Deaths of note: Kathryn Joosten, actress; Pedro Borbon, baseball pitcher

Kathryn Joosten

actress

  • ( / AP ) - This March 19, 1979 file photo shows Cincinnati Reds pitcher Pedro Borbon. Borbon, who pitched 10 years for the Reds and helped the Big Red Machine win back-to-back World Series titles. He died of cancer at the age of 65.
  • ( Fred Prouser / Reuters ) - Actress Kathryn Joosten holds the award she won for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy series for her role in \

( / AP ) - This March 19, 1979 file photo shows Cincinnati Reds pitcher Pedro Borbon. Borbon, who pitched 10 years for the Reds and helped the Big Red Machine win back-to-back World Series titles. He died of cancer at the age of 65.

Kathryn Joosten, 72, a character actress best known as the crotchety, nosey Karen McCluskey on “Desperate Housewives” and the president’s secretary on “The West Wing,” died June 2 in Los Angeles, her publicist Nadine Jolson said. She had lung cancer.

Ms. Joosten won two Emmy awards for her portrayal of Karen McCluskey, the cranky but lovable senior citizen who kept a close eye on her Wisteria Lane neighbors on “Desperate Housewives.” The hit show ended its run on ABC last month with a series finale in which Ms. Joosten’s character died.

She also appeared on NBC’s “The West Wing” as Mrs. Landingham, the president’s trusted secretary. Over the years, she had roles in a number of other popular shows, including a recurring one on “Dharma & Greg” and guest spots on shows including “Ally McBeal” and “Scrubs.”

Active in animal rights causes, Ms. Joosten appeared with other celebrities at a 2008 news conference in Los Angeles to ask the city to abandon a project for a $40 million elephant enclosure at the Los Angeles Zoo.

Pedro Borbon

baseball pitcher

Pedro Borbon, 65, who pitched 10 years for the Cincinnati Reds and helped the Big Red Machine win back-to-back World Series titles in the 1970s, died June 4 of cancer. He had been in hospice care at his home in Pharr, Tex., his son, Pedro Borbon Jr., told the Associated Press.

Mr. Borbon, who was a native of the Dominican Republic, was a key member of the bullpen on Cincinnati’s 1975 and ’76 championship teams, winning 13 games during those two seasons. He holds the club record with 531 career appearances and appeared in more games than any other NL pitcher from 1970 to 1978. He also pitched for the Angels, Giants and Cardinals before retiring in 1980. He had a lifetime ERA of 3.52.

In 1995, Mr. Borbon attempted to return to baseball at age 48 as a replacement player during a labor dispute. He struck out the only batter he faced in an exhibition game but was released.

He also gained acclaim for a mention in the 1980 movie “Airplane!” While trying to concentrate, a pilot in the comedy spoof hears a public address announcer’s voice in his head: “Pinch hitting for Pedro Borbon . . . Manny Mota.”

His son, Pedro Borbon Jr., pitched nine seasons in the major leagues.

— From news services