Such sad news: Funky and cranky-hilarious Kathryn Joosten, who plays Desperate Housewives' meddling Mrs. McClusky on the hit diva soap, is again fighting lung cancer. The 69-year-old star—many TV fans know her best as the president's secretary, Mrs. Landingham, from The West Wing—is "fighting mad," she says.
And not just about her own condition, but what she faces medically and politically, too:
"Lung cancer kills more people than breast cancer in this country, and it doesn't get anywhere near the funding. I want to be the Ryan White of lung cancer. This is so unfair."
Joosten, a heavy smoker for more than 40 years, was originally diagnosed with lung cancer in 2001. She had surgery and recovered without chemo or radiation, and she'd been cancer-free until last Wednesday, when she got the unfortunate news. "What a bitch, huh?," K.J. sassed.
When I asked Joosten how she's taking her recent diagnosis, she barked:
"Well, I'm not the type of personality to take this lying down, and I'm not accepting it." Joosten is still undergoing tests to find out exactly what her prognosis is this time around, but she said, so far, her doctors are positive.
So, too, are the producers of Desperate Housewives, who were told of Joosten's condition today. According to the feisty broad who's not exactly shy about having sex on the show, Desperate creator Marc Cherry and others are willing to write around Joosten's cancer treatments and are being "unbelievably" supportive.
There's also a chance Joosten's cancer may get written into the prime-time show.
For the best info on getting involved in the fight against lung cancer, Ms. J has asked people to go here, where she'd like you to rally with her. She'd also like you to stop smoking (if you currently are) and join in the shout about what she bitches is the injustice of the U.S.'s lung-cancer funding.
Our prayers are with you, Kathy.
Catch up on all things Desperate in Watch With Kristen before it premieres Sun. Sept. 27