'Designing Women' star Dixie Carter dies at age 70

Dixie-CarterImage Credit: Ron Tom/ABC/Getty ImagesActress 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

Comments (189 total) Add your comment
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  • Maggie

    I’m so sorry to hear about Dixie Carter passing away. My thoughts and prayers to her family. So sad. :(

    • KEH

      YAHOO homepage Feed on this story has Delta Burk’s photo!!! has been there for hours ..

  • Daryl

    So sad. RIP Dixie. :(

    • hahha

      sorry to hear that

      • hatedon

        I always found the Julia Sugarbaker character to be extremelty grating. Every week it was the same thing, tell someone off in her self-righteous, condescending judgemental way!

  • Nancy Gill

    Dixie Carter was a very lovely lady and will be missed. My Thoughts and Prayers go to her family. Nancy Gill

    • Kieran

      Deepest condolences to Hal Holbrook and all of Dixie Carter’s family and friends. Thanks for all the great laughs, Dixie. You will be truly missed.

  • Andrea

    How terrible! I can’t even imagine the pain that her family is experiencing right now. My thoughts and prayers are with them. May she find peace.

  • Anna Marsh

    I extend my condolences to Hal Halbrook and family on the loss of their wife and mother Dixie Carter. I met her when she was working on Arsenic and Old Lace at the Alley Theatre my daughter was her dresser on the show. She will be missed by many. God bless and be with her. Anna, Jerry and Marissa Marsh

  • Katie

    A real talen – You will be missed Dixie. My prayers to Mr. Holbrook and the girls. I hope they will leave you alone to deal with this in your own way.

    • jenn

      And that voice! Seventy is just too young to die. We are very sad at my house tonight. What a LADY is right. My heart breaks for Hal, they seemed so in love. Like, epic love.

  • Alex

    Classy and beautiful! RIP Dixie. You will be much missed.

  • Tyre

    Tonight is definitely the night the lights went out in Georgia…RIP Dixie Carter.

    • Sara

      That’s my favorite episode! She was so so good.

    • Gemini

      One of my favorite episodes, too (along with the southern homes tour episode…”Well, just look at my face!”) God bless Dixie. She was a true inspiration. My prayers go out to her family and friends.

    • chalmers

      Just so you know and your children will SOMEDAY know! I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone off like that, but if I do, I’m stealing that line.

  • Casey

    Of course this is sad news. RIP Ms. Carter.

  • Thom

    How sad this moment must be for family and colleagues. She was a wonderful actress, selecting roles that allowed her to shine. Thoughts are with Mr. Holbrook and family. We shall treasure each moment of her career.

  • Sharon Rojas

    She was great in ‘Designing Women’, and, largely because of her, the show touched on things important to women. May her family find comfort in her legacy.

  • m. a. nellen

    To see her home in West TN. is to know that she was a warm and loving , family oriented person. She always had room for family and friends. May God comfort her family at this sad time.

  • Dyan D.

    What a sad announcement. She was a wonderful actress, and always made me laugh on Designing Women. My thoughts go out to Mr. Holbrook and her family.

  • Keith

    You know, she was my favorite character on Designing Women. Loved Julia. And poor Hal. My condolences to the family.

  • Shelly

    Dixie Carter was a wonderful actress, I just loved her on Designing Women. Our deepest condolences to her family God bless.

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