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Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  1,121 Ratings  ·  150 Reviews
"I remember Sarah asking me, when I'd just begun therapy with her, what I looked for in a man. After a few moments of silent, tense deliberation I had it. 'Hair, ' I blurted. 'He has to have hair.'"
Meredith Baxter is a beloved and iconic television actress, most well-known for her enormously popular role as hippie mom, Elyse Keaton, on "Family Ties." Her warmth, humor, an
Hardcover, Large Print, 441 pages
Published July 6th 2011 by Thorndike Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30)
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Joe Scholes
Mar 08, 2011 Joe Scholes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Greg Rowland
Shelves: read-in-2011, memoirs
I really enjoyed this book, especially since I've been keeping an eye on the talk shows to see if she would be promoting the book. Listening to her talk about her life experiences at the same time as reading about them was really good. She's a very good writer! Her life history isn't particularly fascinating, but the way she tells it is poignant and entertaining - often very funny.

I particularly liked reading about her experiences in alcohol recovery. It's pretty cool to read so many similar exp
Laura  Williams
"I look forward to learning from someone who truly sounds like she has been there, fought the fight, won/lost the battle, came back wearing the t-shirt and bothered to take the time to reflect on her experiences." Just saw her on Oprah and was thrilled to hear that an actress I appreciated is as eloquent and as flawed (as we all are) to share such meaningful parts of her life. I have just come out of a bad marriage and her words were chilling to me - I picked up the book (afraid and eager both a ...more
Sue Seligman
Mar 12, 2011 Sue Seligman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of classical tv shows
Recommended to Sue by: saw her on tv
This is an engrossing memoir written by a well-known actress who has been a role model for years. From playing the naive Catholic girl who marries a Jewish guy to the calm, liberal mom on one of my favorite shows, Family Ties, and countless tv movies, Meredith Baxter has been a staple in my cultural awareness for years. I watched the reunion of the Family Ties cast on the Today Show, and I watched her come out a year or two later, also on the Today Show. So when I saw her promoting the book on t ...more
Apr 02, 2011 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Meredith Baxter's memoir, "Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering," burrows into her childhood moments and what it was like growing up the daughter of an actress; then we discover her feelings of loss and abandonment when she believed herself to be simply an afterthought in the lives of her parents. The story gives the reader a peek into her life before celebrity; and then takes us on the journey to that particular destination.

What we've known about this actor is the life we've only i
Mar 27, 2011 Darlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: WOMEN
Recommended to Darlene by: Some talk show she was on.
In all my years of drawing, I mostly did pictures of girls or horses or donkeys, the occasional parakeet. Only one male, from a TV Guide picture of David Birney. I saw him first on Love is a Many Splendored Thing. But now if I ever find that picture again I will tear it to fine dust!

I followed Meredith with both my Kindle and her voice on Audible. I am so happy she told her story. Though mine is different in many ways, I could relate to the feeling invisible, unworthy feelings she brought up. On
Mar 25, 2011 Susan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terribly written. Saw her on Oprah and her story of abuse by her ex-husband David Birney was very compelling, but she is not a writer.
Apr 17, 2011 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this quick autobiography of Meredith Baxter--best known as Elise Keaton, the mother on Family Ties. Baxter grew up in Hollywood and her childhood was far from being a fairy tale (her mother asked that her children call her by her stage name of "Whitney" instead of "mom" or "mother"). Although you might think being raised by such a person would repel their children from acting, Baxter found it was her niche and her tales of her entering the world of acting are interesting. I enjoyed lea ...more
Modern Girl
I picked up the book because I thought Meredith Baxter might have an interesting story to tell. The title is exactly true. The book is basically about her family life, details of working on various sets, and her loosing control emotionally and with alcohol. In the epilogue, she says that she's glad she didn't wait until she was 80 to write the book. I sort of wish she had. I enjoyed reading all the details, but with such a roller coaster of a life, I'm not sure if she's reached the place to look ...more
Laura Mallard
A decent memoir but at times you wanted to go back in time and shake Baxter for her poor choices. She does accept responsibility for her mistakes. One guarantee- you will never be able to stomach looking at David Birney again. What a jerk!
Jul 05, 2011 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs, nonfiction

First of all, very clever name. Meredith Baxter, star of TV movies and the classic family sitcom, "Family Ties," writes about her lack of mothering, three troubled marriages, parenting, drug use and alcoholism, bout with breast cancer, and eventually, her coming out as a lesbian.

