So sad to hear that Dixie Carter has died. I always liked to think of myself as Julia Sugarbaker, bold, sure, righteous, smart. I can probably still quote more of her lines than any other character on the show. In truth, I'm probably more like "Designing Women"'s Mary Jo, who was more mousy, timid, and quietly confident. Still, Julia was the woman I was in my mind; you know, after the moment when you should be telling someone off but instead stand there with your mouth open in disgust. Carter gave her such life and spirit. And sex appeal! She, and Julia, exemplified the real steel in steel magnolia. In fact, as I remember it Carter has brought that kind of joy and sass to every role from Mr. Drummand's girlfriend on "Diff 'rent Strokes" to another sassy Southerner on "Filthy Rich" to the lawyer on "Family Law."
Important, too, was the lasting and loving relationship between Carter and her husband Hal Holbrook, who also appeared on "Designing Women." I loved watching them feed off of each other's energy. He described her death as a tragedy.
I know that actors don't like to be pigeon-holed in their roles, but I have to say, "Thank you, Julia Sugarbaker" for making me laugh and put a little extra switch in my hips.