Who’s Meredith Baxter?
Meredith is an American actress perhaps still best known for her role as Elyse Keaton in the popular sitcom “Family Ties” (1982-1989). She has appeared in numerous films and television shows throughout her career, receiving critical acclaim and several award nominations. Baxter is also known for her advocacy work on behalf of breast cancer awareness and LGBTQ+ rights.
How is Meredith Baxter Doing Today?
She battled breast cancer over 20 years ago, and has since recovered. She now lives a happy life with her wife, Nancy, who were spotted holding hands while shopping at a department store. Recently, she participated in a fundraising production with her former co-star Michael Gross, and continues to advocate for women’s health issues.
Meredith Baxter Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education
Meredith Ann Baxter was born on 21 June 1947, in South Pasadena, California, USA. She comes from a family deeply rooted in the entertainment industry; her parents were Whitney Blake, an actress, director and producer, and Tom Baxter, a radio announcer. After her parents’ divorce in 1953, Baxter and her two brothers, Richard and Brian, were raised by their mother, later gaining a stepfather, Allan Manings, a situation comedy writer. Baxter attended James Monroe High School before transferring to Hollywood High School. During her senior year, she pursued her passion for music at the Interlochen Center for the Arts as a voice major. However, she ultimately returned to Hollywood High, from which she matriculated in 1965.
Meredith made her television debut in 1970, with a guest appearance in an episode of “The Partridge Family” during its second season, playing Jenny alongside the main cast members of the show, including Shirley Jones as Shirley Partridge, Susan Dey as Laurie Partridge, Danny Bonaduce as Danny Partridge, David Cassidy as Keith Partridge, and others. Although her role was brief, it marked the beginning of her successful career in television.
After her debut, Meredith continued to land minor roles in various television shows – in 1971, she appeared as Gloria in an episode of “The Young Lawyers”, and the following year she played Ann Glover in an episode of “Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law”.
The same year, Baxter made her film debut in the movie “Stand Up and Be Counted”, which starred Jacqueline Bisset, Stella Stevens, and Steve Lawrence. Following further minor roles, she gained significant recognition as one of the stars of the CBS television sitcom “Bridget Loves Bernie”, from 1972 to 1973, portraying Bridget Fitzgerald Steinberg throughout the show’s 24 episodes. The series revolves around the romantic relationship between Bridget, an Irish Catholic woman, and Bernie Steinberg, a Jewish man, exploring the cultural differences and comedic situations that arise from their union. Although the series was canceled after just one season, it played a crucial role in raising Baxter’s profile, and established her as a talented actress.
Rise to Stardom
Then in 1976, she was selected for her first major role, as Nancy Lawrence Maitland in the TV drama series “Family”, starring alongside James Broderick as Jim Lawrence, Sada Thompson as Kate Lawrence, and Kristy McNichol as Letitia “Buddy” Lawrence. The show delved into the lives of the Lawrence family, exploring various social and personal issues they faced. Baxter’s compelling performance as Nancy earned her two Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1977 and ‘78.
Additionally, in 1976, Baxter appeared in the film “All the President’s Men” as Debbie Sloan, the wife of White House staffer Hugh W. Sloan Jr. The movie is based on true events surrounding the Watergate scandal, focusing on investigative journalism conducted by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
Following her early successes, Meredith Baxter continued to build a successful career with notable roles in television projects. In 1978, she portrayed Meg March in the NBC television miniseries adaptation of “Little Women”, bringing to life the character from Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel. The series captured the beloved story of the March sisters and their journey through love, loss, and personal growth.
In 1979, she starred in the CBS television film “The Family Man”, playing Mercedes Cole, and continuing her successful run, in 1980, Baxter appeared in the NBC miniseries “Beulah Land”, in which she took on the role of Lauretta Pennington.
From 1982 to 1989, Meredith Baxter gained widespread recognition and achieved significant success with her portrayal of Elyse Keaton in the hit sitcom “Family Ties”. The show revolved around the Keaton family, with Elyse Keaton (played by Baxter) and her husband Steven Keaton (played by Michael Gross) at the helm. They were the parents of three children, including Alex P. Keaton (played by Michael J. Fox), a staunchly conservative and ambitious teenager.
