Meredith  Baxter

Meredith Baxter

(Topics: Substance Abuse, Domestic Violence, Cancer)1, One of TV's favorite mothers, Meredith appeared on the popular show, "Family Ties". While performing critically acclaimed comedic and dramatic roles in TV and over 50 movies, Meredith Baxter also battled alcoholism, breast cancer, domestic abuse, and other challenges while raising five children.
Now a cancer survivor, successful entrepreneur, and recovering alcoholic for 20 years, she also recently released her memoir. From fame to floundering and back, she offers an inspiring story of courage, hope, self-acceptance and happiness. Her upbeat, winning style that earned her the admiration of fans is now a part of her presentation to audiences across the country.

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BIOGRAPHY

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.

Baxter served as executive-produced on her television series "The Faculty" for ABC. She performed in the same capacity on a number of her own movies for television, including "My Breast," "Betrayed: The Story of Three Women;" "Darkness Before Dawn;" and "The Long Journey Home."

On TV and in life, Baxter has devoted much of her time to speaking out on issues about which she is passionate. For hospitals, private organizations, women's auxiliaries and the National Institutes of Health, Meredith has spoken on a variety of topics, including breast cancer, domestic violence and abuse, substance abuse/alcoholism, addiction and recovery,and women's rights.

Because life has been kind to her as a breast cancer survivor, 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 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.

In 2011 Meredith released her autobiography, "Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering." She is the mother of five grown children and lives with her partner in Santa Monica, California.

Programs

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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    "This was the best luncheon ever - Meredith Baxter was great! I never thought I would laugh so hard and enjoy myself so much. I loved hearing Meredith's story, she didn't talk about the problem, but focused on the solution."

    - Council on Drugs and Alcohol Houston

    "I can't say thank you enough for making our event last night our best event and most memorable we have ever had! We have never had a speaker ask to be present during our survivors march - let alone someone who greeted our survivors. I cannot tell you how many hearts you touched and there was not a dry eye in the tent. A lot of our survivors come every year for that march, and they will NEVER forget this year!"

    - Emanuel Medical Center

    "We were truly pleased and inspired to have you as our speaker at the Advocacy Summit. I know it meant a lot to everyone to hear your personal story and thoughts about cancer. Thank you for being a memorable part of our first summit!"

    - National Cancer Institute

    "Meredith's speech was great - so many remarked about how honest and real she was and how courageous she was. She was very approachable and I don't think she realizes the deep impact she has on so many people, not just as a celebrity, but as a genuine human being who has grown and triumphed over adversity."

    - Comtrea (Domestic Violence)

    "It will be hard to pick our next speaker after having you. Everyone liked the fact you were 'real.' You not only told your life story, but told how you were overcoming your problems and learning to forgive."

    - SW Louisiana Womens Conference

    "Meredith Baxter was fabulous. She came across as a strong survivor who has confronted her own role in the abuse without judging those who are still on the road to self discovery. As Advocate and former victim, she seemed so at home with us."

    - Voices of Courage Luncheon

    "Thank you for talking (and listening) to our guests before the luncheon. You gave our event an A+ rating. Your message clearly communicated the pervasiveness of domestic violence and its impact on women, children and families, and you presented new information they won't forget. I am touched that you provided a contribution - you are only the second speaker to ever do so in 21 years"

    Safe Haven of Tarrant County