You may have known her for a lot of her roles, but the one I will always remember her is the one she played for 7 years on Desperate Housewives. Kathryn Joosten played Mrs. McCluskey on the Wisteria Lane show and I was shocked to hear that she passed away last night due to lung cancer.
If you’re a Desperate Housewives fan, you know why I’m shocked. I didn’t know she was a two time cancer survivor, and specially I didn’t know that she was battling lung cancer for the past few months.
It’s so heartbreaking that she was going through filming Desperate Housewives – and all the story behind Mrs. McCluskey’s own cancer battle – while undergoing surgery and treatments. And she already knew she was going to die soon when she filmed that same thing for the show. I’m not saying that the actresses from the show aren’t amazing, but now it makes even more sense all of the emotions shown on the finale. I probably won’t forget Bree’s reaction to her death, and now I know how hard it should have been to film that part of the show. In a way, they were saying goodbye to Kathryn, while saying goodbye to her character. And even though that’s so sad and heartbreaking, that also amazing. Amazing because, as sad as it is that she died, she was still celebrated in her life.
One of my other all-time TV Show favorite is West Wing. That was the first time that I remember seeing Kathryn on TV. She played the President’s secretary and she also died on the show. And I also remember loving her on the show and shedding a tear when they talked about her death.
Kathryn Joosten was a psychiatric nurse and single mother in suburban Chicago when she began her acting career at 42. She wrote on her website that she pursued her childhood dream of acting after getting involved with her hometown theater in Lake Forest, Ill. “Some people in Hollywood think of me as a model for dramatic midlife transitions: suburban housewife to Emmy-winning actress,” she wrote on her website. “But I never plotted a master plan for following my dreams.”
She was an advocate for lung cancer awareness and research and sat on the board of governors for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. As her family said in a statement, Kathryn “was surrounded by love and humor ’til the end. We are laughing through our tears.”
She was an amazing actress, probably not as celebrated and awarded as she deserved, but she will always be remembered by all TV Show lovers out there.
Goodbye and thank you.