Actress Dixie Carter, 70, who most memorably portrayed Southern interior designer Julia Sugarbaker on the sitcom Designing Women from 1986 to 1993, died Saturday morning in Houston due to complications arising from endometrial cancer, her publicist confirmed to EW.com. “This has been a terrible blow to our family,” Carter’s husband, actor Hal Holbrook, told Entertainment Tonight. “We would appreciate everyone understanding that this is a private family tragedy.” Carter is survived by Holbrook, her husband of nearly 26 years, and two daughters from a previous marriage.
Carter, who was born in McLemoresville, Tenn., started her acting career in a 1960 stage production of Carousel. Since then, she appeared in the soap operas One Life to Live and The Edge of Night, and in such series as Out of the Blue, On Our Own, Diff’rent Strokes, Filthy Rich, and Family Law. In 2007, Carter earned an Emmy nomination for her guest-starring role in Desperate Housewives as Gloria Hodge, the deranged mother of Orson Hodge.
More from EW on Dixie Carter’s life and career:
Dixie Carter: 5 best Designing Women moments