Meredith Baxter (born June 21, 1947, in South Pasadena, California) is an American actress. Her mother was the late actress and sitcom creator Whitney Blake, and her father is Tom Baxter, who worked in radio. Her stepfather is sitcom writer, Allan Manings.
She was married three times, most notably to actor David Birney, whom she met on the set of the sitcom Bridget Loves Bernie; she played his wife on the series. After the show was canceled, the couple became engaged and were married in 1974. From that date until their divorce in 1989, she was credited as Meredith Baxter Birney.
She is best known for her work on two television shows. She first became popular in Hollywood playing the role of Nancy Lawrence Maitland on the television drama Family from 1976 to 1980. She received two Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, in 1977 and 1978. The second role she is well-known for is ex-flower child Elyse Keaton on the sitcom Family Ties, which aired from 1982 to 1989. (Coincidentally, Meredith was born on the same date as her Family Ties husband, Michael Gross.)
Since Family Ties was cancelled, Meredith has been directing and starring in TV movies. In 1992, she was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Special for her work in A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story, in which she plays a divorcĂ©e who kills her ex-husband and his young lover. She was nominated for a Daytime Emmy award in 1993 for her work as a lesbian raising a young son in a CBS after-school special. In 2000, she once again played the mother of a character played by Michael J. Fox, this time on the sitcom Spin City.