||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)|
Baxter, circa 1977
|Born||Meredith Ann Baxter
June 21, 1947
South Pasadena, California, U.S.
|Other names||Meredith Baxter-Birney|
|Education||James Monroe High School
Hollywood High School
Interlochen Center for the Arts
|Television||Bridget Loves Bernie
|Spouse(s)||Nancy Locke (m. 2013)|
Whitney Blake (deceased)
|Relatives||Allan Manings (stepfather, deceased)|
Meredith Ann Baxter (born June 21, 1947), also known for some years as Meredith Baxter-Birney, is an American actress and producer. She is best known for her acting roles including three television series: Family (1976–1980), an ABC television-network drama, Family Ties (1982–1989), an NBC television-network situation comedy, and as a voice actress in Dan Vs. (2011–2013), an animated situation comedy on The Hub television-network.
Baxter was born in South Pasadena, California, the daughter of actress turned director/producer Whitney Blake and Tom Baxter, a radio announcer. After her parents were divorced in 1953, Baxter and her two brothers, Richard (born 1944) and Brian (born 1946), were raised by their mother in Pasadena. Her second stepfather was situation-comedy writer Allan Manings.
Baxter was educated at James Monroe High School before transferring to Hollywood High School. During her senior year, she attended Interlochen Center for the Arts as a voice major but returned to Hollywood High where she graduated in 1965.
Baxter got her first big break on television in 1972 as one of the stars of Bridget Loves Bernie, a CBS television-network situation comedy. The series was canceled after one season, but her co-star, David Birney became her second husband in 1974. Following their marriage and until their divorce in 1989, she was credited as Meredith Baxter-Birney, under which name she became widely known several years later on Family. She played the role of Nancy Lawrence Maitland and received two Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (1977 and 1978).
After Family ended, she starred with Annette O'Toole and Shelley Hack in Vanities (1981), a television production of the comedy-drama stage play about the lives, loves and friendship of three Texas cheerleaders starting from high school to post-college graduation; it aired as a part of Standing Room Only, a series on the premium-television channel HBO.
1980s and 1990s
In 1982, Baxter landed the role of Elyse Keaton, the former flower child matriarch of the Keaton family on the NBC sitcom Family Ties. In 1986, during her time on Family Ties, Baxter garnered critical acclaim for her dramatic performance as Kate Stark in the NBC television movie Kate's Secret, about a seemingly "perfect" suburban housewife and mother who is secretly suffering from bulimia nervosa. Following Family Ties, Baxter (whose marriage to Birney ended in 1989) produced and starred in telefilms. She portrayed a psychopathic kidnapper in The Kissing Place (1990) and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Special for her work in A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story (1992), based on the true story of a divorcée who was convicted of murder in the shooting of her ex-husband and his young wife. In 1994, she won a Daytime Emmy Award for her role as a lesbian mother raising a young son, in Other Mothers (1993), a CBS Schoolbreak Special. For her work on the television film My Breast (1994), she received a special award for public awareness from the National Breast Cancer Coalition. In 1997, Baxter once again played the mother of a character played by Michael J. Fox (who portrayed her son, Alex P. Keaton, on Family Ties), this time in two episodes of Spin City.
In 2005, she began appearing in television commercials for Garden State Life Insurance Company. In 2006, she temporarily co-hosted — with Matt Lauer — Today, the NBC morning news and talk show. In 2007, she made a guest appearance on What About Brian, an ABC drama series. That same year, she also made several appearances as the dying mother of Detective Lilly Rush on Cold Case, a CBS police-procedural series. In recent years, Baxter created a skin-care line called Meredith Baxter Simple Works, which raises funds for Baxter's breast cancer research foundation.
On December 17, 2009, Baxter's memoir, titled Untied, was published in 2011.
She is also a spokesperson for Consumer Cellular, a cell phone company advertised as providing a cheaper cell phone alternative for senior citizens. She currently voices the character "Elise Sr." in Dan Vs., which airs on The Hub.
In April 2013, it was announced that Baxter will be in the Season 4 finale episode of Glee, along with Patty Duke, as a mentor to Darren Criss's character Blaine Anderson and Chris Colfer's character Kurt Hummel.
Marriages and children
Baxter has been married four times and has five children. In 1966, she married Robert Lewis Bush and they had two children — Theodore Justin ("Ted"; born 1967) and Eva Whitney (born August 6, 1969); the couple divorced in 1971. In 1974, she married David Birney and had three children — Kathleen Jeanne ("Kate"; born December 5, 1974) and twins Mollie Elizabeth and Peter David Edwin (born October 2, 1984). She and David Birney divorced in 1989. In 1995, she married actor and screenwriter Michael Blodgett; they were divorced in 2000.
