Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering

Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering

by Meredith Baxter


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“I remember Sarah asking me, when I’d just begun therapy with her, what I looked for in a man.  After a few moments of silent, tense deliberation I had it.  ‘Hair,’ I blurted. ‘He has to have hair.’”
Meredith Baxter is a beloved and iconic television actress, most well-known for her enormously popular role as hippie mom, Elyse Keaton, on Family Ties. Her warmth, humor, and brilliant smile made her one of the most popular women on television, with millions of viewers following her on the small screen each week. Yet her success masked a tumultuous personal story and a harrowing private life. For the first time, Baxter is ready to share her incredible highs, (working with Robert Redford, Doris Day, Lana Turner, and the cast of Family Ties), and lows (a thorny relationship with her mother, a difficult marriage to David Birney, a bout with breast cancer), finally revealing the woman behind the image.

From her childhood in Hollywood, growing up the daughter of actress and co-creator of One Day at a Time Whitney Blake, Baxter became familiar with the ups and downs of show business from an early age. After wholeheartedly embracing the 60s counterculture lifestyle, she was forced to rely on her acting skills after her first divorce left her a 22-year-old single mother of two. Baxter began her professional career with supporting roles in the critically panned horror film Ben, and in the political thriller All the President's Men.

More lucrative work soon followed on the small screen. Baxter starred with actor David Birney as the title characters in controversial sitcom Bridget Loves Bernie. While the series only lasted a year, her high-profile romance with Birney lasted 15 volatile and unhappy years. Hiding the worst of her situation from even those closest to her, Baxter’s career flourished as her self-esteem and family crumbled. Her successful run as Nancy on Family was followed by her enormously popular role on Family Ties, and dozens of well-received television movies.

After a bitter divorce and custody battle with Birney, Baxter increasingly relied on alcohol as a refuge, and here speaks candidly of her decision to take her last drink in 1990.

And while another ruinous divorce to screenwriter Michael Blodgett taxed Baxter’s strength and confidence, she has emerged from her experiences with the renewed self-assurance, poise, and understanding that have enabled her to find a loving, respectful relationship with Nancy Locke, and to speak about it openly.

Told with insight, wit, and disarming frankness, Untied is the eye-opening and inspiring life of an actress, a woman, and a mother who has come into her own.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307719317
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 03/06/2012
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.22(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.83(d)

About the Author

Meredith Baxter has been an actor for 40 years and has five children.  She achieved early success in the comedy Bridget Loves Bernie; the acclaimed ABC drama Family and the popular NBC sitcom Family Ties. Baxter makes appearances speaking on breast cancer, domestic violence, alcoholism and general life experiences.  She lives in Santa Monica, California with her partner, Nancy Locke.

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Untied 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 98 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never read a celebrity tell-all, and only picked up Untied because I have enjoyed watching Ms Baxter's work over the years. Her story is brutally honest, at times heartbreaking and frustrating, and ultimately triumphant. I did not expect it to be quite so captivating. The book is easy to read, hard to put down, and when I finished, I felt like I was saying goodbye to a friend. (Strange, I know, but true!). Definitely worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was very impressed with how open and honest this book is. It's good to see someone take responsibility for their actions. I felt like she was in the room telling me these stories. It says something for her acting skills - I always thought Elyse Keaton was a very strong and confident woman. Turns out that the woman playing her was anything but!
bk85 More than 1 year ago
I put this book down once or twice to read and sleep. Meredith is an honest, down to earth person who admits her faults. She outlines her career over the years and adds in great details of her personal life. She doesn't hide from the embarrassing or pretend that she is or was the perfect wife or mother. Since I recently read the new Rob Lowe autobiography, I can say that Meredith's book is 100 times better. Lowe wrote a resume that was about 300 pages and Meredith wrote a story with meaning, morals and messages.
gayle hall More than 1 year ago
i purchased this book on my Nook Color. i didnt expect to find myself so enthralled with this book but I was. when i had to put it down it was to sleep, work or shower. i feel like reading it again. i most likely will. I laughed frequently at Meredith's humor and honesty. I loved the book and am sorry it had to end.
TeNNiSMoMAZ More than 1 year ago
Fascinating story of AMeRiCaS FaVoRiTe TV MoM. Meredith's courage and grace revealed throughout. I found impossible to put down, it was so easy to relate to her style, wit, and perspective. Writing style engages the reader from the outset. Her ability to open up about the most intimate details of her life with great candor and authenticity is rare in Hollywood these days. Thanks for sharing your story, I highly recommend this book!!! <3
tatler More than 1 year ago
i must have read a different book. i have loved Merideth since she played Nancy Maitland on Family along with James Broderick Kristy McNichol and Gary Ftank back in the late 70's. Through the years she has handled herself with grace and dignity through so much pain and abuse and seems to have raised amazing children and come out the other side intact. I admire the woman she has evolved into and her bravery in sharing her story
yellowroseNC More than 1 year ago
I was amazed at the way Ms Baxter put her most intimate life in a book for all to read. I found it to be honest....funny...sad...and very engrossing. I enjoyed reading and..found it hard to put down. The sweet TV Mom gave me an insight to her typical Hollywood upbringing...her parenting...her life in drugs and her wine days. I admire Ms Baxter and wish her all the happiness she so richly deserves.
dilsgranny54 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book even though I'm not gay! Meredith puts her life on the line and taught me to be a better woman in the face of my past abusive relationships!! Kudos to you Meredith!!!! EMPOWERING!!!! Jody Schlecht
jovilla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting memoir of the star of Family Ties and many other shows---her difficult marriages, raising 5 children, and finally coming out as gay.
Cisley More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed Meredith Baxter's book. I read it some time ago and have been puzzled by the low ratings of her book. I have enjoyed her acting since Bridget Loves Birney and really enjoyed her on Family. An easy, interesting read and well worth the money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jeterino More than 1 year ago
A very well written and come from the heart book. A keeper to read over again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Suprisingly the whole lesbian switch was a bit glanced over. I did enjoy the overall biography though.
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That fact is definitely clear throughout Meredith Baxter's memoir. And what a journey it has been for her. At times the book is a bit stream of consciousness and the time shifts in it, which was a bit confusing, but overall it's a well-written chronicle of Baxter's journey to herself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, when i started reading i couldnt put it down. She is an inpiration to woman who are afraid to come out of the closet.
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Angela Maylin More than 1 year ago
Loved this read more than I thought possible. I was curious about her, thus the initial start, but became captivated. I appreciated her honesty and openess and ponder a lot about how the circumstances we are brought up in and our own subsequent choices really do shape our lives for years to come! Great reminder to watch the choices we make for our children and ourselves! I could have done without the occasional swearing and the name dropping with resumes for each, but overall something that will leave a lasting impression!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago