Join 3,367 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


And I was left only to pick up an abandoned handkerchief and savor the perfumed shadows of these women... these southern women.
April 10, 2010 9:05 PM   Subscribe

Dixie Carter, probably best known for her role as the fearlessly opinionated Southern belle Julia Sugarbaker on Designing Women, has died. She was 70 years old.
posted by booksherpa (54 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Damn.

.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:07 PM on April 10, 2010


She played my favorite recently divorced aerobics instructor on Diff'rent Strokes.

.
posted by Slap Factory at 9:11 PM on April 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is the last thing I read before I go to bed? I, too, say damn.

.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:13 PM on April 10, 2010


I loved Designing Women and watched it religiously. Back then, I was a fairly shy and soft-spoken feminist, and greatly admired Dixie Carter's portrayal of Julia Sugarbaker. Julia was ever elegant, never backed down, and always got the (intelligently witty and sharp) last word. I loved that Dixie Carter and Hal Holbrook were together on and off screen, and enjoyed watching their love story play out on the show. Dixie Carter made this Yankee girl want to be one of those southern women.

.
posted by booksherpa at 9:18 PM on April 10, 2010 [7 favorites]


Tis truly the night the lights went out in Georgia.

.
posted by greekphilosophy at 9:22 PM on April 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


:(

.

This was a nice video interview she gave to "InnerViews" Ernie Manouse, discussing being a Southerner, her memories of meeting her husband Hal Holbrook, and the impact "Designing Women" had on her life and her career.

A few clips of her on Designing Women

"And. That Marjorie, just so you will know. And your children will someday know. Is the Night. The Lights. Went Out In Georgia!"

I'll tell you somethin' else!

It was stunning.
posted by zarq at 9:23 PM on April 10, 2010 [10 favorites]


.
posted by TooFewShoes at 9:26 PM on April 10, 2010


.
Again, damn.
posted by gummi at 9:27 PM on April 10, 2010


One of the top ten women on TV that I wanted to be when I grew up. Man, I feel like of my whole list of childhood TV-lady role models, Mary Tyler Moore's the only one left.
posted by padraigin at 9:27 PM on April 10, 2010


Zarq, thank you, I was hunting for a good version of the Marjorie scene on YouTube. I swear, someone could make an entire DVD just of the Julia Sugarbaker tells someone off scenes from Designing Women. Fired up, ready to go indeed...
posted by booksherpa at 9:37 PM on April 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


GOD DAMN IT, I was so into this show when I was twelve and had pneumonia. My bike is named Dixie Carter!
posted by liketitanic at 9:41 PM on April 10, 2010


.
posted by aerotive at 9:42 PM on April 10, 2010


.
posted by cabingirl at 9:43 PM on April 10, 2010


LOVE her. Her dignified rants on Designing Women were always the best part of the episode.

.
posted by pised at 9:46 PM on April 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


.
posted by treepour at 9:46 PM on April 10, 2010


I never liked Designing Women, but somehow I really liked Dixie Carter. Death is so stupid.

.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:57 PM on April 10, 2010


Between Bea Arthur and Dixie Carter, I feel like all of my childhood TV heroines are leaving me. I just hope that Roseanne and Katey Sagal stick around for a while.
posted by lexicakes at 9:58 PM on April 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Dammit.

.
posted by New England Cultist at 10:05 PM on April 10, 2010


Imogene, I'm terribly sorry. I'm gonna have to ask you to move your car.

.
posted by sallybrown at 10:06 PM on April 10, 2010 [14 favorites]


.
posted by Julia F***ing Sugarbaker at 10:11 PM on April 10, 2010 [39 favorites]


Sad. Designing Women was one of my favorite shows as a kid, I used to watch it a lot with my mom. The Golden Girls as well, so I was similarily bummed about Bea Arthur's somewhat-recent passing. It's sort of weird, for lack of a better description, these figures that I grew up with now dying of old age. Like, I sort of always that Malcolm McLaren or Dixie Carter or any number of people I don't necessarily think about too often would always be around. Does that make any sense?
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:26 PM on April 10, 2010


What the hell. Did Rue just die too?!
posted by greekphilosophy at 10:37 PM on April 10, 2010


Sad. The Diff'rent Strokes curse claims another victim.
posted by Frank Grimes at 10:37 PM on April 10, 2010


God I loved her.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 10:47 PM on April 10, 2010


Hmm. The Rue Mclanahan thing just looks like a wikiprank. Poor taste!!
posted by greekphilosophy at 10:50 PM on April 10, 2010


.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:24 PM on April 10, 2010


.
posted by SisterHavana at 11:31 PM on April 10, 2010


Huh. For some reason I thought she was younger. I guess she took good care of herself?
posted by Afroblanco at 11:59 PM on April 10, 2010


Wow. I'm with so many others here. I grew up watching her, and a lot of the attitude of her character on Designing Women struck a cord with me as a girl.

Too many of my childhood heroes are dead.
posted by strixus at 11:59 PM on April 10, 2010


.
posted by gomichild at 12:06 AM on April 11, 2010


Between Bea Arthur and Dixie Carter, I feel like all of my childhood TV heroines are leaving me.

That's how you know you're growing old.