Baxter’s performance as Elyse Keaton, a dedicated mother and liberal artist, garnered critical acclaim and resonated with audiences. Her character represented a counterbalance to the conservative viewpoints of her son, creating a dynamic and engaging family on-screen. The chemistry between the cast members and the witty writing contributed to the immense popularity and success of the show.
“Family Ties” became a cultural phenomenon and one of the highest-rated sitcoms of its time. It won multiple awards, including three consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series from 1984 to 1986. Baxter’s portrayal of Elyse Keaton also earned her two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
— Delaware Online (@delawareonline) August 10, 2018
The success of “Family Ties” propelled Meredith Baxter to a new level of stardom, establishing her as one of the prominent television actresses of the era, with Meredith working on various other projects. In 1985, she portrayed Barbara McKee in the ABC television film “The Rape of Richard Beck”, and the same year, she reprised her role as Elyse Keaton in the NBC television film “Family Ties Vacation”. This movie continued the beloved sitcom, following the Keaton family on their vacation adventures.
In 1986, Baxter took on the role of Kate Stark in the NBC television film “Kate’s Secret”, then in 1988, portrayed Eve in the television film adaptation of “The Diaries of Adam and Eve”. The film presented a whimsical take on the classic tale by Mark Twain, exploring the evolving relationship between Adam and Eve.
In 1996, Baxter played Flynn Sullivan in the television series “The Faculty”, and served as an executive producer. She appeared in 13 episodes of the show, contributing both in front of and behind the camera.
In 2001, she appeared in the television film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” as Mrs Caroline Hubbard.
In 2005, Baxter starred in the drama film “Paradise Texas” as Liz Cameron.
From 2006 to 2007, she portrayed Ellen Rush in five episodes of the popular crime series “Cold Case”, adding to the show’s compelling mysteries.
In 2010, Baxter appeared in the disaster film “Airline Disaster” as President Harriet Franklin, displaying her versatility in tackling different roles across genres.
From 2011 to 2013, she lent her voice to the character Elise Sr. in four episodes of the animated series “Dan Vs”.
In 2014 and 2015, Baxter played the role of Gammy in the television series “Finding Carter”, a drama about a teenage girl reuniting with her biological family. Moreover, in 2014, Meredith took on the recurring role of Maureen Russell in the long-running soap opera “The Young and the Restless”, sharing the screen with a talented cast, including actors such as Eric Braeden, Melody Thomas Scott and Peter Bergman.
Her last on-screen appearance to date was the role of Clara Kilgore in the television movie “Christmas on the Vine” (2020).
According to authoritative sources, Meredith Baxter’s net worth is estimated at $7 million, as of mid-2023.
Personal Life, Marriage, Husband, Children, Wife
Meredith Baxter has led a varied personal life, with four marriages and five children. Her first husband was Robert Lewis Bush from 1966 to 1971, resulting in the birth of two children, Theodore Justin “Ted” Bush in 1967, and Eva Whitney Bush in 1969. She married David Birney in 1974, and their union lasted until 1989, during which they had three children: Kathleen Jeanne “Kate” Birney in 1974 and twins Mollie Elizabeth Birney and Peter David Edwin Birney in 1984.
After divorcing Birney, she married Michael Blodgett in 1995, but their marriage ended in divorce in 2000.
On 2 December 2009, during an interview with Matt Lauer on the “Today” show, Baxter publicly came out as lesbian, and also discussed her sexual orientation on the Frank DeCaro Show on Sirius-XM OutQ 102, sharing that accepting her sexual orientation helped her understand why her relationships with men hadn’t succeeded. Her openness and honesty have inspired others and allowed her to live authentically.
In 2013, Baxter found love again and entered into a relationship with Nancy Locke, whom she married. They have been together since then.
Meredith Baxter was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999, subsequently undergoing treatment, including surgery and chemotherapy. She courageously shared her journey and emphasized the importance of regular screenings and early detection. Baxter’s openness about her breast cancer diagnosis helped raise awareness and encouraged others to prioritize their health.
Appearance and Body Measurements
Meredith Baxter has blue eyes and blonde hair. She stands at the height of 5ft 7ins (1.7m), weighs approximately 130lbs (59kgs), with vital statistics of 33-25-32, and bra size 32B.