By Heather Ericson, EnStarz | Jun 02, 2012 05:00 PM EDT
"Desperate Housewives" actress Kathryn Joosten passed away today at the age of 72. Joosten played the role of Karen McCluskey in the hit ABC drama series which had its season finale last month.
According to publicist Nadine Jolsen, Joosten had succumbed to lung cancer, which she had been battling for years. She died at her home in Westlake Village, California, surrounded by her family.
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Her representative told E! News:"Kathryn passed away this morning after a valiant fight against her cancer. Her family was with her. Funeral arrangements are pending. This is a terrible loss, and she fought as hard as she could."
The veteran Emmy-winning actress was best known for her role as the elderly woman living on Wisteria Lane. Last month's season finale featured her character Karen McCluskey pass away.
Joosten initially suffered from lung cancer in 2001 after which she kicked her smoking habit of 45 years. However, she was diagnosed again in September 2009 and underwent chemotherapy.
Joosten only entered the world of show business at the age of 42. Before going into acting, she worked as a psychiatric nurse. She featured in ER, Roseanne, Seinfeld and Frasier. She was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy in 2005 and 2008 for her role in Desperate Housewives. She also went on to star in "The West Wing".
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