The View

January 31, 2001

Dixie sat down with the ladies of The View, promoting the premiere of her Lifetime "Intimate Portrait."

Segment opens with a clip of Family Law.

JOY: That was Dixie Carter playing a tough-as-nails attorney on the drama Family Law. And you thought she was just the funniest one of all that Designing Women. But Dixie's career which spans film, television, cabaret, and stage, is a subject of an upcoming Lifetime Intimate Portrait. But we can be intimate with her right here and now, so please welcome the lovely and talented Dixie Carter.

Dixie enters to applause and a standing ovation.

JOY: Where's the wine? Get this girl a drink!

DIXIE: Hello, darling. Hello! I'm sorry I wasn't here for the wine tasting! You left me out of that!

JOY: Do you use wine when you're nervous, when you're doing a show?

DIXIE: Oh, never before, no.

JOY: We were talking about it at the beginning of a show, about being uptight when you have to do something, and anxious, what do you do as a technique?

DIXIE: I just stay uptight and anxious! (laughs and so do others) My yoga stuff that I have been doing for years teaches you how to breathe. And so I quit shaking; I used to shake from the time I hit puberty. I was standing up in church, singing one of my usual solos in church . . . I was 13 years old . . . boom! I started to shake all over, my knees, and I had never been nervous from -- I was singing in church from the time I was a year and a half, two years old. And so I have shaken all my life. "Don't give me a scene with a coffee cup," I would say. "It'll be murder." And then I started to do yoga, and something about the breathing and all . . .

JOY: Wow!

DIXIE: I'm not too bad now!

STAR: You know, we're doing yoga on the next "Star Gets Physical." I'm learning all about yoga.

JOY: (sarcastically) Oh, I can't wait for that!

STAR: (to Dixie) Do I have to put my leg around my neck. I'm not doing that.

DIXIE: No, hun.

LISA: (to Star) I want you to stand on your head. (laughter)

DIXIE: (looks around at each of the ladies) How do you do this?! I'm sitting back there and I'm thinking, I think I'm pretty smart, and pretty fast, but y'all are superior.

MEREDITH: You're so sweet.

DIXIE: And you dove-tail; you're so smart and you're so funny, and you don't seem to be interupting rudely, as we see so often nowadays in television.

STAR: Now I wan't to know everything about one thing.

DIXIE: Everything about one thing -- uh oh.

STAR: One thing I want to know all about. The innaugeration -- because had the results been different, I would have been there. You were there. So was it fabulous, was it wonderful, what did you wear? And did you trip.

DIXIE: Well, as the only republican in show business (laughs and do do others) well I saw the innaugeration. As Nell Carter said afterwards -- here we were, holding hands, Marie Osmond, me, and Nell Carter -- she said here we were, a Morman, a Christian, and a Jew. Holding hands, singing the national anthem, crying. It was wondeful, it was great.

STAR: Ya had a good time?

DIXIE: It was great. I did. I had a good time.

STAR: Made you feel like an American!

DIXIE: Yeah, I get real patriotic. I get a lump in my throat.

LISA: Was it the first time you had gone to an innaugeration?

DIXIE: I was there in '92 when Mr. Clinton was innaugerated. I sang. Don't even ask me about all of that and the changeover.

JOY: Did you get the shakes then?! No, no. (laughter)

DIXIE: Joy, you're too fast for me, Joy. Go easy on me now! (laugher grows) Go easy on me! I'm not practiced!

MEREDITH: Now, Dixie, I have the honor actually of hosting the Lifetime series that your Intimate Portrait was on -- it's coming up. And in it you talk about this town you grew up in, and your home.

DIXIE: McLemoresville [Tennessee].

MEREDITH: McLemoresville, and the home you owned, your parents owned, that you still have, right?

DIXIE: Yeah, I was born there, so naturally I have a certain opinion about the first part of this show, about televising it, birth. Because nobody was gonna see me have a baby. (laughs and so do others) That's all I can tell ya. I felt like it would -- (to Meredith) now you had a different experience, and you had a wonderful intimate experience with your husband. The father of my children did not want to see this thing happen, and I wasn't anxious, given the fact that he didn't consider it a romantic moment, to do it. But of course that was light years ago. (laughs) Anyway, I was born in this house in McLemoresville -- my brother, my sister . . . my grandmother delivered me. My father -- who is ninety, who lives with Hal and me -- he and his brother and sister, all in this house. In McLemoresville, population 200! It's burgeoned since then to 311. (laughter)

STAR: But she just couldn't give it up.

DIXIE: Oh, there'd never be any question of giving up that house. Because it's not a palace, but 'boy howdy,' it's home. And it very much fills up the well. It's very restoring to go back there.

MEREDITH: And you get back there very often?

DIXIE: I get back there, well I went with Lifetime I went there, and we did some filming, my Lifetime show, that's gonna be on next Monday, I'm supposed to say. I go when Family Law doesn't need me.

JOY: Well, you know what -- we love you and we love the way you talk, and I just love those the Southern girls. They can get away with anything. If I said the same things you say, honey, with a New York accent, they come after me with a gun. Thank you Dixie Carter! Family Law airs Monday and her Lifetime Intimate Portrait.

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