Sunday, April 11, 2010
DELICIOUS REMEMBERS: 'Designing Women' Dixie Carter (1939 -2010)
Carter died Saturday morning on April 10, according to publicist Steve Rohr, who represents Carter and her husband, actor Hal Holbrook. He declined to disclose the cause of death or where she died. Carter lived with Holbrook in the Los Angeles area.
''This has been a terrible blow to our family,'' Holbrook said in a written statement. ''We would appreciate everyone understanding that this is a private family tragedy.''
A native of Tennessee, Carter was most famous for playing wisecracking Southerner Julia Sugarbaker for seven years on ''Designing Women,'' the CBS sitcom that ran from 1986 to 1993. The series was the peak of a career in which she often played wealthy and self-important but independent Southern women.
She was nominated for an Emmy in 2007 for her seven-episode guest stint on the ABC hit ''Desperate Housewives.''
Carter's other credits include roles on the series ''Family Law'' and ''Diff'rent Strokes.''
She married Holbrook in 1984. The two had met four years earlier while making the TV movie ''The Killing of Randy Webster,'' and although attracted to one another, each had suffered two failed marriages and were wary at first.
They finally wed two years before Carter landed her role on ''Designing Women.'' Holbrook appeared on the show regularly in the late 1980s as her boyfriend, Reese Watson.
The two appeared together in her final project, the 2009 independent film ''That Evening Sun,'' shot in Tennessee and based on a short story by Southern novelist William Gay.
The middle of three children, Carter was born in 1939 in McLemoresville, Tenn.
Carter was the daughter of a grocery and department store owner who died just three years ago at 96. She said at the time of his death that he taught her to believe in people's essential goodness.
''When I asked him how he handled shoplifting in his new store, which had a lot of goods on display, making it impossible to keep an eye on everything, he said, 'Most people are honest, and if they weren't, you couldn't stay in business because a thief will find a way to steal,''' Carter said. '''You can't really protect yourself, but papa and I built our business believing most people are honest and want to do right by you.'''
Carter grew up in Carroll County and made her stage debut in a 1960 production of ''Carousel'' in Memphis. It was the beginning of a decades-long stage career in which she relied on her singing voice as much as her acting.
She appeared in TV soap operas in the 1970s, but did not become a national star until her recurring roles on ''Diff'rent Strokes'' and another series, ''Filthy Rich,'' in the 1980s.
Those two parts led to her role on ''Designing Women,'' a comedy about the lives of four women at an interior design firm in Atlanta.
Carter and Delta Burke played the sparring sisters who ran the firm. The series also starred Annie Potts and Jean Smart.
The show, whose reruns have rarely left the airwaves, was not a typical sitcom. It tackled such topics as sexism, ageism, body image and AIDS.
''It was something so unique, because there had never been anything quite like it,'' Potts told The Associated Press at a 2006 cast reunion. ''We had Lucy and Ethel, but we never had that exponentially expanded, smart, attractive women who read newspapers and had passions about things and loved each other and stood by each other.''
Carter appeared on the drama ''Family Law'' from 1999 to 2002, and in her last major TV appearance she played Gloria Hodge, the surly mother-in-law to Marcia Cross’s Bree on ''Desperate Housewives.''
Carter said the role was far from the kindly woman she played on ''Designing Women.''
''It's a vast difference,'' Carter said while filming the series. ''Gloria Hodge doesn't have any redeeming qualities except her intelligence.''
In addition to Holbrook, Carter is survived by daughters Mary Dixie and Ginna.
“Surprise, Surprise! Terry Hands blood, sweat and tears staging of Carrie for his Royal Shakespeare Company works. ...a project that see...
Heterosexual director Renny ( Die Hard 2 , Deep Blue Sea ) Harlin has inexplicably slipped over to the other side with his boy-band-of-wi...
Perhaps it was the disgraceful (even by republican standards) shenanigans of the former Bush/Cheney administration finally getting to me....
Let's hope that the 1965 Billie is Hollywood's first and final women's lib track-and-field teen musical. Seemingly similar t...
After the usual mother's day goodies that come from dear hubby (You know the kind, girls - flowers, heart-shaped boxes of cheap choco...
Well kiddies, It's no secret to those who know me well, that the mere mention of the word musical sends moisture running down my thighs...
A 60s SEX ROMP WITH HORNY DEAN, LUSCIOUS LIZ, UNDULATING JILL AND A STRIPTEASE FROM CAROL BURNETT? POUR THE LIQUOR AND LET FLY!One of the greatest swingers of our generation is about to get married," we're told at the outset of the crack-brained 1963 clas...
Barbra Streisand stars as the memorable "woman who arranges everything," Dolly Levi, in Gene Kelly’s Oscar-winning film versio...
A movie so deliciouly overheated that (unlike the poster tagline) DELICIOUS asks, "Can anyone ever really be ready for MANDINGO?"Some movies are just so hysterically bad that they pose the question, "Can there really be too much of a good thing?" Purporti...
- ► 2015 (12)
- ► 2014 (39)
- ► 2013 (29)
- ► 2012 (22)
- ► 2011 (22)
- ▼ April (2)