While Ms. Carter was an extraordinary actress on the stage and appeared as a star in numerous Broadway roles, she most likely will be remembered for her role playing "Julia Sugarbaker" from the hit 1980s American television sit-com, Designing Women.
Following is a video clip from the hit show, which shows not just the strength of character and talent of the show but but that of Dixie Carter, as well. Having seen Ms. Carter perform in person, and having watched various interviews of her, it's quite hard to make a distinction between Dixie Carter and the role that she plays as Julia Sugarbaker in the clip below.
And just because this is such a wonderful, moving, and relevant speech, I have transcribed it. Please note, that this was the 46th episode of Designing Women, which aired during its third season in 1989 -- 21 years ago (it was the 2nd episode of its !
Dixie Carter (as "Julia Sugarbaker"): No, Mr. Brickette, I have not forgotten. I was thinking that you seem to have forgotten the phrase, "Separation of Church and State." But the one thing I did forget was just how divisive and dishonest and distasteful someone like you can be. I've sat here today and listened to you pander to these people but you don't actually care about them or you wouldn't be sitting here reinforcing their ignorances and prejudices.
Jason Bernard (as "Mr. Wilson Brickette"): You heard that, callers. She just called you ignorant and prejudiced!
Dixie Carter (as "Julia Sugarbaker"): I do not think that everyone in America is ignorant—far from it! But we are, today, probably the most uneducated, under-read and illterate nation in the Western Hemisphere, which makes it all the more puzzling to me why the biggest question on your small mind is whether or not little Johnny is going to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning.
And I'll tell you something else, Mr. Brickette: I have had it up to here with you and your phoney issues and your yankee-doodle yakking. If you like reciting the pledge of allegiance every day then I think you should do it in the car, in the shower, wherever the mood strikes you. But don't try to tell me when or where I have to say or do or salute anything because I am an American, too–and that is what being an American is all about.
And another thing: I am sick and tired of being made to feel that if I am not a member of a little family with 2.4 children who goes just to Jerry Falwell's church and puts their hands over their hearts every morning that I am unreligious, unpatriotic and unAmerican because I have news for you, Mr. Brickette: all liberals are not kooks any more than all conservatives are fascists!
And the last time I checked, God was neither a Democrat nor a Republican.
And just for your information, yes—I am a liberal but I am also ... a Christian. And I get down on my knees and pray every day, on my own turf, on my own time. One of the things that I pray for, Mr. Brickette, is that people with power will get good sense, and people with good sense will get power, and that the rest of us will be blessed with the patience and the strength to survive the people like you in the meantime!
Rest In Peace, Dixie Carter!