The Gentlemen Callers

The ladies of Sugarbakers stand very well on their own, what fun would a Southern
Belle have without "Gentlemen Callers" to whom she can play Scarlett?

REESE WATSON (Hal Holbrook)

Widowed attorney Reese Watson is the perfect match for the fiery Julia. Perhaps because he is also as dramatic as she is, Reese is able to keep his cool under her fire --- even going as far as to call her on her sometimes ridiculous behavior and to laugh it off. His sense of humor enables him to equal Julia on every playing field, and their chemistry shines through in every scene. Much to his amusement, Reese always knows how to push Julia's buttons --- inciting a full range of emotions from her with little effort.

Reese is a graduate of Yale and a succesful Atlanta lawyer. His first wife, Mary Alice, had been dead for several years by the time he met Julia. Reese has two children, Ancel and Margaret. Ancel is a student at Duke University and Margaret lives in Phoenix with her two children, Ben and Caroline, and she and her husband also own a condominium in Florida.

Reese lives alone in a beautiful mansion until a fatal heart attack takes his life. He is cared for by long-time housekeeper, Hattie Mae.

(Seasons One - Four)

JAMES DEAN "J.D." SHACKLEFORD (Richard Gilliland)

Atlanta Braves talent scout J.D. Shackleford is the first man to date Mary Jo after her divorce. Even though the date was a fix-up by Suzanne, it actually goes well and develops into a three year relationship. Unfortunately, they must also contend with J.D.'s possessive ex-wife, Janet, who doesn't always want to be his ex-wife. JD and Janet have three children: Rex, Hanna, and Bert. Not surprisingly, he and Mary Jo must also attempt to make their children get along.

Their romantic relationship ends when J.D. loses his job and is forced to take a position in Cincinnati. He does, however, return on occasion to spend time with Mary Jo and her friends, and Mary Jo even attempts to get him to 'donate' to her insemination when she decides she wants another baby.

(Seasons One - Five)


The man of Charlene's dreams, Colonel Bill Stillfield, is an Air Force pilot who comes to Sugarbakers to hire them to redecorate a patient lounge at the V.A. hospital in memory of his late father. Miraculously, he appears at Sugarbakers just after Charlene's birthday wish for a soldier.

Bill comes from "old money" and was married for six years, but his first wife, Nancy, died of cancer. It takes Bill some time to allow himself the freedom to fall in love again without feeling as though he is betraying his late wife. Eventually he and Charlene do start a life together which later includes the birth of their beautiful daughter, Olivia.

The only two women with whom Bill has ever been involved are Nancy and Charlene. His mother, Ellen Stillfield, lives in Virginia, and he has two sisters, Emily and Olivia (his daughter's namesake).

(Seasons Two - Five)

DASH GOFF (Gerald McRaney)

Suzanne's first husband, Dash Goff, is a novelist and college professor who oozes Southern charm. His writing, as with his every spoken word, implies the depth in which he views humanity and its idiosyncrasies.

He met Suzanne when she was selling kisses at the Pi Phi sorority booth at Ole Miss University. He and Suzanne have always had an incredible amount of chemistry and obvious feelings for one another, but unfortunately their relationship was never able to withstand their opposing personalities or Dash's drinking.

His most recent works include the novels Being Belled and The Afternoon Wife -- the latter based on his fiery romance with Suzanne.

(Dash Goff, the Writer; Reservations for Eight; The Afternoon Wife)


Carlene's ex-husband is "the number one import car salesman of Southeast Missouri." Due to this distinction (and other self-delusions), he feels that he is more sophisticated than his ex-wife. In reality, throughout their marriage he behaves like a classless hick, partying with his buddies until they all throw up, having her serve drinks to his friends in hot pants, and belching when his finger is pulled. Quite the charmer as far as Carlene is concerned, Dwayne just doesn't have the wit or style that he seems to think he has --- even showing up at one point to give Carlene "permission" to start dating.

(Dwayne's World; Sex and the Single Woman)


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and Belled Online ©1998-Present. All Rights Reserved.

  Julia Sugarbaker
  Charlene Frazier
  Mary Jo Shively
  Suzanne Sugarbaker
  Anthony Bouvier
  Carlene Dobber
  Allison Sugarbaker
  Bonnie Jean Poteet
  Bernice Clifton

  The Gentlemen Callers
  Supporting Characters
  Women of the House