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Wednesday, March 2, 2011 Oprah Show Today - Meredith Baxter on Marriage, Abuse, Alcohol and Coming Out

By March 6, 2011

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In the 1980s Meredith Baxter played one of the most loved moms on primetime television as Elyse Keaton on the hit show Family Ties. Few knew that behind her seemingly perfect life lived a woman who was struggling to keep her reality a secret -- a reality that included an unhappy and verbally abusive marriage that affected not only her but her five children, and an addiction to alcohol that served to help her escape the pain. Over time Meredith Baxter found the courage to leave her marriage, but found true love in her life when she realized that she was a lesbian and with strength or fear or both, Meredith Baxter revealed her truth to the world so that she could finally live an authentic and honest life.

On Family Ties Meredith Baxter seemed to be living a happy and successful life, but she was hiding secrets from her co-workers of a painful home life. Three of Meredith's children -- Eva, Mollie, and Todd -- appeared on the show to support their mother and also share their experience of what she endured and how it had an impact on the entire family. Co-star Michael Gross, who played Steven Keaton, surprised Meredith on the show as he had been one of the very few people she allowed into her secret to help and support her. While it had been a number of years, it was great to see the couple back together on television, even if just for a short interview. Now with her partner Nancy, it is evident that while her past caused her deep pain, Meredith Baxter is now living a life free of secrets and full of happiness.

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