Guided by an early vow at age 4 to be an opera singer, Dixie Carter spent much of her life on stage, singing and acting. Theater appearances on and off Broadway earned her critical acclaim and included Sextet (1974), Pal Joey (1976), Master Class (1997), and Thoroughly Modern Millie (2004). While singing remained her greatest love, Carter's commercial success and popular recognition came from her television career—the seven seasons she spent on the set of the successful television series Designing Women, and a recurring role as a scary mother-in-law on Desperate Housewives, which earned her an Emmy nomination in 2007. Dixie Carter added "author" to her list of accomplishments when she published a memoir in 1996, Trying to Get to Heaven: Opinions of a Tennessee Talker. Like many other celebrities, she also has a few workout, or rather, "unworkout" tapes to her credit: Dixie Carter's Unworkout and Dixie Carter's Yoga for You: Unworkout II.