Kathryn Joosten

Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her nearly three-hour Archive interview, actress Kathryn Joosten (1939 - 2012) describes her start in acting at age 42. She outlines her first career, as a psychiatric nurse, and how she decided to pursue her love of acting when her marriage ended. She recalls studying and performing at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, and moving to Los Angeles in the mid-1990s. Joosten then recounts her guest roles on several shows, including Family Matters, Murphy Brown, Dharma & Greg, and Scrubs. She details the two roles for which she's best known, those of "Mrs. Landingham" on The West Wing, and "Karen McClusky" on Desperate Housewives. Joosten also speaks of her long-time involvement with the Television Academy, serving as Governor of the Performers Peer Group. She talks of her two Emmy wins (for her role on Desperate Housewives), and openly discusses her battle with lung cancer. Nancy Harrington conducted the interview in Westlake Village on May 9, 2012.

"I'd like to be remembered as a good actress who had a lot of fun, a wonderful sense of humor, and was a great comedian."

Highlights
Kathryn Joosten on her approach to acting
01:14
Kathryn Joosten on her role on Scrubs
03:06
Kathryn Joosten on her role as "Mrs. Landingham" on The West Wing
01:00
Kathryn Joosten on her character, "Karen McCluskey" on Desperate Housewives
01:03
Kathryn Joosten on how she'd like to be remembered
00:11
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her childhood and early influences; on her early acting in school plays; on attending nursing school - her first career
On losing both parents early in life; on growing up in Chicago; on being exposed to the Chicago theater and comedy scene
On getting divorced; on starting a new new career acting in community theater; on getting her first role in a production of "Gypsy"
On her first professional acting gig - at Disneyworld; on moving to Hollywood; on getting work as an actor later in life; on her first paid job in television - on Family Matters; on having a side-job in catering; on getting an agent
On getting roles on several sitcoms: Murphy Brown, Frasier, Thanks, and on the drama Brooklyn South
On feeling like she had succeeded as an actress; on being up for recurring roles; on her role on The West Wing; on what she learned about the process of doing television

Chapter 2

On the premise of The West Wing and her role as "Mrs. Landingham" on the show; on her audition process; on "Mrs. Landingham's" name; on The West Wing scene she's extremely proud of - "My Dead Son's Scene"; on "Mrs. Landingham" and her fate on The West Wing; on the popularity of and production on the show; on the "walk and talks"; on her favorite episodes of the show
On her role on Dharma & Greg and her recurring role on Scrubs
On her role on General Hospital and getting cast because she had lung cancer in real life; on her own cancer; on how having cancer has affected her career; on how "Karen McCluskey" would die on Desperate Housewives; on her role on Joan of Arcadia
On her role as "Karen McCluskey" on Desperate Housewives; on her castmates and crew; on production on the show; on her process for learning lines; on working with Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry

Chapter 3

On the cast of Desperate Housewives; on Nicollette Sheridan leaving the show; on working with Lily Tomlin; on her character getting a boyfriend; on specific episodes of the show
On her Emmy wins for Desperate Housewives
On the end of Desperate Housewives; on her last day on set; on her character's death on the show; on the fate of the other characters on the show
On joining the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and serving as Governor of the Performers Peer Group; on the pros and cons of the Television Academy; on her proudest accomplishment working with the Academy
On her then-current projects; on writing a book; on her fans; on what she likes about acting; on her approach to acting; on advice to aspiring actors; on advice to those starting acting later in life; on her proudest achievement and biggest regret; on how she'd like to be remembered
Shows

Brooklyn South

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Kathryn Joosten on her role on Brooklyn South
00:54

Desperate Housewives

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Kathryn Joosten on everyone on Desperate Housewives knowing she had cancer and how it affected her work and her character's storyline
03:05
Kathryn Joosten on her role as "Karen McCluskey" on Desperate Housewives; on her castmates and crew; on production on the show; on her process for learning lines; on working with Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry
12:44
Kathryn Joosten on the cast of Desperate Housewives; on specific episodes of the show
11:22
Kathryn Joosten on her Emmy wins for Desperate Housewives
02:32
Kathryn Joosten on the end of Desperate Housewives; on her last day on set; on her character's death on the show; on the fate of the other characters on the show
05:08

Dharma & Greg

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Kathryn Joosten on her role on Dharma & Greg
02:02

ER

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Kathryn Joosten on her first big break in acting - on E.R.
01:19

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Kathryn Joosten on her Emmy wins for Desperate Housewives
02:32

Family Matters

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Kathryn Joosten on her first paid job in television - on Family Matters
01:07
Kathryn Joosten on how she got cast on Family Matters
01:53

Frasier

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Kathryn Joosten on her role on Frasier
00:37

General Hospital

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Kathryn Joosten on her role on General Hospital
02:22

Joan of Arcadia

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Kathryn Joosten on her role on Joan of Arcadia
01:00

Murphy Brown

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Kathryn Joosten on her guest role on Murphy Brown
01:34

Scrubs

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Kathryn Joosten on her role on Scrubs
03:06
Kathryn Joosten on her role on Scrubs
00:43

West Wing, The

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Kathryn Joosten on her recurring role on The West Wing
01:08
Kathryn Joosten on the premise of The West Wing and her role as "Mrs. Landingham" on the show; on her favorite episodes and the legacy of the show
25:46
Topics

Emmy Awards

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Kathryn Joosten on her Emmy wins for Desperate Housewives
02:32
Professions

Actress

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Kathryn Joosten on her first paid job in television - on Family Matters
01:07
Kathryn Joosten on what she loves about acting, her approach to acting, and advice to aspiring actors
04:13
Genres

Drama Series

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Kathryn Joosten on the cast of Desperate Housewives; on specific episodes of the show; on her Emmy wins for the show; on the end of Desperate Housewives; on her last day on set; on her character's death on the show; on the fate of the other characters on the show
19:20
People

Marc Cherry

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Kathryn Joosten on how "Karen McCluskey" would die on Desperate Housewives
02:24
Kathryn Joosten on working with Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry
00:45

Rob Lowe

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Kathryn Joosten on the premise and cast of The West Wing
02:17

Martin Sheen

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Kathryn Joosten on her recurring role on The West Wing
01:08
Kathryn Joosten on the premise and cast of The West Wing
02:17

Aaron Sorkin

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Kathryn Joosten on her character, "Mrs. Landingham" on The West Wing and her fate on the show
06:25

John Spencer

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Kathryn Joosten on the premise and cast of The West Wing
02:17

Lily Tomlin

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Kathryn Joosten on working with Lily Tomlin on Desperate Housewives
01:17

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