‘Desperate Housewives’ Emmy-Winning Actress Kathryn Joosten Dies at 72

Kathryn Joosten also played Martin Sheen's secretary Mrs. Landingham on "The West Wing"

Kathryn Joosten, who won two Emmys for her work on “Desperate Housewives,” died Friday after a long battle with lung cancer. She was 72.

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Joosten also had a memorable role on another long-running series: She played Martin Sheen’s secretary Mrs. Landingham on the first two seasons of “The West Wing.”

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She also appeared in such recent movies as “Wedding Crashers” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” and a long string of guest-starring roles in such series as “Monk,” “The Mentalist,” “The Closer” and “Malcolm in the Middle.”

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Joosten’s death came shortly after the series finale of “Housewives,” in which her character, Karen McKluskey died.

An advocate for lung cancer awareness, Joosten had been dealing with the disease since 2001.

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“Housewife” Dana Delany said of Joosten on Twitter: Very sad to hear of @KathyJoosten's death. She was a salt-of-the earth nurse who became a brilliant actor. Her comic timing was nonpareil.

Born in December 1939, Joosten worked as a psychiatric nurse in Chicago, until she started taking acting classes at the city's Steppenwolf Theater at age 42. She moved to Los Angeles in the '90s, and started appearing on TV shows like "Roseanne" and "ER." 

She received her two Emmys in 2005 and 2008, for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series and was also nominated again in 2010.