Dixie Carter dead at 70

Apr 12, 2010 at 12:56 p.m. ET

Actress Dixie Carter, most known for her sassy portrayal of Julia Sugarbaker on Designing Women and a recent Emmy nomination for her guest role on Desperate Housewives, has died.

Dixie Carter

The acclaimed actress passed away on Saturday at the age of 70. According to Carter's publicist, Carter died in Houston as a result of complications from endometrial cancer.

Her husband, actor Hal Holbrook, released a statement which read, "This has been a terrible blow to our family. We would appreciate everyone understanding that this is a private family matter."

In Designing Women, which ran on CBS from 1986 to 1993, Carter played Julia Sugarbaker, an interior designer who worked alongside three other women and a man at an interior design company. You may recall she also appeared in the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes as well as the legal drama Family Law.

Most recently she played the mother-in-law of Marcia Cross's character on Desperate Housewives.

After appearances in local and regional theatre productions, Carter made her Broadway debut in 1974 in a short-lived musical Sextet and also appeared in a 1976 revival of Pat Joey. Her last appearance on Broadway was in 2004 in Thoroughly Modern Millie. Her final acting role in the independent film That Evening Sun was alongside her actor husband. The film was shot in her home state of Tennessee.

Actor Hal Holbrook is Carter's third husband. She initially married a newspaper owner for 10 years and had two daughters, Mary Dixie Carter and Ginna Carter. In 1977, the same year she got divorced, she married actor George Hearn. Then, in 1984, she married Holbrook when they met working on a television movie.