When I saw the news of her death on the Internet, my heart was filled with sadness. Dixie Carter was a lady in a time when it had rather fallen out of fashion. She was a beautiful, warm-hearted, full-on Southern Steel Magnolia. She was charming and lovely, and she could shred you with her tongue and pick her teeth with your bones while still appearing genteel and gracious.
It has been a long time since I watched “Designing Women”, but I remember that the show addressed some important issues for its day, and I’ll always hold a warm place in my heart for the four ladies of Sugarbaker’s, and for Anthony, of the unfortunate incarceration.
One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen was the show where a bunch of the characters got marooned together during a hurricane. At this far remove I can’t even remember exactly why it was so hilarious, but I remember laughing until the tears ran down my face, lying on the couch and howling, holding my sides because they ached.
All four actresses were wonderful, but Julia Sugarbaker was the glue that held it all together in a world very different from the one in which she grew up. She embodied grace and beauty, and she carried with her always the echoes of the nearly forgotten side of the Old South, where being a lady had been raised almost to an art form.
I found this Youtube video of Dixie Carter singing “How Great Thou Art” and have to share it with you. This was my mother’s favorite hymn, and now it is mine, and this version is nothing short of astonishing! I am reduced to helpless sobbing every time I listen.
I love you, Dixie Carter. Thank you!
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- Annie Potts: ‘Dixie Carter Was A Goddess’ (huffingtonpost.com)
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- Dixie Carter’s five best ‘Designing Women’ moments (cnn.com)