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 time the mid-1990s rolled around, Joosten had moved to the big leagues in Hollywood. There, she would take on many guest roles in some of television's most beloved shows, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Roseanne, Dharma & Greg, Murphy Brown, and several others.
In a 1997 episode of Frasier titled 'Roz's Turn', Joosten appeared as Vera, the mother and personal secretary of Frasier's conniving agent, Bebe Glazer, played by Harriet Sansom Harris. Little did the two actresses know that they would be reunited to play neighbors in the first season of the colossal ABC hit, Desperate Housewives.
As 1999 approached, Joosten was cast in the role that would put her on the map: Delores Landingham, secretary to the president (played by Martin Sheen) on the wildly popular West Wing. Joosten played this part for two seasons, until her character's death in a car crash in 2001. She would lend her talents to the show twice more after her death in flashback episodes.
Joosten's role on The West Wing opened many doors for her and led to significant guest spots on several extremely popular shows. Since 2001, she has appeared in such shows as Scrubs, The X-Files, The Closer, Grey's Anatomy, Charmed, Will & Grace, and many others. Her part in in the Scrub's episode entitled 'My Old Lady' won her a Humaitas Prize. Joosten also had a recurring role as one of the less intimidating incarnations of GOD on the now canceled TV series Joan of Arcadia.
Joosten's last big break came with her residency on Wisteria Lane, portraying Mrs. Karen McCluskey on ABC's smash hit, Desperate Housewives. Joosten's Mrs. McCluskey is the lonely and most often bickering neighbor of Felicity Huffman's character, Lynette Scavo. With her role on Desperate Housewives, Joosten has earned two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series in both 2005 and 2008. She has also received three Screen Actors Guild Award nominations alongside her fellow Housewives for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series from 2006 - 2008.
In June of 2012, Kathryn Joosten passed away from lung cancer at the age of 72. Although her name may not be one that everyone recognizes right off the bat, her face and her talent certainly are. With an impeccable gift for comedic timing and the ability to make some of the most hateful characters seem lovable, Joosten will be remembered for years to come.