Meredith Baxter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Meredith Baxter
Meredith Baxter 2014 HRC Gala (cropped).jpg
Baxter at the Human Rights Campaign Gala, 2014
BornMeredith Ann Baxter
(1947-06-21) June 21, 1947 (age 66)
South Pasadena, California, U.S.
Other namesMeredith Baxter-Birney
EducationJames Monroe High School
Hollywood High School
Interlochen Center for the Arts
OccupationActress, producer
Years active1971–present
TelevisionBridget Loves Bernie
Family Ties
Dan Vs.
Family Guy

Robert Lewis Bush (m. 1966; div. 1969)
David Birney (m. 1974; div. 1989)
Michael Blodgett (m. 1995; div. 2000)

Nancy Locke (m. 2013)
ParentsTom Baxter
Whitney Blake (deceased)
RelativesAllan Manings (stepfather, deceased)
Jump to: navigation, search
Meredith Baxter
Meredith Baxter 2014 HRC Gala (cropped).jpg
Baxter at the Human Rights Campaign Gala, 2014
BornMeredith Ann Baxter
(1947-06-21) June 21, 1947 (age 66)
South Pasadena, California, U.S.
Other namesMeredith Baxter-Birney
EducationJames Monroe High School
Hollywood High School
Interlochen Center for the Arts
OccupationActress, producer
Years active1971–present
TelevisionBridget Loves Bernie
Family Ties
Dan Vs.
Family Guy

Robert Lewis Bush (m. 1966; div. 1969)
David Birney (m. 1974; div. 1989)
Michael Blodgett (m. 1995; div. 2000)

Nancy Locke (m. 2013)
ParentsTom Baxter
Whitney Blake (deceased)
RelativesAllan 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.

Early life[edit]

Baxter was born in South Pasadena, California, the daughter of actress turned director/producer Whitney Blake and Tom Baxter, a radio announcer.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]


Early years[edit]

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[edit]

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[4] 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.[5]


In 2005, she began appearing in television commercials for Garden State Life Insurance Company. In 2006, she temporarily co-hosted — with Matt LauerToday, 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.

Baxter was the guest speaker at the 2008 Southern Commencement for National University in La Jolla, California, and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the university.[6]

On December 17, 2009, Baxter's memoir, titled Untied, was published in 2011.[7]

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.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Marriages and children[edit]

Baxter in September 1990

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).[9] 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.[10][11] 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.[12] 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.[4]

Health issues[edit]

Baxter was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999.[13]


