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Obit: Dixie Carter-Actress, Singer (10 April 2010)

katlaughing 11 Apr 10 - 05:29 PM
catspaw49 11 Apr 10 - 08:18 PM
Genie 11 Apr 10 - 08:27 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 12 Apr 10 - 04:01 PM
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Subject: Obit: Dixie Carter - Actress (Desiging Women)
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 05:29 PM

I was really sorry to hear about this. I always liked watching her, esp. in Designing Women, esp. after her husband, Hal Holbrook (the BEST Samuel Clemons impersonator), started on the show, though I don't know if they were married before or after he started on the show. She was really talented and so genteel. Thanks, Ms. Dixie, here's to a soft, farewell for you.

From the NYTimes:

Dixie Carter, TV Actress, Dies at 70

Published: April 11, 2010

Dixie Carter, an accomplished actress who gave strong, opinionated Southern women a good name in the television series "Designing Women" in the 1980s and 1990s, and later enjoyed success as a cabaret singer, died on Saturday in a Houston hospital. She was 70 and lived in Beverly Hills, Calif. Her death was announced by her husband, the actor Hal Holbrook, who said that the cause was complications of endometrial cancer.

In "Designing Women," which ran for seven seasons on CBS, Ms. Carter's character, Julia Sugarbaker, was the head of an four-woman interior design business in Atlanta and specialized in sarcasm. "If sex were fast food, there'd be an arch over your bed," she once snapped at her sister Suzanne (played by Delta Burke). Yet when Julia went into a theatrical tirade, which was often, it usually was in the service of some higher social or political principle.

For some time before that, Ms. Carter had been a familiar face on television. She played the sophisticated colleague of two naïve young women in a 1977 series, "On Our Own"; the snooty wife of a plantation owner in "Filthy Rich" in the early 1980s; and the vibrant new stepmother of Gary Coleman in the penultimate season of "Diff'rent Strokes" in 1984 and 1985. She received her first and only Emmy nomination in 2007 for a recurring role as Marcia Cross's scary mother-in-law on ABC's "Desperate Housewives."

Dixie Virginia Carter was born on May 25, 1939, in McLemoresville, Tenn., which is roughly halfway between Memphis and Nashville. She was one of three children of Halbert Leroy Carter, a grocery and department store owner, and his wife, Virginia. She attended the University of Tennessee and Southwestern at Memphis and graduated from Memphis State.

She said that after hearing a broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera at age 4 she immediately decided that she would move to New York to become an opera singer. She made her professional acting debut as Julie Jordan in a 1960 production of "Carousel" in Memphis and moved to New York in 1963.

That same year she played Perdita in a Joseph Papp production of "The Winter's Tale" in Central Park. She then joined the Music Theater of Lincoln Center, which under the leadership of Richard Rodgers specialized in reviving classic musicals. Yet Ms. Carter never rose above understudy and left in 1966 to join the revues at the Upstairs at the Downstairs nightclub. Among the other performers were Lily Tomlin and Madeline Kahn.

She made her Broadway debut in 1974 in a short-lived musical, "Sextet," for which she was singled out by critics, and appeared in a 1976 revival of "Pal Joey." In 1997 she received favorable reviews after replacing Zoe Caldwell as Maria Callas in Terence McNally's "Master Class." Her final Broadway appearance was in 2004, as Mrs. Meers in "Thoroughly Modern Millie."

She said that it was her cabaret career, which began in the 1980s, that brought her the greatest creative satisfaction. "To me, there's no feeling as gorgeous as the feeling of singing," she told Stephen Holden of The New York Times in 1984. "It's like flying."

Six years later, when Ms. Carter was appearing at Cafe Carlyle, Mr. Holden described her as "one of the most vivid and endearing performers in a field already crowded with idiosyncratic personalities."

In 1967, Ms. Carter married Arthur L. Carter, a New York investment banker who later became the owner and publisher of The New York Observer. They had two daughters. Ms. Carter left show business for eight years after her marriage. She later said that during that period she gradually lost confidence in her talents — to the point where she was afraid to sing.

"Eventually I lost the idea that I could have a career," she said. "I thought I was too old."

She and Mr. Carter divorced in 1977, and that same year she married the actor George Hearn. That marriage lasted only two years. In 1984 she married Mr. Holbrook, whom she had met doing a 1980 television film, "The Killing of Randy Webster."

She made relatively few feature films, and her last screen appearance was in "That Evening Sun," released last year. She played the wife of an elderly Southern farmer (Mr. Holbrook) who was fighting for his property.

In addition to Mr. Holbrook, she is survived by her daughters, Ginna Carter of Los Angeles and Mary Dixie Carter of Brooklyn; a sister Melba Helen Heath of San Anselmo, Calif. and several nieces and nephews.

Although Ms. Carter long ago moved to California for her television career, she and Mr. Holbrook also kept a home in McLemoresville. In 1999, she told The Palm Beach Post that she treasured the courtesy and kindness she found in Tennessee, a welcome contrast to the backstabbing and sniping of Hollywood.

"Of course in the South we talk about people too," she said. "But if you end your comments with 'Bless her heart,' you're off the hook."

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Subject: RE: Obit: Dixie Carter-Actress, Singer (10 April 2010)
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 08:18 PM

I was a fan.......Hard not to love her. A sad thing for was a grand love affair.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dixie Carter-Actress, Singer (4-2-10)
From: Genie
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 08:27 PM

Dixie Carter continued singing even after becoming primarily a TV actress. I heard her sing from time to time on TV, and here's a link to an album she recorded:     Dixie Carter Sings John Wallowitch: Live At the Carlyle

Dixie Carter, TV Actress, Dies at 70

As the NY Times article notes, she did have some successes in musical theatre as well.

70 is pretty young to shuffle off this mortal coil, but endometrial cancer is hard to fight.

You'll be missed, Dixie.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Dixie Carter-Actress, Singer (10 April 2010)
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 04:01 PM

I try to see Hal Holbrook's "Mark Twain Tonight" whenever it comes to our town. I'm an old Twain fan and Holbrook always finds a way to take his pointed comments and observations of a century ago and apply them to our world today. They were, by all accounts, a truly devoted couple - not something much seen in an industry more famous for self-promoting misbehavior and sexual dalliances than for real caring.

She was a gem too soon taken.

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