Meredith Baxter Comes 'Untied' (continued)
When we last left our girl Meredith Baxter, she was being pandered to various casting agents by her PIMP, I mean manager/stepfather Jack. Finally, her whoring around Hollywood paid off and she was cast in the CBS series "Bridget Loves Bernie." The "Bernie" in this series about a young Irish Catholic elementary schoolteacher (Baxter) who falls in love with a Jewish cab driver, was none other than Mr. David Birney. Meredith states that she was immediately attracted to the "extremely handsome, dark haired, intense, lithe, and graceful" 32-year-old actor. Though his looks were beyond enough for her to lose her panties; the real attraction came from his "confidence," "opinions," and his love of classical music with ability to quote from Shakespeare and Yeats. To me, he sounds like a serious drag. Kind of similar to those "upper crust" queers that go to the opera, spend lots of money at the Human Rights Campaign dinners and frequent the East Side Club for sex with a fellow intellectual homosexual. Basically, Meredith was just happy to have another man pay attention to her. In true Baxter style, she fucked him within less than a week of knowing him!
"Bridget Loves Bernie" made its debut in the fall of 1972 to huge ratings. Along with the big ratings, came BIG controversy. Jewish and Catholic groups both complained and threatened CBS because of the "scandalous" interfaith relationship that was portrayed on camera. Baxter states that CBS received threats to boycott sponsors. As a result, CBS made the series extremely bland and took out many of the jokes that had to do with both religions. Before I go any further, I'd like to announce to all the "212" readers that as a former Catholic, I would very much like to have relations with a Jewish man. I find you all extremely HOT. Please contact Kenneth if interested. Sorry, back to the book.
As the scripts became more mundane each week, Mr. Birney became Mr. Bitchy!! Oh yes, according to Mare, he felt that the dialogue was beneath him and complained more than the character of his Jewish mother. Meredith became fed up with his negativity and said "DAVID, THIS IS NOT MASTERPIECE THEATER! IT'S JUST TELEVISION." Whoops! This was NOT the thing to say as Meredith claims he suddenly and unexpectedly bitch-slapped her to the ground. While on the ground, she did notice his "stylish Florsheim zippered stack-heeled boots." Score one for fashion, Mr. Birney!! Eventually, because of the controversy, the show was canceled. (It was the highest-rated television program ever to be canceled after only one season.)
Meredith continued to date David and do classic television movies like "Cat Creature," the story of a woman who is the "reincarnation of a murderous Egyptian cat-headed priestess." Quality, Meredith. Quality. Apparently, David didn't feel that these were quality productions. Meredith claims that he made fun of her constantly. She had enough and escaped to Palm Springs. Within a few days, David showed up in Palm Springs and Meredith desired his tight, jock body. There was one problem, she FORGOT her diaphragm. Oh well, she fucked him anyway and this time got knocked up! To avoid having a bastard child, she reluctantly agreed to marry David. Hating the idea of marrying him, she invited NO ONE to represent her at the wedding aside from her mother, Whitney, and new stepfather (just for trivia's sake: Meredith claims her mother Whitney "created" the CBS hit "One Day at a Time." Norman Lear loved the idea but hated Whitney resulting in that terrible slut Bonnie Franklin being cast as "Ann Romano.")
No longer a single lady, Meredith claims that David "forced" her to add "Birney" to her last name. He got her to do this by constantly introducing her to people as Meredith "who are you/what's your name?" You know, the same way we address her today, "MEREDITH WHO???" Anyway, she claims he continued to be a complete bastard to her even refusing to "allow" her give birth with a "saddle block." He wanted complete "natural" childbirth. At this point, she should have told him to have the kid out of his asshole. But she didn't.
Shortly after the birth of their daughter, Meredith was cast in the ABC series "Family," which starred future alleged muff muncher Kristy McNichol.
Meredith states that she found acting with McNichol "grueling." She felt that Kristy "gave nothing" in her performance. Well guess what, little Kristy won EMMY AWARDS for her performance, something Meredith cannot claim. During her five years on "Family," Meredith claims that David was unable to find any roles that merited any success. She claims he was "distant" toward their children and often called her a "bimbo." Well, if the shoe fits, girl...