Chad Everett and Baxter in 1975
1972Stand Up and Be CountedTracy
1972BenEve Garrison
1976All the President's MenDebbie Sloan
1976Bittersweet LovePatricia
1990Jezebel's KissVirginia De Leo
1999Elevator SeekingAnn
1999Down Will Come BabyLeah Garr
2003Devil's PondKate
2005Paradise TexasLiz Cameron
2005The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan GreenHarper Green
2008The Onion MovieCooking Show Chefdirect-to-video release
2010Airline DisasterPresident Harriet Franklin
1971The Young LawyersGloria1 episode
1971The Doris Day ShowApril1 episode
1971The Partridge FamilyJenny1 episode
1972Owen Marshall: Counselor at LawAnn Glover1 episode
1972–1973Bridget Loves BernieBridget Fitzgerald Steinberg24 episodes
1973The Invasion of Carol EndersCarol Enderstelevision film
1973Doc ElliotJenny1 episode
1973The Cat CreatureRena CarterABC television film
1974Barnaby JonesJenny Sutherland1 episode
1974The Stranger Who Looks Like MeJoanne DenverABC television film
1974Young LoveAprilCBS television film
1974–1975Medical CenterPaula
2 episodes
1975Target RiskLinda FlaylyNBC television film
1975The ImposterJulie WatsonNBC television film
1975The Streets of San FranciscoJodi Dixon1 episode
1975The Night That Panicked AmericaLinda DavisABC television film
1975Medical StoryErica Schiff
2 episodes
1975McMillan & WifeFaye Leonard1 episode
1976City of AngelsMary Kingston3 episodes
1976Wide World Mystery1 episode
1976Police WomanLiz Robson1 episode
1976–1980FamilyNancy Lawrence Maitland45 episodes
1977–1982The Love BoatSandy Rytell3 episodes
1978Little WomenMeg MarchNBC television film
1979The Family ManMercedes ColeCBS television film
1980Beulah LandLauretta PenningtonNBC miniseries
1981VanitiesJoanneHBO televised presentation of stage production
1981The Two Lives of Carol LetnerCarol LetnerCBS television film
1982Take Your Best ShotCarol MarrinerCBS television film
1982–1989Family TiesElyse Keaton171 episodes
1985The Rape of Richard BeckBarbara McKeeABC television film
1985Family Ties VacationElyse KeatonNBC television film
1986Kate's SecretKate StarkNBC television film
1987The Long Journey HomeMaura WellsCBS television film
1988The Diaries of Adam and EveEvetelevision film
1988Mickey's 60th BirthdayElyse Keatontelevision special
1988WinnieWinnieNBC television film
1989She Knows Too MuchSamantha WhiteNBC television film
1990The Kissing PlaceFlorence TulaneUSA Network television film
1990Burning BridgesLynn HollingerABC television film
1992A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story/Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick - The Final Chapter"Betty BroderickCBS television films
1992Stolen LoveDeeDeeABC Television film
1993Darkness Before DawnMary Ann GuardNBC television film
also co-executive producer
1993CBS Schoolbreak Special - Other MothersPaula Hensen1 episode; won a Daytime Emmy Award for her role
1994For the Love of AaronMargaret Gibsontelevision film
1994One More MountainMargaret ReedABC television film
1994My BreastJoyce WadlerCBS television film
also co-executive producer
1995Betrayed: A Story of Three WomenAmanda NelsonABC television film
also co-executive producer
1996The FacultyFlynn Sullivan1 episode
also executive producer
1996After JimmyMaggie Stapptelevision film
1997Dog's Best FriendCow (Voice)television film
1997The InheritanceBeatrice Hamiltontelevision film
1997Let Me Call You SweetheartD.A. Kerry McGrathThe Family Channel television film
1997Miracle in the WoodsSarah Weatherbytelevision film
1997Spin CityMacy Flaherty2 episodes: "Family Affair" (Part 1) and "Family Affair" (Part 2)
1999Holy JoeAnnie CassCBS television film
1999Down Will Come BabyLeah GarrCBS television film
1999Miracle on the 17th GreenSusan McKinleyCBS television film
2000The Wednesday WomanMuriel DavidsonCBS television film
2001A Mother's Fight for JusticeTerry StoneLifetime Television film
2001AftermathCaroltelevision film
2001Murder on the Orient ExpressMrs. Caroline Hubbardtelevision film
2002A Christmas VisitorCarol BoyajianHallmark Channel television film
20037th HeavenMrs. Jones1 episode: "Go Ask Alice"
2004Half & HalfJoan Tyrell1 episode
2004Angel in the FamilyLorraineHallmark Channel television film
2005The CloserCongresswoman Simmons1 episode: "Fantasy Date"
2006Brothers & SistersMargaret Packard1 episode: "For the Children"
2006–2007Cold CaseEllen Rush5 episodes
2007What About BrianFrankie1 episode: "What About All That Glitters..."
2009Bound by a SecretIda MaeHallmark Channel television film
2009Family GuyElyse Keaton and herself2 episodes: "Stew-Roids" and "Family Gay"
2009BrothersTV Mom1 episode: "Episode: Commercial – Coach DMV"
2010We Have to Stop NowJudyWeb series
Episode: "The Grass Is Always Greener"
2010RuPaul's Drag UHerself1 episode: Appeared as a guest judge
2011The Oprah Winfrey ShowHerself1 episode
2011Dan Vs.Elise Sr.4 episodes
2011Family GuyCarol1 episode
2012Switched at BirthBonnie Tamblyn Dixon1 episode
2012Naughty or NiceCarol KringleHallmark Channel television film
2013GleeLiz1 episode

Award nominations[edit]

YearAwardResultCategorySeries or Film
1977Emmy AwardNominatedOutstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesFamily
1978Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesFamily
1992Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a SpecialA Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story
199421st Daytime Emmy AwardsWonOutstanding Performer in a Children's SpecialCBS Schoolbreak Special - Other Mothers
2007TV Land AwardNominatedLady You Love to Watch Fight for Her Life in a Movie of the Week


  1. ^ Meredith Baxter profile at Accessed December 6, 2009
  2. ^ Baxter, Meredith (2011). Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering. Random House LLC. p. 34. 
  3. ^ Baxter 2011 pp.41,47
  4. ^ a b 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.
  5. ^ Spin City "Family Affair" details on IMDb.
  6. ^ Johnson, Tony (July 28, 2008). "National University Commencement 2008 — Could Be Good, Could Be Bad". The Herald; accessed December 2, 2009.
  7. ^ "". Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  8. ^ "Glee Casts Patty Duke and Meredith Baxter as Lesbian couple". 
  9. ^ Staff writer "Biography for Meredith Baxter". Turner Classic Movies. Accessed December 6, 2009.
  10. ^ "Windy City Media Group website". Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  11. ^ "". 2009-12-02. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  12. ^ Nahas, Aili (December 8, 2013). "Meredith Baxter Marries Nancy Locke". 
  13. ^ "Meredith Baxter". Sharing Miracles ("a blog of personal stories of miracles and hope"; January 30, 2009). Accessed December 6, 2009.


External links[edit]