In 1986, among the most beloved and also influential television shows of the era premiered on CBS. Created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, a veteran the shows like Filthy Rich and also Lime Street, Designing Women complied with the lives and also misadventures of a quartet of ladies running one interior design firm in Atlanta. Sharp-witted but always willing to acquire a little slapstick as soon as the situation called because that it, the collection quickly attracted fans many thanks to the interplay between the location characters, the comedic stylings of star Delta Burke, and also star Dixie Carter"s sharp-tongued rants in character together the firm"s president, the inimitable Julia Sugarbaker.

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Designing Women went off the wait in 1993 after seven successful periods that witnessed several key cast shake-ups and also changes to the central dynamic, yet today it remains a lovely sitcom typically rewatched in reruns and via streaming services. Though the actors parted methods at the end of the series, every one of them went to proceed working regularly, and also though some space no longer with us, they all left a lasting impression. This is what taken place to the actors of Designing Women.


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Dixie Carter made her breakthrough top top Broadway in the 1970s prior to transitioning come television and also launching what would come to be a decades-long streak of memorable roles on various series, start with the soap The leaf of Night in 1974. She complied with that job-related up with functions on The Doctors, On our Own, Out of the Blue, Filthy Rich, and also Diff"rent Strokes before she landed the roles for which she"d come to be most famous. As Julia Sugarbaker ~ above Designing Women, Carter became the core of the display as both the head that the agency that bore her name and also the comedic anchor with the various "Terminator" rants Julia performed throughout the series.


After Designing Women, Carter continued showing up regularly in film and television, and included even more significant series roles including Ladies Man, Family Law, and Desperate Housewives, because that which she got her only Primetime Emmy nomination. Her last film, That night Sun, was a participation with her husband, gibbs Hal Holbrook. She died of symptom from cancer on April 10, 2010, in ~ the age of 70.


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A previous beauty queen that transitioned right into acting, Delta Burke made her TV breakthrough in 1980 with a supporting function in the miniseries The Chisholms, and steady acting occupational soon followed. She logged a number of significant roles in the 1980s and also beyond, including work top top Filthy Rich (along with future co-star Dixie Carter), The Love Boat, and 1st & Ten.


As Suzanne Sugabarker top top Designing Women, Burke came to be a national superstar, earning two consecutive Primetime Emmy nominations for her role as the former beauty queen that serially days older men and acts as a comedic foil to she sister Julia.

After a windy falling out v Designing Women creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, Burke was fired from the series in 1991. She launched her own sitcom, Delta, a year later, yet the show was short-lived, and also she ultimately reconciled with Bloodworth-Thomason because that the Designing Women spinoff series Women the the House, in i m sorry she again played Suzanne. She continued working on regular basis throughout the 1990s with functions in shows favor Popular and also Touched by an Angel, and also her last significant TV appearance was on Boston Legal in the mid-2000s. She continues acting periodically, many recently in an illustration of Dolly Parton"s Heartstrings.


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Annie Potts" screen acting career started in the late 1970s with duties in TV collection like Hollywood High, Busting Loose, and Goodtime Girls, but her genuine pop society breakthrough come in the mid-1980s. In 1984, she ended up being a comedy symbol when she was cast as the receptionist Janine in Ghostbusters, and also in 1986 she hit teenager movie immortality together Iona in Pretty in Pink. The same year, she began work on Designing Women.


As chef designer mar Jo Shively, Potts became the residents snarky voice of Designing Women, and was one of only three main actors members to stay on the collection for its entire run. After ~ the present ended she continued working frequently in film and also television, with roles including Love & War, Dangerous Minds, Any work Now, Joan of Arcadia, Men in Trees, The Fosters, and most recently, Young Sheldon. She"s likewise gained a generation of younger fans as the voice the Bo Peep in the Toy Story films, and in 2021 she"s set to reprise her role as Janine in the sequel film Ghostbusters: Afterlife.


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Jean Smart started her job in theater before transitioning to tv in the 1980s with roles in series like Teachers Only, Reggie, and Maximum Security prior to joining the actors of Designing Women. As Charlene Frazier, Sugarbaker"s occasionally air-headed office manager, she carried a light-hearted feeling of funny to the crew many thanks to tales of her large family and her overwhelming love the Elvis Presley.


Smart left Designing Women after 5 seasons (though she guest-starred in season 6) to pursue various other projects, and continued working frequently in film and television throughout the "90s and also 2000s, v high-profile roles including work ~ above Frasier, The Oblongs, and The District. Despite she never really quit working, the 21st century has lugged a brand-new level of acclaim for Smart"s work, thanks to appearances top top Samantha Who?, Girlfriends" overview to Divorce, Dirty John, Fargo, and also Legion. In 2019, she portrayed Laurie Blake in the HBO miniseries Watchmen, and also her succeeding projects incorporate Mare that Easttown and an untitled upcoming job for HBO Max. Throughout she career she has been nominated because that nine Primetime Emmy Awards, winning three times.


