Who is Meredith Baxter?
American actress and producer Meredith Ann Baxter was born in South Pasadena, California USA, on 21 June 1947, making Cancer her zodiac sign. Meredith’s had roles in over 110 TV series and movies, but is probably still known best for portraying Debbie Sloan in the 1976 historical thriller movie “All the President’s Men”, which starred Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, and was directed by Alan J. Pakula. It follows the uncovering of the details about the Watergate scandal, which led to President Richard Nixon resigning; the movie won 17 of its 39 award nominations, including four Oscar wins, two of which were for Best Writing and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jason Robards).
Meredith’s still today active in the film industry, and has recently finished shooting for the upcoming movie “Genesis: The Future of Mankind Is Woman”.
Education and early life
Meredith was raised in South Pasadena alongside her older brothers Richard and Brian, by their father Tom Baxter who was a radio announcer, and mother Whitney Blake who was a famous American actress, producer and director, and who died aged 76 on 28 September 2002.
Meredith’s parents divorced when she was six, and she and her brothers were then raised by their mother, who later married her second husband Allan Manings, the late American TV producer and comedy writer.
Meredith studied at James Monroe High School prior to switching to Hollywood High School; she spent some time attending Interlochen Center for the Arts during her senior year, but eventually returned to Hollywood High School, from which she matriculated in 1965.
Meredith hasn’t attended college.
Roles in TV series
Meredith’s debut TV series role was playing Millie in the 1971 episode “The Secret” of the drama “The Interns”, and the following a couple of years saw her appear in an episode or two of the drama “The Young Lawyers”, the comedy “The Doris Day Show”, and the drama “Insight”.
In 1972 and 1973, Meredith starred as Bridget Fitzgerald Steinberg in all the 24 episodes of the comedy “Bridget Loves Bernie”, created by Bernard Slade, and which also starred David Birney and Harold J. Stone. It follows the lives of Jewish cabbie Bernie and wealthy Catholic Bridget who’ve just married – the series was nominated for a 1973 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress – Television, for Audra Lindley.
From 1976 through 1980, Meredith starred as Nancy Lawrence Maitland in the drama “Family”, created by Jay Presson Allen, and which starred Sada Thompson, James Broderick and Gary Frank. It follows the lives of members of the Lawrence family from Pasadena, and the series won nine of its 36 award nominations.
Meredith appeared in only a couple of TV series in the ‘80s, as she spent the decade focused on shooting for the comedy “Family Ties”, in which she starred alongside Michael Gross and Michael J. Fox, and which was created by Gary David Goldberg. It follows the lives of former hippies Elyse and Steven Keaton, and their four children; the series aired from 1982 through 1989, and won 23 of its 66 award nominations.
‘Family Ties’ reunion: Meredith Baxter, Michael Gross in ‘Love Letters’ in Rehoboth Beach https://t.co/aQkRy1WROc pic.twitter.com/RtZGw4Xep3
— Delaware Online (@delawareonline) August 10, 2018
Meredith appeared in only three TV series in the ‘90s: the 1993 episode “Other Mothers” of the adventure comedy “CBS Schoolbreak Special”, 13 episodes of the 1996 comedy “The Faculty”, and two episodes of the 1997 comedy “Spin City”.
What marked the 2000s for her was perhaps playing Ellen Rush in five episodes (2006-2007) of the crime mystery “Cold Case”, which starred Danny Pino and Kathryn Morris, and was created by Meredith Stiehm. It follows a detective who’s solving old cases, the series aired from 2003 through 2010, and won 12 of its 39 award nominations.
Some of Meredith’s most recent TV series roles have been in 10 episodes of the 2014 drama “Finding Carter”, the 2015 episode “Some Things Are Black and White” of the romantic thriller “Being Mary Jane”, and the 2016 episode “Landslide” of the drama “Code Black”.
Roles in movies
Meredith’s debut film role was playing Tracy in the 1972 comedy “Stand Up and Be Counted”, and some of her following roles were in the horror thriller “Ben”, the horror mystery “The Invasion of Carol Enders”, and the horror “The Cat Creature” all in 1973.
