“The Young and the Restless” has nabbed a TV legend! “Family Ties” alum Meredith Baxter has signed on to the long running CBS soap, and based on the network’s description of the character it sounds like she’s nothing like Elyse Keaton.
On Monday, TV Guide reported that Baxter will play Maureen, a "charming, intelligent, middle-class woman who has always aspired to a more privileged life than she's had. She appears kind and sympathetic, but can be quite manipulative.” Baxter’s character will buddy up with soap icon Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott) to kick back some cocktails and she will also be “crossing with several key players on the 'Y&R' canvas."
The fact that her “Y &R” character will be a heavy drinker is interesting. In 2011, Baxter detailed her own battle with alcohol in her memoir, “Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame and Floundering.” In the book, she recalled that while filming “Family Ties” she would sneak alcohol on the set and drive home with a tumbler of wine between her legs.
She later explained in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that she was “crazed and reckless” at the time, but her ex-husband David Birney told People that the book was "an appalling abuse of the truth," calling it “kind of fairy tale.” From some of the stories in Baxter’s memoir, it seems as though her real life has been kind of a soap opera.
The 67-year-old actress, who came out as a lesbian in 2009, has TV ties that date back to the early 1970s, when she guest starred on popular shows of the era like “The Partridge Family” and “Police Woman.” In 1972, she teamed up with then hubby David Birney to star on the short-lived sitcom “Bridget Love Bernie.” And while she won an Emmy for her role on the 1970s drama “Family,” it’s her starring role as liberal mom Elyse Keaton on “Family Ties” (1982- 1989) that she’s best known for.
Meredith Baxter’s stint on “The Young and the Restless” begins on Monday, September 8 and will continue through the fall.