Dixie Carter, the actress made famous by her role on the popular television series Designing Women, says she is a libertarian. Carter made the announcement on ABC’s Politically Incorrect on February 8, 2000, as part of a lively debate about whether the government should fund a “safety manual” for prostitutes in Philadelphia.
After host Bill Maher said he was a libertarian and thought that prostitution should be legalized, Carter responded, “I’m a libertarian, too.”
She went on to demonstrate her understanding of libertarianism by asking: “We should be talking about — should we legalize prostitution and legalize drugs? I mean, we’ve lost the drug war. And probably we’ve lost the war against prostitution. If we’re going to do that [hand out a pamphlet], why don’t we legalize it?”
Carter returned to that theme a minute later, asking, “Why aren’t we discussing whether we should legalize prostitution instead — and drugs instead — of whether we should just put a little band-aid on the deal by handing out these pathetic little pamphlets?”
Carter was a registered Republican who labeled herself a libertarian. Carter disagreed so much with the left-of-center political positions of her Designing Women character, Julia Sugarbaker, that she made a deal with the show’s producers that for every political speech her character made that she disagreed with, Julia would be allowed to sing a song in a future episode.
The Tennessee-born actress became a household name thanks to her role as the feisty Julia Sugarbaker on the hit CBS sitcom Designing Women (1986-1993). She later starred as sharp-tongued lawyer Randi King on the CBS series Family Law, and made guest appearances on the show Ladies’ Man. With husband Hal Holbrook, she starred in the CBS-TV movie, The Killing of Randy Webster.
In addition to her television career, Carter won a Theatre World Award for her role on Broadway in Jesse and the Bandit Queen, released two yoga videos, published a book (Trying to Get to Heaven: Opinions of a Tennessee Talker, Simon Schuster, 1996), and recorded two music CDs.
Dixie Carter passed away on April 10, 2010.