Lynne Obregon

Written by Lynne Obregon

Modified & Updated: 09 Jun 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Kathryn Joosten was a beloved American actress known for her remarkable talent and unforgettable performances. With a career spanning several decades, she made an indelible mark in the entertainment industry. From her humble beginnings in the theater to her breakthrough roles in television shows, Joosten’s journey was nothing short of extraordinary.

In this article, we will explore 14 unbelievable facts about Kathryn Joosten that showcase her versatility, resilience, and dedication to her craft. Prepare to be amazed as we delve into the fascinating details of her life and career, shining a light on the accomplishments and experiences that made her one of the most cherished celebrities in Hollywood.

Key Takeaways:

  • Kathryn Joosten pursued acting later in life after working as a psychiatric nurse, showcasing that it’s never too late to follow your passion and achieve success in a new career.
  • Her iconic roles, advocacy for lung cancer awareness, and dedication to philanthropy left a lasting impact, proving that talent and kindness can inspire and make a difference in the world.
Table of Contents

She didn’t pursue acting until later in life.

Kathryn Joosten, widely known for her roles on popular television shows, initially had a different career path. She worked as a psychiatric nurse for many years before deciding to pursue her passion for acting.

She achieved success on stage.

Prior to her television fame, Joosten showcased her talents on the stage. She performed in numerous theater productions, gaining recognition for her exceptional acting skills and vibrant stage presence.

She played iconic roles on two hit TV series.

Joosten gained widespread recognition for her roles as Karen McCluskey on “Desperate Housewives” and as Dolores Landingham on “The West Wing.” Her memorable performances captivated audiences and solidified her status as a talented actress.

She won two Primetime Emmy Awards.

Joosten’s exceptional acting abilities were acknowledged with two Primetime Emmy Awards. Her outstanding portrayal of Karen McCluskey on “Desperate Housewives” earned her recognition as an accomplished and versatile performer.

She appeared in various other television shows.

Aside from her notable roles on “Desperate Housewives” and “The West Wing,” Joosten had guest appearances on several popular television shows, showcasing her versatility as an actress and expanding her fan base.

She was a strong advocate for lung cancer awareness.

Joosten fought a personal battle against lung cancer and used her platform to raise awareness about the disease. She became a spokesperson for various organizations, advocating for early detection and improved treatments.

She was a talented voice actress.

In addition to her on-screen performances, Joosten lent her voice to different animated projects. Her unique voice acting skills brought life to various characters and added depth to their personalities.

She appeared in multiple films.

Joosten’s talent extended beyond television, as she also appeared in several films throughout her career. Her remarkable performances showcased her versatility as an actress in both small and big-screen productions.

She had a recurring role on “Scrubs.”

Joosten portrayed the character of Gloria, the old lady in the park, on the hit medical comedy series “Scrubs.” Her impeccable comedic timing and memorable interactions with the show’s main characters made her an audience favorite.

She was a beloved cast member of “Desperate Housewives.”

Joosten’s portrayal of Karen McCluskey on the hit series “Desperate Housewives” endeared her to viewers worldwide. Her character’s wit, strength, and vulnerability made her a fan favorite throughout the show’s run.

She was involved in various charitable endeavors.

Joosten dedicated her time and energy to philanthropic work, supporting causes such as cancer research, animal welfare, and mental health awareness. Her selfless efforts left a lasting impact on those she touched with her kindness.

She started her acting career in regional theaters.

Prior to achieving fame on television, Joosten honed her acting skills in various regional theaters across the United States. These early experiences helped shape her craft and prepared her for the success that would follow.

She was admired for her professionalism and work ethic.

Throughout her career, Joosten was highly regarded by her colleagues for her professionalism, dedication, and strong work ethic. Her commitment to her craft and her ability to bring authenticity to her roles made her a respected figure in the industry.

She left behind a legacy of inspiring performances.

Although she is no longer with us, Kathryn Joosten’s extraordinary talent and impactful performances continue to be celebrated. Her inspiring journey and contributions to the world of acting will forever be cherished by fans and fellow actors alike.

These 14 unbelievable facts about Kathryn Joosten highlight her remarkable career, her dedication to her craft, and her profound impact on the entertainment industry. From her memorable roles on popular television shows to her passionate advocacy for important causes, Joosten’s legacy lives on and continues to inspire aspiring actors and fans around the world.


In conclusion, Kathryn Joosten was truly an incredible and inspiring individual. From her humble beginnings to her success as an actress, she left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. Her talent, dedication, and determination paved the way for her to achieve great heights in her career. Despite facing numerous challenges and setbacks, Joosten never gave up and continued to pursue her passion for acting.In addition to her remarkable professional accomplishments, Kathryn Joosten also made a significant impact as an advocate and spokesperson for lung cancer awareness. Her own battle with the disease served as a source of inspiration for many, and she used her platform to raise awareness and funds for research.Kathryn Joosten’s legacy will forever be remembered by her exceptional performances, her philanthropic efforts, and her unwavering spirit. She will always be remembered as a talented actress, a courageous cancer survivor, and a true beacon of hope.


1. How did Kathryn Joosten start her acting career?

Kathryn Joosten began her acting journey later in life, after raising her family. She took acting classes and landed small roles before eventually finding success in television.

2. What are some notable roles played by Kathryn Joosten?

Kathryn Joosten is best known for her portrayal of Mrs. McCluskey on the hit TV show “Desperate Housewives.” She also appeared in popular shows like “The West Wing” and “Scrubs.”

3. Did Kathryn Joosten win any awards for her acting?

Yes, Kathryn Joosten won two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on “Desperate Housewives.”

4. How did Kathryn Joosten contribute to lung cancer awareness?

As a lung cancer survivor herself, Kathryn Joosten became an advocate for raising awareness about the disease. She worked with various organizations to educate the public and raise funds for research.

5. What was Kathryn Joosten’s impact on the entertainment industry?

Kathryn Joosten’s talent and versatility made her a respected figure in the entertainment industry. She paved the way for older actors, proving that age should never be a barrier to success.

Kathryn Joosten's remarkable career spans beloved shows like Desperate Housewives, where her portrayal of Karen McCluskey captivated audiences. She also shone in The West Wing, bringing depth to her role as Mrs. Landingham. Joosten's journey reminds us of other iconic television actresses, such as Melissa Gilbert, who left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry.

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