Popular Culture

Dixie Carter, “Designing Women’s” Julia Sugarbaker, Dies


Julia Sugarbaker has gone away to the Great Interior Design Studio in the Sky……Actress Dixie Carter, who played an outspoken liberal on the ’80s sitcom Designing Women and in recent years received an Emmy nomination for a guest role on Desperate Housewives, has died. She was 70.

No info on the details about the time, place, and cause of Dixie’s passing over the weekend, but her husband of 25 years describes the loss as devastating.

“This has been a terrible blow to our family,” actor Hal Holbrook, 85, told Entertainment Tonight on Saturday. “We would appreciate everyone understanding that this is a private family tragedy.”

Designing Women ran on CBS for seven seasons after debuting in 1986. The hit show — which featured Delta Burke and Meshach Taylor, and tackled tough issues like ageism, AIDS, and body image — revolved around the lives of four women and a man at an interior design firm in Atlanta. The Tennessee-born actress portrayed the tough-tongued Julia Sugarbaker, an advocate of liberal causes and women’s rights. Holbrook appeared on the show regularly in the late 1980s as Carter’s on-screen boyfriend, Reese Watson.

She also appeared on the final season of the 1980s sitcom Diff’rent Strokes. In 2007, Carter received an Emmy nomination for her guest role as the devious mother-in-law of Bree Hodge on ABC’s Desperate Housewives.


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