For me, it was Bob Hope. Or Dick Nixon.
posted by orthogonality at 1:31 AM on April 11, 2010


"Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter - tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther … And one fine morning --

"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
posted by orthogonality at 1:39 AM on April 11, 2010


I too grew up watching Ms. Carter and I wanted to be just like Julia Sugarbaker (still do, actually). She was smart and opinionated and classy. She didn't back down from a fight but she never lowered herself to get her point across.

This is very sad news.
posted by dogmom at 1:45 AM on April 11, 2010


.
posted by mia_farrow at 3:27 AM on April 11, 2010


Thanks for posting that interview zarq. Man, she was beautiful, those cheekbones! Also, I found this interesting from her Wikipedia article:
Carter was also a registered Republican who described her political views as libertarian. She was interviewed by Bill O'Reilly along with Pat Boone at the 2000 Republican National Convention. Though her Designing Women character, Julia Sugarbaker, was known for her liberal political views and subsequent monologues, Carter disagreed with many of her character's left-of-center commentaries, and made a deal with the producers that for every speech she gave, Julia would get to sing a song in a future episode. Carter once jokingly described herself as "the only Republican in show business". She was, however, a strong supporter of the gay community.
She and Candace Bergen/Murphy Brown had a huge impact on my burgeoning feminist outlook when I was growing up. What a classy, classy lady.
.
posted by bluefly at 4:23 AM on April 11, 2010


I know very little of Dixie Carter apart from Julia Sugarbaker, but somehow I can't imagine she was far off from that character - classy, eloquent, outspoken. Julia Sugarbaker epitomized what I was proud of growing up as a Southern gal; I always hoped I could grow up to be like her.

.
posted by mosessis at 4:24 AM on April 11, 2010


Huh. For some reason I thought she was younger. I guess she took good care of herself?

Well, she starred in a yoga "unworkout" video that is terrifying and delightful (but mostly terrifying).
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 4:46 AM on April 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:56 AM on April 11, 2010


Seems like a lot of people wanted to grow up to be like Julia Sugarbaker. Me too.

.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 5:07 AM on April 11, 2010


First show I can remember where a southern accent = smart. And every syllable so damn sexy.
.
posted by hal9k at 5:09 AM on April 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seems like a lot of people wanted to grow up to be like Julia Sugarbaker. Me too.

I wanted to grow up to be like Hal Holbrook after hearing Mark Twain Tonight. Each of their respective best known roles seemed one with their personal character and ideals.
posted by hal9k at 5:32 AM on April 11, 2010


.
posted by TrialByMedia at 6:26 AM on April 11, 2010


.
posted by jquinby at 7:18 AM on April 11, 2010


I cannot believe this.

For some reason I was thinking of the Designing Women show yesterday...a facebook friend had posted "the nights the light went out in georgia" link and I watched it, enjoying the serendipity.

THIS otoh is NOT serendipity.


.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:20 AM on April 11, 2010


I grew up in a town south of Atlanta. Designing Women was the first sitcom I was aware of that took place outside of New York or Chicago, and it was set within 30 miles of my house! Plus, unlike other southern-set television that made people from the south look like backwards hillbillies, this show was stocked with intelligent, forward-looking people, who engaged in legal commerce! Just like most of the people I knew!

Even on Metafilter, I see people too often dismiss the south as the land of willfully ignorant tea-bagging Jesus freaks. There are lots generous, smart and funny people below the Mason-Dixon line and I wish we had something dedicated to those people in our current popular culture.
posted by Alison at 7:33 AM on April 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


.
posted by episteborg at 7:34 AM on April 11, 2010


.

I could watch clips of Julia Sugarbaker telling off the world all day long.
posted by donajo at 7:39 AM on April 11, 2010


Oh crap. My wife and I recently discovered we had love of Julia in common. This is going to cause tears when I break the news.
posted by DU at 8:43 AM on April 11, 2010


.
posted by brundlefly at 8:43 AM on April 11, 2010


.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:45 AM on April 11, 2010


There are lots generous, smart and funny people below the Mason-Dixon line and I wish we had something dedicated to those people in our current popular culture.

Psst, rent Friday Night Lights (the TV show). Tami Taylor (Mrs. Coach) reminds me of Julia Sugarbaker, only a little more realistic, a little more like those of us who grew up wanting to be Julia Sugarbaker.
posted by sallybrown at 10:19 AM on April 11, 2010


Julia Sugarbaker armed me with the best response for those times when I'm dining alone or sipping coffee alone and reading a book or whatever and approached by a stranger....in this case Julia and the DW women were enjoying lunch at a restaurant when Ray Don Simpson approaches and suggests that they need some "male company." When he introduces himself, Julia replies:
"There's no need for introductions, Ray Don, we know who you are. You're the guy who is always wherever women gather or try to be alone. You want to eat with us when we're dining in hotels, you want to know if the book we're reading is any good, or if you can keep up company on the plane. And I want to thank you, Ray Don, on behalf of all the women in the world, for your unfailing attention and concern. But read my lips and remember, as hard as it is to believe, sometimes we like talking just to each other, and sometimes we like just being alone."

RIP Dixie
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:38 PM on April 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


So young! Now that this cruel world is close to checking off the Golden Girls, I guess it's turning it's merciless eye to the other most beloved 80s classic.

.
posted by Mael Oui at 7:40 PM on April 11, 2010


.
posted by SillyShepherd at 8:47 AM on April 12, 2010


« Older Born Of Hope is a 71 minute fan-made prequel film ...  |  Octopus versus Sea Lion... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments