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Dixie Carter “Designing Women” star actress dies at 70 years old

Dixie Carter “Designing Women” star actress dies at 70 years old.

If you are anything like me, I was a besotted fan of the 1980s popular tv show, “Designing Women.”  Actually gay male friends of mine in San Francisco, very conservative corporate business types, turned me onto the show.

As a Smith College alumna, at the time, my favorite character was the elegance and aplomb, Julia Sugarbaker.  She gave us an example of feminine business women in snazzy femmy business suits in an era when women’s business suits were all square cut and navy.  Additionally, she was just always a SMART lady.  Which I think every college-educated woman wanted to have be appreciated and admired.

Now we have Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton.  But 20 years ago we had Julia.

As a woman who has been widowed, one of the most touching lines of the show for me was when her husband Hal Holbrock, lucky man, who player her boyfriend told her something to the affect of her still loving her late husband was a good thing.  A sign of her love.  I remember crying when I heard it on syndicated TV.  If I can find the actual quote, I’ll be sure to update my blog post.

I later also purchased a book by her.  Dixie Carter was a fun-filled classy lady.  We could all do with emulating her a bit.  She provide an example of feminine business woman executive success in an era when we sure needed some mentor bell wether examples.  Julia, we love you and we will miss you.

Hal, I can’t even imagine.  My condolences for your loss.  Kleenex Ultra and sip water.

God bless,

April Braswell

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Sabrina Peterson April 10, 2010, 9:15 PM

    I am almost as sad about this as I was when Shari Lewis died. So sad. She was young at heart and vibrant.

    I LOVE Designing Women and I think I’ve seen every episode twice. I’ve always identified with Julia Sugarbaker. I feel I’m a less genteel version of her. I’ll be nice to you cuz my momma raised me right but God help you if you cross me. 😀

    Dixie was a lovely role model for women of all ages.

    Sabrina Peterson, NASM CPT, CES
    Fat Burning Home Workouts

  • Michelle Mason April 10, 2010, 10:20 PM

    I used to love watching Designing Women too, even though I was pretty young at the time (sorry). I actually didn’t like the Julia character, because she was so over the top. Now that I am older, I think I would appreciate her a lot more. I will have to look around for the show online, to see how much my views have changed. I am sad that she died – she seemed like a spunky person.

  • Michael D Walker April 11, 2010, 2:51 AM

    I’m really saddened by this news.

    Never watched the show regularly but I remember dating a woman
    who watched the show every week & so I’d catch segments of it on a regular basis
    and Dixie Carter’s performance always impressed the heck out of me.

    It was hard to turn the TV off if she was on screen.

    Condolensces to Hal Holbrook & the rest of their family.


    The Success Secrets

  • Sonya Lenzo April 11, 2010, 6:26 AM

    You are right, she was a great role model..sad to see her go as so many of the current role models on TV lack some of that “grace”.
    Sonya Lenzo

  • Steve Chambers April 11, 2010, 7:57 AM

    I liked the show as well, although not because of the example of a strong business woman. I liked it because of solid writing and humorous story lines.

    Seems like all the old stars are dying off. From a dating perspective Hal Holbrook is now available.

    Steve Chambers
    Body Language Expert

  • Robert Kaufer April 11, 2010, 8:26 AM

    May she rest in peace, thanks for sharing this.


  • Lisa McLellan April 11, 2010, 8:37 AM

    I’ve never heard of her but according to your description, she sounds like an amazing woman.

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  • Trisha Chambers April 11, 2010, 11:09 AM

    I loved her!

  • Rob Northrup April 11, 2010, 11:19 AM

    I would’ve prefered either Hilary Clinton or Obama’s wife, but I guess it was her time, she was a great actress…

    Seize the Day,

  • Scott Sylvan Bell April 11, 2010, 1:59 PM

    April after reading your post I thought of 2 things: 1. It is sad to see someone who we relate to and pass on.
    2. How do we as people emulate those same qualities so that people feel the same way when it is our turn to go.
    I remember my parents watching that show.
    Scott Sylvan Bell
    Now go implement!

  • Dale jBell April 11, 2010, 3:13 PM

    M y wife and I always watched the show. We loved the humor and the actresses.

  • Mark April 11, 2010, 6:53 PM

    Remember my parents watching the show… Interesting how tv characters can have such an influence on us and who we become… My condolences to the family.

    Direct Selling Advice, Tips, Skills & Techniques

  • Jennifer Battaglino April 11, 2010, 7:10 PM

    She was my favorite too. Loved how she would keep it together and finally tell someone off by setting them straight!. I know it was a soundtrack but I think I cheered with the audience.
    Jennifer Battaglino
    The Harwood Group – Tinnitus, Chronic Illness, Fears, and Anxiety

  • Eileen O'Neill April 12, 2010, 12:30 PM

    Sorry for your loss…. It is amazing how characters in TV shows have & had such an impact on our lives….

    Eileen O’Neill

  • David Escalante April 13, 2010, 1:48 PM

    I can’t say I knew her but she seems like an amazing lady.

    David Escalante
    Bay Area Roofing San Francisco CA

  • Melvin April 20, 2010, 11:43 AM

    Hi April, your singles dating tips are great. Thanks

  • Winnie April 28, 2010, 6:58 AM

    Hi April, I agree with your Blog and miss Ms. Dixie, too. Wasn’t she marvelous and such and inspiraton?

  • Frannie May 7, 2010, 8:18 AM

    thanks April for this great post reminding us about Dixie from Designing Women. Wow, she really was a very wonderful woman and actress. She will be missed.

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