Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dixie Carter (1939-2010)

Dixie Carter, attended college at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College). She was a graduate of Memphis State (now University of Memphis) with a degree in English.

In 1960, Carter made her first stage performance in a Memphis production of Carousel. She moved to New York City in 1963 and played a part in a production of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.

After an eight-year hiatus from acting, she returned in 1974, when she filled in for actress Nancy Pinkerton as Dorian Cramer on One Life to Live, while Pinkerton was on maternity leave. After which she was cast in the role of Assistant D.A. Olivia Brandeis "Brandy" Henderson on the soap opera The Edge of Night, which she performed from 1974-76. Carter took the role even though some advised her that doing a daytime soap might hurt her career. After leaving Edge of Night in 1976, she moved from New York to Los Angeles and pursued prime-time television roles.

She performed in Out of the Blue, On Our Own, Diff'rent Strokes and Filthy Rich (1982). Carter's performance in Filthy Rich made the way for her best-known role, of interior decorator Julia Sugarbaker in the 1980s/1990s TV show Designing Women, set in Atlanta, Georgia. Filthy Rich had been created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, who went on to create Designing Women. Hal Holbrook, her real-life husband, performed as Reese Watson.

From 1999-2002, she played "Randi King" on the legal drama Family Law, portraying a lawyer. In 2004, she made a guest performance on Law and Order: SVU, playing a defense attorney named Denise Brockmorton in the episode called Home.

Carter performed in several Broadway musicals and plays, She performed on and off-Broadway, most recently portraying Maria Callas in Terrence McNally's Master Class.

In 2006-07 Carter found renewed fame as Gloria Hodge on Desperate Housewives, earning an Emmy nomination for her work on the series.

Her final film was That Evening Sun, which she filmed on location with her husband Hal Holbrook in East Tennessee in the summer of 2008 and is based on a short story by William Gay.

We will greatly miss Dixie Carter, a very classy lady.


  1. Dawn, This is really sad news. I loved Dixie, on Designing Women and her guest shot on Law & Order ;SVU .Your right she was a classy lady.

  2. I saw Dixie Carter in Master Class on Broadway -- she was superb! What a great & diverse talent!

  3. Gilby, I always thought Dixie was a very classy lady. I would have loved to have seen her perform in person.


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