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. She then made a seamless transition to drama after seven years as one of America's favorite sitcom stars, quickly becoming one of the most sought-after 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.
A force behind the camera as well, Baxter 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 the television 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.
Baxter 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. Baxter 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. She has also worked with members of the California Senate and Assembly on state legislative matters.
Because life has been kind to her, Baxter 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 her line of 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.
What I've Learned So Far...A Memoir of Family, Fame and Floundering
A beloved and iconic television star, Meredith Baxter is remembered and appreciated for her perceptive portrayals of intelligent and independent women. In this lighthearted and moving presentation, she recounts her colorful life as an actress as well as her troubled family life and shares how she overcame many obstacles to achieve health, happiness, strength and acceptance. Audiences love her candid and upbeat style during a question and answer session.
My Breast (Cancer): When a Role Becomes a Reality
After playing a breast cancer survivor, Meredith Baxter became passionate about finding a cure for the disease. She started a research foundation funded by her skin care line. And then shockingly, she received her own diagnosis. Meredith tells how she learned to shed her shame and share her own story with women across the country. Meredith encourages other survivors to arm themselves with a sense of humor and a proactive schedule for follow-up care. She also explains the latest research findings.
Substance Abuse: The Road to Recovery
Like so many alcoholics, Meredith Baxter thought she had her drinking under control. After all, she was juggling young motherhood (five children!) and a successful acting career. But it nearly came crashing down after she flubbed a movie role. Confronted with the possibility of losing her livelihood, she entered recovery for substance abuse. Nineteen years later, she is still sober. With poise and pride, Baxter shares her inspiring success story of overcoming her fears and regaining control of her life.
Breaking Family Ties: Empowering Ourselves to Overcome Domestic Violence
In Meredith Baxter's most famous role, she was mom to one of the happiest, healthiest families on television. In real life, her family life was far from picture perfect. She married three times, and struggled through various levels of domestic abuse before finally finding freedom and contentment. Meredith speaks honestly about her own journey inward to confront the low self esteem and negative feelings that kept propelling her into bad relationships. She encourages others to find the courage to look inside as well, so they too can break the bad patterns that lead to unhealthy choices and bullying relationships. Meredith discusses how to move beyond the role of victim and to learn to trust those protective instincts that now serve her so well.
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