Dixie Carter

Actor, Singer
Actress Dixie Carter belied the stereotypical image of a Southern belle with her smart choices in roles that often showcased strong-willed and steely characters. Audiences loved her as the classy-yet-brassy Julia ... Read more »
Born: 05/25/1939 in McLemoresville, Tennessee, USA

Filmography

Actor (57)

One Life to Live 1967 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

Our First Christmas 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

That Evening Sun 2009 (Movie)

Ellen Meecham (Actor)

Desperate Housewives 2006 - 2007 (Tv Show)

Actor

Hope & Faith 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Comfort and Joy 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

Reading Rainbow 1982 - 2003 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Designing Women Reunion 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Christy 1994 - 1995, 1997 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Diagnosis Murder 1994 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Family Law 1999 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Fired Up 1997 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Ladies Man 1999 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Holidays With the Stars 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Intimate Portrait: Sharon Lawrence 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Narrator

The 2001 Genesis Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 27th Annual People's Choice Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 54th Annual Tony Awards (CBS) 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Presenter

Southern Living: Our Holiday Memories 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Wallowitch & Ross: This Moment 1999 (Movie)

(Actor)

We Met on the Vineyard 1998 (Movie)

Carol Kendrick (Actor)

The 51st Annual Tony Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Presenter

Judith Kranz's Dazzle 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Cabaret 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Designing Women 1986 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Ninth Annual Soap Opera Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Presenter

All New Circus of the Stars & Side Show 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Bob Hope's 1990 Christmas Show From Bermuda 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The 43rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Presentation 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Performer

Face to Face With Connie Chung (05/14/90) 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Soap Opera Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Host

The 41st Annual Emmy Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Performer

The 44th Annual Tony Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Performer

US Magazine -- Live at the Emmys! 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Diff'rent Strokes 1978 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The Edge of Night 1955 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Going Berserk 1983 (Movie)

Angela (Actor)

The Greatest American Hero 1980 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Bret Maverick 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

Lou Grant 1977 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

Out of the Blue 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Quincy, M.E. 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Filthy Rich (TV Show)

Actor

Gone in the Night (TV Show)

Actor

Ohms (TV Show)

Actor

On Our Own (TV Show)

Actor
Music (1)

The Kentucky Derby 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Song Performer

Biography

Actress Dixie Carter belied the stereotypical image of a Southern belle with her smart choices in roles that often showcased strong-willed and steely characters. Audiences loved her as the classy-yet-brassy Julia Sugarbaker on "Designing Women" (CBS, 1986-1993), a Southern-flavored sitcom centered on four women who worked together at an interior design firm. On "Designing Women," Carter imbued her character with the perfect combination of wit, charm and beauty, and helped make the series one of the network's most watched shows during its seven-year run. The theater-trained actress' career peaked with the CBS series, but she remained a vibrant figure on television and was highly sought out to play tough characters such as a lawyer on "Family Law" (CBS, 1999-2002) or an overbearing matriarch on "Ladies Man" (CBS, 1999-2001). In 2007, Carter revived her career with a critically acclaimed performance on the comedy "Desperate Housewives" (ABC, 2004- ), playing a Machiavellian mother obsessed with her son. Whether playing the strong women she became known for or belting out a song on Broadway, Carter's long acting career was a testament to her undeniable talent and versatility and her happy marriage to fellow actor Hal Holbrook was an inspiration in an industry sometimes brutal on interpersonal relationships.

