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Kathryn Joosten (1939-2012): A 'Housewife' with heart

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Less than three weeks after the onscreen death of her Desperate Housewives character, actress Kathryn Joosten passed away June 2 in Westlake Village, Calif., following a battle with lung cancer. The 72-year-old small-screen veteran, who also appeared as the memorable Mrs. Landingham on The West Wing from 1999 to 2001, won two supporting-actress Emmys for her work as crotchety Karen McCluskey. ”The character of Mrs. McCluskey was created for a single episode,” the show’s creator Marc Cherry said in a statement after her death. ”We then cast Kathryn Joosten, and she infused the part with so much feisty wit and curmudgeonly bravado, we knew we had to move her onto Wisteria Lane.” Frankly, we can’t imagine a better neighbor.

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