On December 2, 2009, she came out as a lesbian during an interview with Matt Lauer on Today, and on the Frank DeCaro Show on Sirius-XM OutQ 102. She has been living with partner (now wife) Nancy Locke, a general contractor. The couple have been in a relationship since 2005 and were married on December 8, 2013 in Los Angeles. Baxter said that she didn't realize she was gay until she began her first same-sex relationship in 2002. She states that finally coming to terms with her homosexuality really opened her eyes to the fact that for many years she knew something was different about her and why her relationships with men failed.
|1972||Stand Up and Be Counted||Tracy|
|1976||All the President's Men||Debbie Sloan|
|1990||Jezebel's Kiss||Virginia De Leo|
|1999||Down Will Come Baby||Leah Garr|
|2005||Paradise Texas||Liz Cameron|
|2005||The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green||Harper Green|
|2008||The Onion Movie||Cooking Show Chef||direct-to-video release|
|2010||Airline Disaster||President Harriet Franklin|
|1971||The Young Lawyers||Gloria||1 episode|
|1971||The Doris Day Show||April||1 episode|
|1971||The Partridge Family||Jenny||1 episode|
|1972||Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law||Ann Glover||1 episode|
|1972–1973||Bridget Loves Bernie||Bridget Fitzgerald Steinberg||24 episodes|
|1973||The Invasion of Carol Enders||Carol Enders||television film|
|1973||Doc Elliot||Jenny||1 episode|
|1973||The Cat Creature||Rena Carter||ABC television film|
|1974||Barnaby Jones||Jenny Sutherland||1 episode|
|1974||The Stranger Who Looks Like Me||Joanne Denver||ABC television film|
|1974||Young Love||April||CBS television film|
|1975||Target Risk||Linda Flayly||NBC television film|
|1975||The Imposter||Julie Watson||NBC television film|
|1975||The Streets of San Francisco||Jodi Dixon||1 episode|
|1975||The Night That Panicked America||Linda Davis||ABC television film|
|1975||Medical Story||Erica Schiff
|1975||McMillan & Wife||Faye Leonard||1 episode|
|1976||City of Angels||Mary Kingston||3 episodes|
|1976||Wide World Mystery||1 episode|
|1976||Police Woman||Liz Robson||1 episode|
|1976–1980||Family||Nancy Lawrence Maitland||45 episodes|
|1977–1982||The Love Boat||Sandy Rytell||3 episodes|
|1978||Little Women||Meg March||NBC television film|
|1979||The Family Man||Mercedes Cole||CBS television film|
|1980||Beulah Land||Lauretta Pennington||NBC miniseries|
|1981||Vanities||Joanne||HBO televised presentation of stage production|
|1981||The Two Lives of Carol Letner||Carol Letner||CBS television film|
|1982||Take Your Best Shot||Carol Marriner||CBS television film|
|1982–1989||Family Ties||Elyse Keaton||171 episodes|
|1985||The Rape of Richard Beck||Barbara McKee||ABC television film|
|1985||Family Ties Vacation||Elyse Keaton||NBC television film|
|1986||Kate's Secret||Kate Stark||NBC television film|
|1987||The Long Journey Home||Maura Wells||CBS television film|
|1988||The Diaries of Adam and Eve||Eve||television film|
|1988||Mickey's 60th Birthday||Elyse Keaton||television special|
|1988||Winnie||Winnie||NBC television film|
|1989||She Knows Too Much||Samantha White||NBC television film|
|1990||The Kissing Place||Florence Tulane||USA Network television film|
|1990||Burning Bridges||Lynn Hollinger||ABC television film|
|1992||A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story/Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick - The Final Chapter"||Betty Broderick||CBS television films||1992||Stolen Love||DeeDee||ABC Television film|
|1993||Darkness Before Dawn||Mary Ann Guard||NBC television film
also co-executive producer
|1993||CBS Schoolbreak Special - Other Mothers||Paula Hensen||1 episode; won a Daytime Emmy Award for her role|
|1994||For the Love of Aaron||Margaret Gibson||television film|
|1994||One More Mountain||Margaret Reed||ABC television film|
|1994||My Breast||Joyce Wadler||CBS television film
also co-executive producer
|1995||Betrayed: A Story of Three Women||Amanda Nelson||ABC television film
also co-executive producer
|1996||The Faculty||Flynn Sullivan||1 episode
also executive producer
