Kathryn Joosten


Editor’s Note: Kathryn Joosten died on June 2, 2012 at the age of 72, 11 years after she began battling lung cancer. In a statement, her family said she was “surrounded by love and humor ’til the end.”

At 70 years old, Kathryn Joosten is a celebrated actress — she’s won two Emmy awards and received critical acclaim for her roles on TV shows like “Scrubs,” “The West Wing” and “Desperate Housewives.”

But it was a dream deferred…and one that almost didn’t come true at all. Joosten always wanted to act, but marriage, kids and a career came first. In her 40s, after some major life changes, Joosten finally had time and attention to pay to her passion for theater. She started taking acting classes, and something her mother said on her death bed sealed the decision to move forward.

Then came a lucky break (at an unexpected place!) and a risky move across the country — followed by major success. And now, Joosten is paying it forward, working with a cause that’s very close to her heart.