What marked the ‘70s for her was perhaps playing Patricia Peterson in the romantic mystery “Bittersweet Love”, directed by David Miller, and which starred Lana Turner, Robert Lansing and Celeste Holm; it follows a young married couple who are about to welcome their first baby, while they’ve now learned that they are half-brother and sister.
Some of Meredith’s notable performances in the ‘80s were in the 1986 drama “Kate’s Secret”, the 1988 biographical drama “Winnie”, and the 1989 crime comedy “She Knows Too Much”.
Most of the movies in which she appeared in the ‘90s were rather unsuccessful, with the exception of the 1997 crime mystery “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”, in which she starred alongside Victor Garber and Nick Mancuso, and which was directed by Bill Corcoran. It follows a female prosecutor who believes that she’s just seen a woman who was murdered 10 years earlier.
Meredith played Mrs Caroline Hubbard in the popular 2001 crime mystery “Murder on the Orient Express”, and could then have been seen appearing in the 2002 drama “A Christmas Visitor”, the 2004 fantasy “Angel in the Family”, and the 2009 drama “Bound by a Secret”.
In 2011, she played Carol Kringle in the fantasy comedy “Naughty or Nice”, directed by David Mackay, and which starred Hilarie Burton, Matt Dallas and Gabriel Tigerman; it follows an advertising executive who’s now the custodian of Santa’s ‘Naughty or Nice’ list.
Meredith’s three most recent movie roles have been in the 2016 comedy “Skirtchasers”, the 2019 romantic comedy “Undateable John”, and the 2020 romantic drama “Christmas on the Vine”.
Meredith has six producing credits, which include the 1993 drama movie “Darkness Before Dawn”, the 1994 drama film “My Breast”, and the 1995 drama movie “Betrayed: A Story of Three Women”.
Some of her recent talk-show appearances have been in “The Insider”, “Ken Boxer Live” and “History of the Sitcom”.
Awards and nominations
Meredith’s been nominated for nine awards – these include three Primetime Emmys, two for her performance in “Family” in 1977 and 1978, and the third for “A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story” in 1992. She’s also been nominated for two Daytime Emmys, two Photoplay Awards and a TV Land Award.
Love life and relationships
Meredith’s married four times. Her first husband was American actor and costumer Robert Lewis Bush; they married on 23 June 1966, and Meredith gave birth to their son Theodore Justin ‘Ted’ Bush on 10 May 1967, while their daughter Eva Whitney Bush followed on 6 August 1969. Meredith and Robert divorced in November 1971.
Her second husband was the late American actor and director David Edwin Birney; they married on 10 April 1974, and divorced on 13 September 1990. Meredith gave birth to their daughter Kathleen Jeanne ‘Kate’ Birney on 5 December 1974, and their twins Peter David Edwin Birney and Mollie Elizabeth Birney followed on 2 October 1984. Meredith revealed in her memoir “Untied” that David had physically and emotionally abused her, while he denied this.
She was married to American actor and novelist Michael Blodgett from 21 October 1995 through 2000.
Since 8 December 2013, Meredith’s been married to her wife Nancy Locke; she revealed during an interview in the show “Today” on 2 December 2009 that she was a lesbian, and that she was only able to understand why her marriages had failed after she accepted her sexual orientation.
Health issues and interesting facts
Meredith revealed in 1999 that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, but was able to make a full recovery; she then founded the Meredith Baxter Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.
She began drinking excessively while married to her second husband David, and only became sober after they separated.
Meredith’s a huge lover of animals, and this is one of the reasons why she’s today a vegetarian.
She and American actor, screenwriter and producer Michael Gross were born on the exact same day; they starred alongside in the series “Family Ties”.
Meredith’s the owner of her own cosmetics line – Meredith Baxter Simple Works.
Height, eyes and wealth
Meredith’s age is 75. Her hair’s blonde and eyes are blue, she’s 5ft 7ins (1.7m) tall and weighs around 135lbs (62kgs).
Meredith’s net worth’s been estimated at over $7 million, as of May 2023.