All this crap finally brings us to what she is known for, "Family Ties." Writer-producer Gary David Goldberg and his wife were invited over to the Baxter-Birneys for dinner one evening. Goldberg was considering David for a lead in a series he was creating called "The Bureau." Mare claims that Goldberg found David's behavior toward her "embarrassing" and "mean." He didn't want to work with him in anyway. He DID want to work with Meredith. SCORE! "Family Ties" was originally written to be a one-hour drama. However, NBC thought it could be funny if it was a sitcom about two hippie parents with three conservative children. Our favorite child star, Tina Yothers, was the first to be cast with Meredith signing on shortly after. Meredith claims that David DESPERATELY wanted to be cast as "Steven Keaton." He would send Meredith to meet with Goldberg on a daily basis to ask that the role be offered to him. Goldberg basically said "yeah, whatever" and killed that idea fast. This THRILLED Meredith. She hated her husband and couldn't imagine having to work with and live with him. In lieu of David, Goldberg hired the studly, yet effeminate Michael Gross. Gross was a trained stage actor who had just finished performing in "Bent" (mmm hmmm..I know what you are all thinking). Finishing out the cast were newcomer Justine Bateman and Michael J. Fox. Fox was added last as NBC felt that "no one as short as he could ever be a star." He got the job only after Matthew Broderick turned it down. Meredith writes that she felt the casting was bizarre. She felt no one looked like anyone else and that people wouldn't believe they were actually related. Hey, it's FICTION, calm down.
As most of us know, unless you are lucky enough to be too young to remember, Fox's character of "Alex P. Keaton" took off. This disturbed Meredith. She bitches in the book that although he was "comedy gold," SHE was promised the lead role. By the second season, Baxter's character "Elyse" was given supporting role status. Scripts were focused on Fox and the other kids. To this day, Meredith is hurt that no one at NBC apologized for her being upstaged or explained to her why this was happening. Clue: IT'S A BUSINESS. Fox brought in the ratings, you didn't. Perhaps this is why she decided to start DRINKING on the set everyday.
Realizing that taking LSD and thinking you are being chased by the Smurfs on a set isn't a good career move; Meredith turned to the bottle. Miss Baxter, 'cause she's nasty, kept a tumbler of white wine with her at all times on set. At first, there wasn't much of a problem. She was just giddy and having fun with Michael Gross who was quite the practical joker. Mr. Gross and Baxter often played practical jokes on each other during taping. During one particular fun time, both decided to throw chocolate pudding at each other. How cute! They ruined the set and pissed off the craft services caterers. Other fun times included Meredith putting popcorn in her nostrils and blowing them out. Yes, kids, this is the SHIT she writes about. Eventually, Gary David Goldberg got tired of her antics and banned drinking from the set. Meredith didn't care, she put a tumbler of white wine in the nursery that was built to accommodate her newborn twins! Meredith began to become sloppy. After a performance in a play, Baxter got wasted and woke up the next morning in a cul-de-sac with her feet in the gutter.
According to Mare, David continued to be abusive throughout the run of "Family Ties." "Forcing" her to get pregnant again, calling her show a "piece of shit," ignoring the children and slapping her around were common themes in her life with him. She learned to how to "make him cum" quick so that she didn't have to endure sex with him (we all know that means she put her finger in his ass while blowing him...). Eventually, she found her inner strength and said "don't hit me ever again." Magically, it worked. He stopped. However, after 15 years of marriage she was done. She filed for divorce after "Ties" ended. Like any woman scorned, she cut up his clothes and threw them out. She then started to try and seduce married men. Like a pro, she was a success at fucking a few. What a whore!
I think it's important to note that David Birney ADAMANTLY DENIES the abuse allegations. He recently spoke to People magazine (did Howard Bragman get him that story?) and stated her claims are "an appalling abuse of the truth." He calls this memoir "a kind of fairy tale." In addition he states that she made the divorce ugly by claiming the children had "repressed memories of abuse" in court testimony. He states this was her attempt to conduct a "relentless and brutal assault for eight years" to get sole custody of their three children. All custody suits were dismissed by the court on each occasion.
I have read 210 pages of a 290 page book. So far, I have read NOTHING about her having ANY feelings of attraction to other women. If I don't get some "Stanley Steamer Carpet Cleaner" action in the final 80 pages; I will throw this book at Miss Baxter the next time she comes to my town in a dinner theater production.