Relationships

Virginia Carter

Mother

Arthur Carter

Husband
Married Dec. 2, 1967 Divorced 1977

Halbert Carter

Father

Ginna Carter

Daughter
Born c. 1970 father, Arthur Carter

Mary Carter

Daughter
Born c. 1972 father, Arthur Carter

Halbert Carter

Brother

George Hearn Actor

Husband
Married 1977 Divorced 1979

Melba Heath

Sister

Hal Holbrook Actor

Husband
Acted together in the TV-movie "The Killing of Randy Webster" (1981) Married May 27, 1984 until her death April 10, 2010 Holbrook had recurring role as the boyfriend of Carter's character Julia Sugarbaker on "Designing Women" (CBS)

EDUCATION

Memphis State University

Memphis, Tennessee
Now known as University of Memphis

Huntingdon High School

Huntingdon, Tennessee
Graduated with the Mathematics Award and as valedictorian of her class

Southwestern at Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee
Now know as Rhodes College

University of Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

Milestones

2009

Co-starred with her husband Hal Holbrook in her final film appearance, "That Evening Sun"

2006

Had a recurring role on ABC's "Desperate Housewives" as Orson's (Kyle MacLachlan) mother; re-teamed with creator Marc Cherry who was once her personal assistant; earned an Emmy nomination for the role

2004

Guest-starred on an episode of NBC's "Law and Order: SVU" playing a defense attorney named Denise Brockmorton

2004

Played the role of Mrs. Meers in the Broadway musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie"

1999

Had recurring role as Lawrence's mother in the CBS sitcom "Ladies Man"

1999

Portrayed Randi King on the CBS legal drama "Family Law"

1997

Replaced Patti LuPone in the role of Maria Callas in the Broadway production of "Master Class"

1997

First played Sharon Lawrence's mother in an episode of the NBC sitcom "Fired Up"

1994

Portrayed Lillie Langtry in "The Gambler V: Playing For Keeps," a CBS miniseries starring Kenny Rogers

1994

Acted with husband Hal Holbrook in "A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Lethal Lifestyle" (NBC)

1993

Performed live at the White House, singing three songs as part of "Cabaret" (aired on PBS in 1994)

1992

Released "Dixie Carter's Unworkout" exercise tape

1989

Began annual nightclub engagements singing at the Cafe Carlyle in New York City

1986

Played interior decorator Julia Sugarbaker on the successful CBS sitcom "Designing Women"; re-teamed with Bloodworth-Thomason and Burke

1984

Played the recurring role of Maggie McKinney, Mr. Drummond's girlfriend, on NBC's popular sitcom "Different Strokes"; role later played by Mary Ann Mobley

1983

Made film debut in the comedy "Going Berserk"

1983

Made London stage debut as Liz Conlon in "Buried Inside Extra" at the Royal Court Theatre

1982

First collaboration with producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, played the role of Carlotta Beck, on the CBS comedy "Filthy Rich"; Delta Burke was also prominent in cast

1981

Met future husband Hal Holbrook while starring opposite him in the CBS movie "The Killing of Randy Webster"

1980

Played Hannah Mae Bindler in New York stage production of "A Couple of White Chicks Sitting Around Talking"

1979

Portrayed Aunt Marion on short-lived ABC comedy "Out of the Blue"

1977

Cast in the role of copywriter April Baxter on the CBS sitcom "On Our Own"

1976

Appeared as Melba in New York stage revival of "Pal Joey"

1974

First appeared on television in the role of Brandy Henderson on long-running ABC soap opera "The Edge of Night"

1974

Returned to acting after an eight-year hiatus to co-star on Broadway in the musical "Sextet"

1963

Made off-Broadway debut as Perdita in the New York Shakespeare Festival's production of "A Winter's Tale"

1961

Made stage debut as Julie in "Carousel" at the Front Street Theatre in Memphis

1959

Placed first runner-up in the Miss Tennessee pageant

Bonus Trivia

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In 1996, Carter published a memoir titled Trying to Get to Heaven, in which she talked frankly about her life with Hal Holbrook, Designing Women, and her plastic surgery during the show's run.

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Nervously referring to her engagement as a nightclub chanteuse in New York City, Carter drawled, "You're going to see a middle-aged woman make a big fool of herself, but I think it's gonna work." - quoted in People magazine, April 29, 1991

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The Dixie Carter Performing Arts and Academic Enrichment Center (informally called "The Dixie") in Huntingdon, TN is named in honor of Carter.

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