I can't think of a television show that brought pageants to the mainstream more than the 80s/90s sitcom, Designing Women. Delta Burke played southern beauty queen, Suzanne Sugarbaker and her protector was older sister, Julia.
Actress Dixie Carter played the outspoken Julia Sugarbaker on Designing Women and she was nominated for an Emmy in 2007 for seven episodes as Gloria Hodge on Desperate Housewives. She passed away at the age of 70 after battling endometrial cancer.
Entertainment Weekly called Carter's Designing Women performance "strong, sassy and deliciously Southern." EW listed their top five favorite moments; their number one is also a favorite for pageant fans that was posted all over pageant message boards this week:
And this is the kind of passion and speaking ability pageant ladies need to have for their opinions!