April 24, 2014

Tag Archives: Meredith Baxter

Oprah with guest Meredith Baxter

By Greg Hernandez
HollywoodNews.com: UNTIED: It was a very powerful hour of television on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ yesterday with guest Meredith Baxter.
The actress, out promoting her new memoir, is still very emotionally raw when talking about the abuse she says she suffered during her marriage to actor David Birney.
It was a deeply unhappy time that led to her drinking too much while playing the role of the mom on the popular sitcom ‘Family Ties.’ Michael Gross, who played her husband on the show, was a surprise guest and emotionally recalled when she once broke down on the set over her desperate unhappiness after hiding it for years.
“I felt a fraud in my own life…There was an intense desire for secrecy. ‘Don’t tell anyone that this goes on in the house’…I [didn't] want anyone to know the man I’m married to treats me this way.”
Three of Meredith’s five kids were also on hand as was her partner since 2005, Nancy Locke, and former TV son Michael J. Fox appeared via video with warm and supportive words.
Baxter says she was so emotionally shut down her entire life she did not even realize she was gay until after her third divorce. She added, however, that she never felt all that thrilled about men.
“I was a very conventional girl,” she said. “I was raised in a household where my mother got married and I thought that was what you did.”
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Elton John and royal wedding, Andy Cohen on Oscars and more

By Greg Hernandez
HollywoodNews.com: Elton John, who was a close friend of the late Princess Diana, has confirmed that he and partner David Furnish have been invited to Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton’s wedding in London next month.
Elton had told HollyScoop.com he was not expecting to be invited: “I don’t know them (princes William and Harry) very well. I’ve only met them twice – once when they were young and once at the Diana Memorial Concert… I knew their mother but that is the only thing. I’m not playing at the wedding. I haven’t been asked and I don’t expect to be asked.”
But in the end, Elton made the cut. He so memorably performed a special version of “Candle in the Wind” at Princess Diana’s funeral which ended up being an even bigger hit than the song was the first time around!
BOOK TOUR: Meredith Baxter’s appearance on ‘The Today Show’ yesterday certainly got a lot of buzz with her allegation that former husband, actor David Birney, had beaten her during their marriage.
Today, she is the guest on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ as she continues to promote the heck out of her new memoir ‘Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame and Floundering.’
Baxter played the oldest daughter on the ABC drama ‘Family’ before going on to star as the mom on the long-running NBC comedy ‘Family Ties.’ She later received an Emmy nomination for playing convicted murderer Betty Broderick.
Oprah has lined up her ‘Family Ties’ hubby Michael Gross as a surprise guest and Michael J. Fox, her TV son, appears via a videotape message.
NOT A FAN: You know how most people, myself included, were delighted by the performance of the choir from Staten Island’s PS 22 at the end of the Oscar telecast?
They sang “Over the Rainbow” and were joined by all the night’s winners. I thought it was a graceful and uplifting way to wrap up an evening that had few highlights or surprises.
But Bravo’s Andy Cohen hated it!
To read more from this article go to Greg In Hollywood.
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News from LA Gay & Lesbian Center’s 39th Anniversary Gala

By Greg Hernandez
HollywoodNews.com: RED CARPET SCENE: Among the celebrities on hand were Lily Tomlin, Kathy Griffin, honoree Jane Lynch, presenters Ryan Murphy and Matthew Morrison, Queer as Folk alum and board member Peter Paige, True Blood star James Frain, Kat Graham of Vampire Diaries, saxophonist Dave Koz, and blogger Perez Hilton.
Morrison was the first big name to arrive. He posed for photographers then was hustled off by a publicist who explained that he had to prepare for the show (he was presenting to Lynch approximately three hours later). But Matthew did return to the red carpet to join Lynch, Griffin and Tomlin for a group photo. The trio of ladies seemed delighted to be in each other’s company and all worked much of the press line. Unfortunately, I was so far down that none of them got to Greg In Hollywood!
CONTROVERSY: When guests arrived at The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on Saturday night for the LA Gay & Lesbian Center’s 39th Anniversary Gala, they had to navigate their way past protesters fro UNITE HERE Local 11. LA hotel workers who are in the process of negotiating a new contract.
It was explained at the dinner that The Center found itself between a rock and a hard place when they found out about a month earlier that there would be pickets outside. If they had canceled, the non-profit (which is unionized) would have lost approximately a half-million dollars in revenue.
A decision was made to carry on despite the pickets and special tribute was paid to the hotel employees including those inside the dinner.
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THE CROWD: The dinner drew more than 1,100 guests and was expected to raise at least $600,000. Host Lily Tomlin joked: “We will soon have to hold this event at The Hollywood Bowl.” But one person who was not in the crowd was legendary Carol Burnett who had been at the hotel earlier in the day rehearsing for her part in the show. She received word that her brother-in-law had died and had to leave to be with her family. Meredith Baxter was also reportedly present although I did not see her with my own two eyes. Tomlin referred to her as “Meredith Birney Baxter.”
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Closing thoughts on Outfest 2010

