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Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering

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Overview

“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 ...

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Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering

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Overview

“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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307719317
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/6/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 215,425
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Meredith Baxter

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 96 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(18)

3 Star

(19)

2 Star

(13)

1 Star

(20)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 97 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 3, 2011

    1 and a half stars

    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

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2011

    Excellent

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2011

    ::A RiVeTiNG ReaD::

    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

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2011

    I will never see Family Ties the same way again!

    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!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    An autobiography that is 100% different than Rob Lowe's

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2011

    simply said...it's enough

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2011

    A very slow read

    I found this book boring. If I had been Meredith I would have keep most of this story to myself. She could have told her story of child neglect and sexual abuse much better without letting the world know how many drugs she was one. She seemed so naive. I just think this is a story she should have keep to herself. It was so boring I couldn't finish it. I loved Meredith as an Actor but feel different about her now.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2011

    Good Read

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    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

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Did not care for the book

    She has to blame everone for her un happiness grow up you are and old woman now your are gay get a life

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2012

    What an unhappy person!

    I finished this book becasue I purchased it on Nook - and I don't like to spend money and throw it away!

    I didn't have an opinion of M. Baxter before I started, bit now I dislike her completely! what a self-centered, individual she was and probably still is. she blames everyone for the fact that she couldn't stand up to her mother, fathers or husbands - what's her solution? turn gay!

    When I read an autobiography, I always feel I've grown closer to the person writing. not this time - no wonder she had marriage problems, she holds the reader at the same arms length that she held the husbands.

    Bottom line, don't bother reading. I wouldn't give her one star except she had some nice family photos that she shared. but that was the end of her sharing.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2012

    WONDERFUL

    A very well written and come from the heart book. A keeper to read over again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    Corny

    When i got this from the mpl iwas dissapointed it was boring that i took it back the same day and dropped in the book drop wouldnt bring itinto the bld i dont care that shes gay ut does she have to brag ?icome out ofthe closet every day when ipick out my days warddrobe&i dont air it im straight butim not married as i chose to be that way it also sickens me when the presidentof theusa agrees with same sex marriages well what do youwant from a first black president?hes aniddiot a real iddiot

    0 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2012

    Some Parts Glanced Over

    Suprisingly the whole lesbian switch was a bit glanced over. I did enjoy the overall biography though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Life's a journey

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Great book

    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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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    Captivating

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2011

    Interesting but NOT Riveting.

    Interesting about her past but very light on her current life and the feelings and emotions behind her life changes.

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  • Posted April 20, 2011

    Would not recommend.

    Not that interesting, sorry Meredith.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2011

    great read!

    Just asI have enjoyed watching Meredith in tv for many years this book was just as entertaining and quite surprising. i highly recommend this book.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 97 Customer Reviews

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