Meredith Baxter life and biography

Meredith Baxter picture, image, poster

Meredith Baxter biography

Date of birth : 1947-06-21
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Los Angeles, California, United States
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-06-21
Credited as : Actress, film series Family, Family Guy

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Meredith Baxter(known for some years as Meredith Baxter-Birney), born June 21, 1947, in Los Angeles, California is an American actress and producer. Meredith was the only daughter born to aspiring actress Whitney Blake and radio announcer Tom Baxter. After her parents divorced, when she was five, her mother wed Hollywood producer Jack Fields. The effect of her parents' breakup, coupled with her mother's hasty remarriage, took quite a toll on Meredith. On the other hand, Whitney Blake benefited from her union with Fields, who played an important role in furthering her acting career.

She is known for her acting roles including two television series: Family (1976-1980), an ABC television-network drama, and Family Ties (1982-1989), an NBC television-network situation comedy.

Baxter attended Hollywood High School, where she found her niche in the highly esteemed drama department. Bit by the acting bug, she went on to train at Michigan's Interlochen Arts Academy. While developing her acting skills, she met Bob Bush, to whom she was married from 1966-69. After their divorce, Baxter became a 22-year-old struggling actress and a single mother of two. She turned to her well-connected stepfather. With the help of Fields, she began her professional career with supporting roles in the critically panned horror film Ben (1976), and in the political thrillerAll the President's Men (1976), which starred Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford.

In film, television and on stage, Meredith Baxter is noted for her accessible portrayals of intelligent, independent women who struggle with the challenges before them. Baxter achieved success early in her career with a string of hit television series including "Bridget Loves Bernie," the critically-acclaimed drama "Family", and most notably, the long running and extremely popular "Family Ties." Meredith made a seamless transition to drama after seven years as one of America's favorite sitcom stars and quickly became one of the most sought actors for television movies.

Baxter relishes the challenge of characters in stories that evoke thought, even antagonism, and is often courageous in her choice of roles. In 1991, she earned an Emmy nomination for her performance as the lead character in "A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story." She reprised her acclaimed role in "Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick, The Last Chapter." In 1993, Baxter earned another Emmy nomination for her performance in the CBS School Break Special, "Other Mothers," portraying the lesbian mother of a teenager who encounters prejudice.

Over the past few years, Meredith has made about thirty-five movies for television. Besides the Betty Broderick movies, some of the most notable include:

* "Winnie," the extraordinary true story of a retarded woman struggling for her own voice to be heard.
* "Darkness Before Dawn," the true, painful train-wreck-of-a-story about a woman desperate to end her drug and alcohol addiction.

* end her drug and alcohol addiction.

* "My Breast," a black comedy about the true story of journalist Joyce Wadler’s successful battle with breast cancer.

* "After Jimmy," for award winning director Glenn Jordan, the story of a mother who must come to terms with the suicide of her eldest child.

A force behind the camera as well, Meredith formed her own production company to develop and produce her own material, and currently has several television projects in various stages of development. Under her own banner, Baxter executive-produced her most recent TV series, "The Faculty" for ABC. She has served in the same capacity on a number of her movies for television, including "My Breast," "Betrayed: The Story of Three Women," "Darkness Before Dawn", and "The Long Journey Home."

On the stage, Baxter’s credits include "Spine,"" Butterflies Are Free," "Guys and Dolls," " Talley’s Folly," and many different productions of "Love Letters" in theaters across the country. In addition, as an artist-in-residence at Dartmouth College, she starred in "The Country Wife," and appeared and co-produced the stage presentation of "The Diaries of Adam and Eve." This production was later taped from a Dallas stage for broadcast on PBS. The production of "Vanities" in which Meredith starred was taped from the stage and broadcast on HBO.

Meredith had a cameo role in the Robert Redford/Dustin Hoffman feature film "All the President’s Men" and co-starred in several others. Most recently, Meredith completed the independent feature film, "Elevator Seeking" and movies for CBS, "Holy Joe", and "Down Will Come Baby", "Miracle on the 17th Green", and "The Wednesday Woman".

Meredith has devoted much of her time to speaking out on issues about which she is passionate. A champion of women’s rights, she is an active supporter of NARAL and Planned Parenthood. For her work on "My Breast"," she received a special award for public awareness from the National Breast Cancer Coalition. Meredith is a member of the board of The Center to Prevent Handgun Violence and has lobbied extensively on behalf of the Brady Bill, the National Crime Bill and gun control measures. Meredith has also been working with members of the California Senate and Assembly on state legislative matters.

Over the last few years, Meredith developed a line of skin care products. The initial intention had been to correct her own dry skin problem; the product was so good, however, that she decided to bring it to the public. The original line was test-marketed with great success on the Home Shopping Network for one year. After much urging, Meredith developed a full gift line of skin care products, as well. These products are available in fine gift stores around the country.

Because life has been kind to Meredith, she was looking for a way to share the good fortune. She decided to take her concern about breast cancer prevention into the business area. She created a foundation and arranged that a portion of the profits from the sales of all her skin care products goes to the Meredith Baxter Foundation for Breast Cancer Research. The intent is that funding will go toward prevention and research, including the funding of free mammograms for low-income women.

Meredith is the mother of five children. The youngest, twins, Mollie and Peter, are now attending different colleges on the East coast.

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 2009, she is guest starring in season two the web series We Have To Stop Now.

In recent years, Baxter has also created a skin-care line, Meredith Baxter Simple Works, which helps raise funds for her breast-cancer research foundation. She is also a spokesperson for Consumer Cellular, a cell phone company advertised as providing a cheaper cell phone alternative for senior citizens.

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