She’s won two Emmys and survived two bouts with lung cancer. Now, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES star Kathryn Joosten (Karen) will chat candidly with THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL’s Stephanie and Nick about her real-life battles with cancer on Monday, February 7 — the day the soap airs its 6,000th episode.
“I’ll tell you, the cancer community is so excited that B&B is tackling this topic,” says Joosten, who’s also played GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Ida and the President’s secretary on THE WEST WING. “Lung cancer kills more people than breast cancer, prostate cancer or colon cancer, but it also has the biggest stigma. It’s not just smoking that causes lung cancer, but that’s the way the world views it.”
Joosten is a former nurse who came into acting later in her life, and while she’s perfectly at ease playing a wide array of characters, she felt equally comfortable assuming her own identity for the show. “It was quite natural,” she says. “I talked to Susan [Flannery, Stephanie] as though we were sitting in my own living room. I felt very at home on the set.”
While Stephanie’s prognosis remains to be seen, Joosten is happy to report that she’s cancer-free. “I still stay on top of it and have exams every three months,” she says, “but I’m fine. I’m in great shape.”