Most recently, in 2007, Dixie Carter was nominated for best guest comedy actress at the Emmys for portraying the diabolical, drunken mother of the love interest of Marcia Cross on "Desperate Housewives," but she lost to Elaine Stritch as the monstrous mother of Alec Baldwin on "30 Rock."
From 1986 to 1993, Carter portrayed the bossy mother hen on "Designing Women," which was nominated three times for best comedy series at the Emmys. In 1989 and 1991, it lost to "Cheers." In 1990, "Murphy Brown" beat it.
Carter twice starred in Tony Award-winning Broadway shows, but each time she joined the casts late, replacing Tony winners. She was the third and last actress to portray Maria Callas in Terrence McNally's "Master Class," which won best play and best actress (Zoe Caldwell) of 1996.
Carter also starred in "Thoroughly Modern Millie," which won the Tony as best musical of 2002. During the production's final run in 2004, she assumed the role of devilish Mrs. Meers, which had earned Harriet Harris the Tony for best featured actress in a musical.
Photo: Dixie Carter. Credit: CBS