and show us some real acting.moreless
  • Kathryn Joosten is a TV icon...

    She is such a great actress, I really think she is a TV icon, she has been a guest star in almost every show I like and I love the way she acts. She almost made me cry when she played that old lady in an episode of "Scrubs", and she is so funny as Mrs. McCluskey on "Desperate Housewives", she gives a depth to the characters she plays; I laughed so hard when she played that annoying lady on "Malcolm in the Middle". Kathryn Joosten should have her own show, I bet it would be so funny! Great Actress!moreless