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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, April 11, 2010

'Designing Women' star dead at 70

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Dixie Carter

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Willie Nelson

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"Designing Women" actress Dixie Carter, who used her charm and stately beauty in a host of roles on Broadway and television, died yesterday. She was 70.

Publicist Steve Rohr, who represents Carter and her husband, actor Hal Holbrook, said Carter died yesterday morning. He would not disclose where she died or the cause of death.

"This has been a terrible blow to our family," Holbrook said in a written statement. "We would appreciate everyone understanding that this is a private family tragedy."

A native of Tennessee, Carter was most famous for playing quick-witted Southerner Julia Sugarbaker for seven years on "Designing Women," the CBS sitcom that ran from 1986 to 1993.

She was nominated for an Emmy in 2007 for her seven-episode stint on ABC's "Desperate Housewives."

PROSECUTION STILL LOOMS FOR NELSON BAND

A North Carolina prosecutor says he still plans to prosecute six members of guitarist and singer Willie Nelson's band on drug and alcohol charges.

Duplin County District Attorney Dewey Hudson said at a news conference Friday that substances seized from the band's bus in January are being tested at the state crime lab in Raleigh. Nelson was not on the bus at the time.

Hudson has faced criticism for pursuing the case, but says he has to show that famous people are not above the law.

The six members of Nelson's band were charged with possession of either marijuana or untaxed liquor before a concert that Nelson ultimately canceled. Nelson's publicist has declined to comment on the case.

END OF ROAD FOR OZ'S MUNCHKIN CORONER

Meinhardt Raabe, who played the Munchkin coroner in "The Wizard of Oz" and proclaimed in the movie that the Wicked Witch of the East was "really most sincerely dead," has died. He was 94.

His caregiver, Cindy Bosnyak, said Raabe died Friday morning at a hospital in Orange Park, Fla. He was one of the few surviving Munchkins from the 1939 film.

Raabe was one of the 124 Munchkins in the film classic and one of only nine who had speaking parts. He was 22 years old and a show business veteran, earning money for college as a "midget" performer, as they were called then, when the movie was shot in 1938.

VETERAN KUNG FU FILM DIRECTOR HONORED

The Hong Kong Film Awards have honored veteran kung fu film director and choreographer Lau Kar-leung with its lifetime achievement prize.

Organizers said in a statement Friday that they wanted to pay tribute to Lau's "outstanding achievements ... which made martial arts film into an important asset in the heritage of Hong Kong cinema."

In a 50-year career, Lau's directing credits include "Executioners from Shaolin," "The 36th Chamber of Shaolin" and "Drunken Master II," with Jackie Chan.

The prize will be presented at the 29th Hong Kong Film Awards ceremony next Sunday.

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