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Meredith Ann Baxter (born June 21, 1947), formerly Meredith Baxter Birney, is an Americanmarker actress.

Early life

Baxter was born in South Pasadena, Californiamarker, the daughter of actress and sitcom creator Whitney Blake and Tom Baxter, a radio announcer. Her stepfather is sitcom writer Allan Manings.


Baxter is best known for her work on two television shows. She first became popular playing the role of Nancy Lawrence Maitland on the television drama Family from 1976 to 1980. She received two Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, in 1977 and 1978. The second role is ex-flower child Elyse Keaton on the sitcom Family Ties, which aired from 1982 to 1989. In reality, she was only 14 years older than Michael J. Fox, who played her son, Alex.

In 1981, she starred with Annette O'Toole and Shelley Hack in HBO's Standing Room Only series production of Vanities.

Since Family Ties ended its run, Baxter has been directing and starring in TV movies. In 1990, she starred as a psychopathic kidnapper in the The Kissing Place. In 1992, she 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, in which she plays a divorcée who was convicted of murder in the shooting of her ex-husband and his young wife. She was nominated for a Daytime Emmy award in 1993 for her work as a lesbian raising a young son in the CBS after-school special "Other Mothers." In 1997, she once again played the mother of a character played by Michael J. Fox, this time on the sitcom Spin City. In 2005, she began appearing in television commercials for Garden State Life Insurance Company. In 2006 she temporarily co-hosted the Today Show with Matt Lauer. In 2007 she made a guest appearance on the ABC drama What About Brian. She also made several 2007 appearances as the dying mother of Detective Lilly Rush on the TV series Cold Case.

In recent years, she has created a skin care line called Meredith Baxter Simple Works, which helps raise funds for her breast cancer research foundation. 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 2004, she teamed up with former co-star Michael Gross to campaign for John Kerry's candidacy for the Presidency.

She will be appearing as a recurring character in Season 2 of the web series [We Have To Stop Now].

Personal life

Baxter has been married three times. Her first marriage was to Robert Lewis Bush in 1966; they had two children before divorcing in 1971. She then married actor David Birney, whom she met on the set of the sitcom Bridget Loves Bernie where she played his wife on the series. After the show was canceled, the couple became engaged and were married in 1974. From that date until their divorce in 1989, she was credited as Meredith Baxter Birney, a name still commonly associated with her by the general public as she went by it during her most prominent period of work. They have three children. In 1995 she married actor and screenwriter Michael Blodgett; they divorced in 2000.

Baxter was the guest speaker at the 2008 Southern Commencement for National University and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the university.

Meredith Baxter's aunt was actress Anne Baxter, who starred in All About Eve and in The Ten Commandments.

She's recently came out as lesbian.


Year Film Role Notes
1972 Stand Up and Be Counted Tracy
Ben Eve Garrison
1976 All the President's Men Debbie Sloan
Bittersweet Love Patricia
1990 Jezebel's Kiss Virginia De Leo
1999 Elevator Seeking Ann
2003 Devil's Pond Kate
2005 Paradise Texas Liz Cameron
The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green Harper Green
2008 The Onion Movie Cooking Show Chef Direct-to-Video release
Year Title Role Notes
1971 The Young Lawyers Gloria 1 episode
The Doris Day Show April 1 episode
The Partridge Family Jenny 1 episode
1972 Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law Ann Glover 1 episode
Bridget Loves Bernie Bridget Fitzgerald Steinberg 24 episodes
1973 The Invasion of Carol Enders Carol Enders Television movie
Doc Elliot Jenny 1 episode
The Cat Creature Rena Carter ABC television movie
1974 Barnaby Jones Jenny Sutherland 1 episode
The Stranger Who Looks Like Me Joanne Denver ABC television movie
Young Love April CBS television movie
1974-1975 Medical Center Paula
2 episodes
1975 Target Risk Linda Flayly NBC television movie
The Imposter Julie Watson NBC television movie
The Streets of San Francisco Jodi Dixon 1 episode
The Night That Panicked America Linda Davis ABC television movie
Medical Story Erica Schiff
2 episodes
McMillan and Wife Faye Leonard 1 episode
1976 City of Angels Mary Kingston 3 episodes
Wide World Mystery 1 episode
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 movie
1979 The Family Man Mercedes Cole CBS television movie
1980 Beulah Land Lauretta Pennington NBC Miniseries
1981 Vanities Joanne HBO Televised On-Stage Performance
The Two Lives of Carol Letner Carol Letner CBS television movie
1982 Take Your Best Shot Carol Marriner CBS television movie
1982–1989 Family Ties Elyse Keaton 171 episodes
1985 The Rape of Richard Beck Barbara McKee ABC television movie
Family Ties Vacation Elyse Keaton NBC television movie
1986 Kate's Secret Kate Stark NBC television movie
1987 The Long Journey Home Maura Wells CBS television movie
1988 The Diaries of Adam and Eve Eve Television movie
Mickey's 60th Birthday Elyse Keaton Television special
Winnie Winnie NBC television movie
1989 She Knows Too Much Samantha White NBC television movie
1990 The Kissing Place Florence Tulane USA Network Television movie
Burning Bridges Lynn Hollinger ABC television movie
1992 A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story Betty Broderick CBS television movie
Stolen Love DeeDee ABC Television movie
1993 Darkness Before Dawn Mary Ann Guard NBC television movie
Co-executive producer
CBS Schoolbreak Special Paula Hensen 1 episode
1994 For the Love of Aaron Margaret Gibson Television movie
One More Mountain Margaret Reed ABC television movie
My Breast Joyce Wadler CBS television movie
Co-executive producer
1995 Betrayed: A Story of Three Women Amanda Nelson ABC television movie
Co-executive producer
1996 The Faculty Flynn Sullivan 1 episode
Executive producer
After Jimmy Maggie Stapp Television movie
1997 Dog's Best Friend Cow (Voice) Television movie
The Inheritance Beatrice Hamilton Television movie
Let Me Call You Sweetheart D.A. Kerry McGrath The Family Channel television movie
Miracle in the Woods Sarah Weatherby Television movie
Spin City Macy Flaherty Episode: "Family Affair"
Episode: "Family Affair"
1999 Holy Joe Annie Cass CBS television movie
Down Will Come Baby Leah Garr CBS television movie
Miracle on the 17th Green Susan McKinley CBS television movie
2000 The Wednesday Woman Muriel Davidson CBS television movie
2001 A Mother's Fight for Justice Terry Stone Lifetime Television movie
Aftermath Carol Television movie
Murder on the Orient Express Mrs. Caroline Hubbard Television movie
2002 A Christmas Visitor Carol Boyajian Hallmark Channel television movie
2003 7th Heaven Mrs. Jones Episode: "Go Ask Alice"
2004 Half & Half Joan Tyrell 1 episode
Angel in the Family Lorraine Hallmark Channel television movie
2005 The Closer Congresswoman Simmons Episode: "Fantasy Date"
2006 Brothers & Sisters Margaret Packard Episode: "For the Children"
2006 – 2007 Cold Case 5 episodes
2007 What About Brian Frankie Episode: "What About All That Glitters..."
2009 Bound By a Secret Ida Mae Hallmark Channel television movie
Family Guy Elyse Keaton (Voice) Episode: "Stew-Roids"

Award nominations

Year Award Result Category Series
1977 Emmy Awards 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 Outstanding Performer in a Children's Special CBS Schoolbreak Special
2007 TV Land Awards Nominated Lady You Love to Watch Fight for Her Life in a Movie of the Week



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