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After start his career in theater, Meshach Taylor moved to Los Angeles to go after film and also TV exhilaration in the 1970s, and quickly began building a resume of functions on shows favor Lou Grant and M*A*S*H* and in movies including Damien: Omen II and The Howling. His major breakthrough came in the mid-1980s v two crucial roles, one as the scene-stealing Hollywood Montrose in Mannequin, and also the various other as Anthony Bouvier top top Designing Women.


Though he to be originally only a recurring actors member, Taylor"s popularity and also acclaim (including a Primetime Emmy nomination) top top the series led to him ending up being one of the show"s top-billed stars beginning with season 3, and he came to be one of just three main cast members (alongside Dixie Carter and also Annie Potts) to serve the complete length of the series. ~ Designing Women"s run ended he join the TV series Dave"s World and continued to work-related regularly throughout the 1990s and 2000s, getting a new generation that fans with Nickelodeon"s Ned"s Declassified institution Survival Guide. His last duty was a guest certification appearance ~ above Criminal Minds. He died that cancer ~ above June 28, 2014, in ~ the period of 67.


After functioning in live comedy v troupes prefer The Groundlings, january Hooks transitioned to TV comedy in the early 1980s with shows choose Tush and also Not necessarily the News prior to she landed a contract at Saturday Night Live. She came to be one of the show"s an essential comedy stars in the so late 1980s and also into the 1990s, impersonating anyone from Greta Garbo come Sinead O"Connor and also co-creating beloved personalities the Sweeney Sisters with Nora Dunn.


Hooks joined the cast of Designing Women in 1991 during the first major round of actors shake-ups ~ above the series, replacing Jean clever by depicting Charlene"s aloof and also eccentric sister Darlene. She quickly became a an essential comedic fixture of the series, and also stayed for the last two seasons.

After Designing Women, Hooks continued to log major comedic appearances in shows favor 3rd rock from the Sun, Primetime Glick, and The Simpsons, though her career slowed in the 21st century. Her last roles were guest-starring point out on 30 Rock and The Cleveland Show. She passed away of cancer top top October 9, 2014, at the period of 57.


After launching she TV career in the 1970s with a recurring role on the soap The Doctors and working in the theater, Julia Duffy came to be a sitcom icon when she join the cast of Newhart in 1983 together Stephanie Vanderkellen. She remained on the present for seven seasons and earned 7 consecutive Primetime Emmy nominations and a golden Globe award because that the role, forever cementing her location in sitcom history.


After a season the the series Baby Talk, Duffy joined Designing Women alongside jan Hooks in season 6 as Allison Sugarbaker, Julia and also Suzanne"s conservative cousin that becomes a companion in the for sure after Suzanne"s departure. Duffy stayed on the collection for simply one season prior to departing and launching one more sitcom, The Mommies. Because then she has ongoing working regularly, earning constant guest certification spots on shows varying from Reba come Drake & Josh to Passions. Her more recent credits incorporate Shameless, Looking, The Cool Kids, and the TV movie Christmas at the Plaza.


Judith Ivey began establishing herself together a formidable acting pressure on both stage and screen in the beforehand 1980s, winning Tony Awards for performances in Hurlyburly and also Steaming and also appearing in TV series including Search because that Tomorrow and Long warm Summer and also films consisting of Brighton beach Memoirs. After appearing on the TV series Down Home in 1991, she joined the cast of Designing Women for its last season in 1992, instead of Julia Duffy"s character. As B.J. Poteet, a millionaire who becomes Sugarbaker"s brand-new partner, she aided fill a similar comedic role to Delta Burke"s Suzanne, despite she was only on the collection for one season until the series finale in 1993.


Ivey has because continued to occupational regularly in film, television, and also theater, where she"s likewise established herself as an accomplished director. Her other significant screen credits encompass The Critic, Buddies, White Collar, Flags of ours Fathers, The Family and more. Many recently she"s been viewed in New Amsterdam and The accidental Wolf.


By the time she join the actors of Designing Women, Alice Ghostley was already television nobility several times over. Her career top top the small screen days all the way back to the 1950s, yet she really got prominence as soon as she was cast as Esmeralda on the hit sitcom Bewitched, a role she held for the show"s final three seasons. Other significant pre-Designing Women credits had the Andy Griffith Show spinoff Mayberry R.F.D., To death a Mockingbird, Love, American Style, and also Grease.

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As Bernice Clifton, a household friend that the Sugarbaker sisters that was known for she outrageous wardrobe and also even an ext outrageous lines, Ghostley to be a constant scene-stealer ~ above Designing Women, earning a Primetime Emmy nomination for she performance and remaining a fixture the the present as a distinct guest star because that its whole run. ~ Designing Women finished she continued working regularly, showing up in shows favor Evening Shade and Passions and also lending her voice to series like Channel Umptee-3 and also Hercules. She died in 2007, in ~ the age of 84.