Monday, April 12, 2010

Dixie Carter, 1939-2010

This past weekend, actress Dixie Carter passed away due to complications of endometrial cancer at the age of 70. Without a doubt, her best known role was as Julia Sugarbaker on the sitcom Designing Women (1986-1993). One of the highlights of many Designing Women episodes was when the outspoken, liberal Julia would go on a rant that would leave her adversary literally speechless. The scene below, which is very timely considering the divisive political climate in this country, is from the 1988 episode "The Candidate":

Ironically, Carter was a registered Republican who described her political views as libertarian. One thing I learned over the weekend was that because Carter disagreed with many of the commentaries she had to deliver as Julia, she made a deal with the producers that for every speech she gave, Julia would get to sing a song in a future episode. When viewers were treated to scenes such as the one below (from the 1990 episode "Payne Grows Up"), I'd say a song for each speech was a good trade-off.

Do you have any favorite moments from Dixie Carter's career? If so, please share them in the comments section.


Hugh Jee From Jersey said...

Dixie was a cabaret performer in New York before and after her success as Julia on DESIGNING WOMEN, and a very good one.

When Julia got her Southern dander up, it made for some great TV....hell hath no fury like a riled Julia Sugarbaker.

The term "cougar" could have been invented with her in mind. She'll be missed.

Malcolm said...

Hugh: I am glad you stopped by because I've been meaning to visit your blog.

When I did some internet searches over the weekend about Dixie Carter, I learned that she appeared in a stage show back in the 1960s w/ Lily Tomlin and Madeline Kahn. Here is a link to a photo:

Because of Cher's penchant for dating younger men back in the 80s (the decade, not her age range), I think she was the prototypical cougar. However, I'd say Dixie was a "MILF" long before the term was invented. :-)

Hugh Jee From Jersey said...

Malcolm....MORE on Dixie Carter on my blog.

Extremist Westboro Baptist Church to Picket Dixie Carter's Funeral.

Those sick bastards are picketing her funeral tomorrow because she was married three times, and thus an "adulterer" in their eyes.

She's not alone....they hate just about everybody.

Malcolm said...

Hugh: You've got to be kidding me! I wouldn't be surprised if the picketers think that Dixie was a liberal like Julia Sugarbaker was. I wonder would they be protesting if they knew she leaned conservative. Thanks for the heads up.

Submitting by Mary Moreau via Facebook:

Great Clip, Malcolm! I was a huge fan of Designing Women. My two favorite Dixie clips was when she got her head stuck in the staircase and when she tucked her dress in her pantyhose in the fashion show. They never showed it on camera but the dialogue put the picture in your head that was hilarious. A beautiful talented actress. She will be missed!
Mon at 10:19pm

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