The automated segmentation of cell nuclei is an essential stage in the quantitative image analysis of cell nuclei extracted from smear cytology images of pleural fluid. Cell nuclei can indicate cancer as the characteristics of cell nuclei are associated with cells proliferation and malignancy in term of size, shape and the stained color. Nevertheless, automatic nuclei segmentation has remained challenging due to the artifacts caused by slide preparation, nuclei heterogeneity such as the poor contrast, inconsistent stained color, the cells variation, and cells overlapping. In this paper, we proposed a watershed-based method that is capable to segment the nuclei of the variety of cells from cytology pleural fluid smear images. Firstly, the original image is preprocessed by converting into the grayscale image and enhancing by adjusting and equalizing the intensity using histogram equalization. Next, the cell nuclei are segmented using OTSU thresholding as the binary image. The undesirable artifacts are eliminated using morphological operations. Finally, the distance transform based watershed method is applied to isolate the touching and overlapping cell nuclei. The proposed method is tested with 25 Papanicolaou (Pap) stained pleural fluid images. The accuracy of our proposed method is 92%. The method is relatively simple, and the results are very promising.