The actress was best known for her role as Karen McCluskey on the enduring ABC drama.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kathryn Joosten, a character actress best known as the crotchety, nosey Karen McCluskey on Desperate Housewives and the president's secretary on The West Wing, has died. She was 72.
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Joosten, who had battled lung cancer for years, died Saturday in Los Angeles, her publicist Nadine Jolson said.
Joosten won two Emmy awards for her portrayal of Mrs. McCluskey, the cranky but loveable senior who kept a close eye on her Wisteria Lane neighbors on Desperate Housewives.
The hit show ended its run on ABC last month with a series finale in which Joosten's character passed away. Her character's battle with cancer was a story line in the show.
She also appeared on NBC's The West Wing as Mrs. Landingham, the president's trusted secretary. Over the years, she had roles in a number of other popular shows, including a recurring one on Dharma & Greg and guest spots on shows including Ally McBeal and Scrubs.
Active in animal rights causes, she appeared with other celebrities at a 2008 news conference in Los Angeles to ask the city to abandon a project for a $40 million elephant enclosure at the Los Angeles Zoo.