|1996||After Jimmy||Maggie Stapp||television film|
|1997||Dog's Best Friend||Cow (Voice)||television film|
|1997||The Inheritance||Beatrice Hamilton||television film|
|1997||Let Me Call You Sweetheart||D.A. Kerry McGrath||The Family Channel television film|
|1997||Miracle in the Woods||Sarah Weatherby||television film|
|1997||Spin City||Macy Flaherty||2 episodes: "Family Affair" (Part 1) and "Family Affair" (Part 2)|
|1999||Holy Joe||Annie Cass||CBS television film|
|1999||Down Will Come Baby||Leah Garr||CBS television film|
|1999||Miracle on the 17th Green||Susan McKinley||CBS television film|
|2000||The Wednesday Woman||Muriel Davidson||CBS television film|
|2001||A Mother's Fight for Justice||Terry Stone||Lifetime Television film|
|2001||Murder on the Orient Express||Mrs. Caroline Hubbard||television film|
|2002||A Christmas Visitor||Carol Boyajian||Hallmark Channel television film|
|2003||7th Heaven||Mrs. Jones||1 episode: "Go Ask Alice"|
|2004||Half & Half||Joan Tyrell||1 episode|
|2004||Angel in the Family||Lorraine||Hallmark Channel television film|
|2005||The Closer||Congresswoman Simmons||1 episode: "Fantasy Date"|
|2006||Brothers & Sisters||Margaret Packard||1 episode: "For the Children"|
|2006–2007||Cold Case||Ellen Rush||5 episodes|
|2007||What About Brian||Frankie||1 episode: "What About All That Glitters..."|
|2009||Bound by a Secret||Ida Mae||Hallmark Channel television film|
|2009||Family Guy||Elyse Keaton and herself||2 episodes: "Stew-Roids" and "Family Gay"|
|2009||Brothers||TV Mom||1 episode: "Episode: Commercial – Coach DMV"|
|2010||We Have to Stop Now||Judy||Web series
Episode: "The Grass Is Always Greener"
|2010||RuPaul's Drag U||Herself||1 episode: Appeared as a guest judge|
|2011||The Oprah Winfrey Show||Herself||1 episode|
|2011||Dan Vs.||Elise Sr.||4 episodes|
|2011||Family Guy||Carol||1 episode|
|2012||Switched at Birth||Bonnie Tamblyn Dixon||1 episode|
|2012||Naughty or Nice||Carol Kringle||Hallmark Channel television film|
|Year||Award||Result||Category||Series or Film|
|1977||Emmy Award||Nominated||Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Family|
|1978||Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Family|
|1992||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Special||A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story|
|1994||21st Daytime Emmy Awards||Won||Outstanding Performer in a Children's Special||CBS Schoolbreak Special - Other Mothers|
|2007||TV Land Award||Nominated||Lady You Love to Watch Fight for Her Life in a Movie of the Week||
- Meredith Baxter profile at FilmReference.com. Accessed December 6, 2009
- Baxter, Meredith (2011). Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering. Random House LLC. p. 34.
- Baxter 2011 pp.41,47
- Rao, Vidya (December 2, 2009)"'Family Ties' Mom: I Am a Lesbian — Meredith Baxter Says She Has Been Dating Women for the Past Seven Years". Today (via MSNBC). Accessed December 2, 2009.
- Spin City "Family Affair" details on IMDb.
- Johnson, Tony (July 28, 2008). "National University Commencement 2008 — Could Be Good, Could Be Bad". The Herald; accessed December 2, 2009.
- "people.com". people.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- "Glee Casts Patty Duke and Meredith Baxter as Lesbian couple".
- Staff writer "Biography for Meredith Baxter". Turner Classic Movies. Accessed December 6, 2009.
- "Windy City Media Group website". Windycitymediagroup.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- "YouTube.com". YouTube.com. 2009-12-02. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- Nahas, Aili (December 8, 2013). "Meredith Baxter Marries Nancy Locke". people.com.
- "Meredith Baxter". Sharing Miracles ("a blog of personal stories of miracles and hope"; January 30, 2009). Accessed December 6, 2009.
- Untied by Meredith Baxter. © 2011; ISBN 978-0-307-71930-0; eISBN 978-0-307-71932-4. Crown Archetype (Random House)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Meredith Baxter.|
- Meredith Baxter at the Internet Movie Database
- Meredith Baxter at AllRovi
- Meredith Baxter at the TCM Movie Database