By Greg Hernandez
HollywoodNews.com: Still to come are more coverage of the Coming Out In Hollywood panel from Saturday and interviews with some of the Outfest Award winners.
But I wanted to wrap up my daily coverage of Outfest 2010 with some closing thoughts on this year’s event which ended last night.
I found myself too wiped out to make the trek to Ford Ampitheatre for the closing night screening of Spork and the after party at Madame Tussauds. The 8:30 p.m. start time just stretched the weekend a bit too much for your faithful blogger.
Anyway, I saw over two-dozen movies and shorts programs over the 11 days and attended several of the panels.
Greg’s Faves:
Favorite Movies (three-way tie): BearCity, Fit (pictured above), A Marine Story
Favorite Short: Gayby
Favorite Documentary: Out in the Silence
Favorite Panel: A Conversation With Jane Lynch
Seen and Heard:
*** A man inside the lobby of the DGA on Saturday sees Meredith Baxter and says: “I know you from somewhere.” The actress gives him a minute to figure it out then helps him along: “Family Ties?” The guy lights up and says: “That’s it! What are you up to now?” This poor uninformed dude clearly did not know that Miss Baxter had come out publicly last December and was minutes away from being the star attraction at a panel inside the DGA 1 Theatre.
*** I had this exchange with a festival goer as we walked from parking structure to the DGA Theatre: “I really loved An Ordinary Couple. It makes you believe in love.” The guy looked shocked and said: “I hated it. It made ME believe in anonymous sex.”
*** After sitting through the confusing Chinese movie Spring Fever, a guy sitting in my row turned to a friend and said: ‘It was like three bad movies rolled into one!” I could not have agreed more. As much as I wanted to like it – to follow it and understand it – it lost its way about halfway through and so did the audience.
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To read more go to GregInHollywood.com.

Chely Wright joins handful of gay celebs

By Greg Hernandez
HollywoodNews.com: Chely Wright’s very public coming out this week has been accompanied by a book, an album, and several high-profile interviews. Lance Bass and Clay Aiken came out on the cover of People, Adam Lambert on the cover of Rolling Stone, Meredith Baxter dramatically came out on The Today Show while Sean Hayes took the old-fashioned route: the cover of The Advocate.
In contrast, others have been more low-key: Ricky Martin simply posted an update on his Twitter account sharing that he is a gay man, Neil Patrick Harris and T.R. Knight released short statements. Broadway star Jonathan Groff (Glee) casually mentioned being gay while taking part in the national equality march in Washington D.C. last year.
To read more go to GregInHollywood.com.

Howard Bragman talks about country singer Chely Wright coming out

By Greg Hernandez
Chely Wright will appear on The Today Show tomorrow and be featured in this week’s People Magazine telling her story of being closeted lesbian while navigating the world of country music stardom.
Her coming out coincides with the release of her autobiography Like Me: Confessions of a Country Singer and a new album Lifted Off the Ground.
Chely chose to work with veteran Hollywood PR guru Howard Bragman on her big reveal. He’s the same man who also worked with Chaz Bono who last year announced her transition from female to male and with the coming outs of Meredith Baxter, Sheryl Swoops and John Amaechi and also worked with Martina Navratilova, Isaiah Washington, and Paula Abdul, among others.
To read more go to GregInHollywood.com.