72 year old actress Kathryn Joosten, who played the role of Presidential secretary, Mrs. Landingham, died this week. On the West Wing, her character was killed by a drunk driver after being persuaded by the President to go get a new car. It led to one of the greatest monologues in the history of television
For those wondering what the Latin means, a you tube user shared a translation:
Gratias tibi ago, domine
Thank you, Lord.
Haec credam a deo pio, a deo justo, a deo scito?
Am I to believe these things from a righteous God, a just God, a wise God?
Cruciatus in crucem
To Hell with your punishments
uus in terra servus, nuntius fui; officium perfeci
I was your servant, your messenger on the earth, I did my duty.
Cruciatus in crucem (with a dismissive wave of the hand) eas in crucem
The Hell with your punishments! And to Hell with you! (literally, “may you go to a cross”
Joosten began her acting career later in life in her 40s after a career in nursing. The Telegraph also has this interesting note about her dedication to lung cancer:
In 2001, however, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. After treatment she was declared free of the disease, only for it to recur, in her other lung, in 2009. Again she prevailed, but she recognised that “cancer will be with me for the rest of my life, be it as a nodule, tumor or cell someplace, or in my fears and anxieties”.
She became a fierce advocate for lung cancer awareness, speaking at events and raising funds. A long-time smoker herself, she said that lung cancer had “a stigma because of the relationship to smoking – ‘you did it to yourself’ – and therefore the belief that somehow it is something to be ashamed of”. But she argued that the cancer “is far more lethal, and a bigger killer of women than all the other cancers combined” and that she was “irritated and disappointed” by the “oceans of pink” that successfully raised awareness and money for “sexier” breast cancer.
To bid adieu to Ms. Joosten here is her final shining moment on the West Wing. As means of background, she was a mentor figure for the President when he was growing up in prep school and that led her to become his personal assistant at the White House. Ergo, she’s possibly his most trusted advisor and this scene is presumably a hallucination…or is it?