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OTRC: Kathryn Joosten of 'Desperate Housewives' dead at 72

Kathryn Joosten appears in a still from 'Desperate Housewives.'

Kathryn Joosten, who portrayed Karen McKluskey on "Desperate Housewives," died at age 72 from lung cancer on Saturday, June 2, 2012.

Joosten died in Los Angeles, after battling lung cancer for several years, the actress' publicist confirmed to OnTheRedCarpet.com.

"The family of Kathryn Joosten, two-time Emmy winner, long-time Governor of The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, lung cancer advocate, and so much more, regrets to announce that Kathryn succumbed to her 11-year battle with lung cancer today, June 2, 2012, surrounded by love and humor til the end," the actress' family said in a statement. "Thanks to everyone for their love and support. We are laughing through our tears. We love you, Kathy, thanks for everything."

Joosten opened up about her battle with lung cancer in a 2007 episode of "The View." The two-time lung cancer survivor quit her 45-year smoking habit after being diagnosed in 2001 and underwent surgery and four rounds of chemotherapy. She was named the national spokesperson for the Lung Cancer Profiles campaign on behalf of Pfizer.

The actress won two Emmy Awards in 2005 and 2006 for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as the snooping neighbor on "Desperate Housewives."

The hit ABC series ended its run after eight seasons in May 2012. Joosten's character passed away in the two-hour finale, also after battling lung cancer.

Joosten also appeared on "The West Wing" as Mrs. Landingham, the president's secretary and made guest appearances in "General Hospital," "Dharma & Greg," "Frasier," "Seinfeld," "Roseanne," "Home Improvement," "Joan of Arcadia" and "Scrubs."

In addition, the actress appeared in films including "Wedding Crashers," "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" and "Bedtime Stories."

Before becoming an actress at age 42, Joosten was a single mother, working as a psychiatric nurse at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago.

"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."

Joosten is survived by her two sons, Jonathan (and his wife Jeremy and their son Jon Henry) and Timothy (and his wife Karissa and their son Evan James). The family will hold a private service at her home and there will be a memorial service in the near future.