Choose life? Poppycock! According to Kathryn Joosten, dying well is the best revenge. After The West Wing put down President Bartlet's no-nonsense secretary Mrs. Landingham in May, the actress's popularity jumped up way up!
"Hasn't that been wonderful!" she exclaims to TV Guide Online. "I've received condolence cards and a lot of letters, mostly from people writing to say, 'Why?' and 'Now what happens?' and 'I don't like it.'
"As a matter of fact," she continues, "there was a group in Washington, D.C., that posted a condolence ad in a magazine there."
Since Joosten's West Wing counterpart was laid to rest, her raised profile has given her career a considerable boost to boot. She isn't getting more auditions, exactly, but those that she is getting are going increasingly well. "When I get in the door, it's like, 'Oh, yeah,'" she says, evincing a tone of recognition. "It's helped that way."
Come fall, in addition to her recurring Dharma & Greg gig, the sixtysomething will guest star on Providence as a big-time head case. "I love those parts," she enthuses. "You get to do all the things that you'd like to do in real life, but would get put away for!"
Joosten's D.O.A. newspaper pilot, The Back Page in which she was cast, ironically, as an obituaries editor also might get resurrected. Plus, there is a chance that she will haunt the Oval Office again. "They haven't told me [whether Mrs. Landingham's specter will return]," she insists. "But I don't think they'd let me know in advance, anyway. It would be more like, 'We need you next week.'"
Though ghostbusters argue that, if the drama allows the prez to dicker with the deceased, the series' reality will be adversely altered, "the dearly departed" suggests that viewers aren't so easily spooked. "From what I can tell, they accepted it. A lot of people talk to people that they've lost. They just aren't necessarily physically present."
In any event, the off-screen mother of two knows of at least one future appearance that she is guaranteed to make: "I've got my son's wedding coming up," she shares, "so that's going to be a big production."Actually, it's going to be a small production," she decides, her voice warm with joie de vivre. "But we were laughing about it because I was going into producer mode."