"Family Ties" last three years were when I lived in Japan. I remember my parents or friends taping a bunch of the American TV shows I liked and sending me videotapes--they were p
Jul 10, 2011 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this read more than I thought possible. I was curious about her, thus the initial start, but became captivated. I appreciated her honesty and openess, and have thought a lot about how the circumstances we are brought up in - and subsequent choices we make for ourselves - really do shape our entire lives. Great reminder to watch the choices we make for our children and ourselves. I could have done without the occasional swearing and name dropping (especially the resumes that followed each), ...more
Lisa A. Carlson
Aug 04, 2011 Lisa A. Carlson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: memoir
As a woman who grew up in the era of sitcoms and dramas I remember fondly watching Family and Family Ties. Interesting that her of two most iconic roles have "family" in the title. What follows in her memoir is something much different. Meredith had for the most part an absent, selfish mother and her parents divorced early on. She spent a great deal of time with her two brothers and they found a way to survive being left alone too much of the time. She was a young adult fluid in the way of the 6 ...more
Nov 28, 2011 Pamela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ok, so I've always been a fan of hers mainly from being a Lifetime junkie. Movies like "Kate's Secret" and the Betty Broderick adaptations always suck me in and they will never get old. And of course, I feel obligated to mention Family Ties, an integral part of my adolescent TV viewing. Yes, this memoir was full of juicy stories of Hollywood, quirky families, and experimentation...but I found myself getting tired of reading how awful childhood and adulthood were for Baxter. It reminded me of how ...more
Jenna DeFrei
Meredith is so open and honest in this memoir, as well as a wonderful writer. Most of the time with memoirs or bios of actors, I get really bored when reading about their work unless it's something I'm familiar with. Not so with this. She doesn't over-do it, and she isn't riding some high horse. She's just down to earth, not trying to sing her own praises. It's amusing at times, sad at others; she brought me to tears a few times, and made me smile many times.
May 03, 2012 Sherri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who liked the shows "Family" or "Family Ties".
Recommended to Sherri by: The Cathy DeBuono Show on LA Talk Radio
Shelves: nonfiction, biography
I grew up in a dysfunctional family, but it wasn't as bad as Meredith's. Compelling and hard to put down because I could identify with so many defense mechanisms Meredith used, and how hard it is to overcome them. Therapy of some sort, formal or informal, becomes nearly constant throughout life.
Jun 30, 2012 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting life, interesting career, interesting woman. I enjoyed this book very much, and was actually surprised at how good it was. I have followed Ms. Baxter's career and always thought she was pleasant, attractive, and a decent actress, but not much more than that. Her actual story is quite riveting, and her candid way of telling it kept me turning the pages. There's no ego here, and that's always refreshing in the memoir of a celebrity. Her feelings about herself, her parents, her brothers ...more
Jul 18, 2012 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I loved this book. I could not put it down. I loved Meridith's charater in "Family" and loved her character in "Family Ties." She must really be an amazing actress for the rest of the world to not know that her home life was miserable. It amazes me that she could be so successful with such a low self-esteem and very little support from the ones that were supposed to love her. For her to put out her personal story is so brave and admirable. I recommend this book to everyone who thinks they have o ...more
Apr 03, 2015 Marla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say this book really surprised me. I never would have imagined Meredith to have the life behind the cameras as she did. Didn't know she drank so much and had an abusive husband. I'm so glad I listened to this as I was a huge fan of Family and Family Ties. Great as an audio book read by Meredith.
Oftentimes when I review a memoir I comment that I liked the authors honesty. How do I know the author is honest? I guess I never really know for sure but something in the writing offers clues. Usually they describe unflattering things about themselves and not make excuses. In this book, it seemed that Meridth went on and on about all of the awful things that were done to her and presented herself as a victim. She did mention some pretty awful things that she did as well but those were usually m ...more
Keith Chawgo
Living in London, I was quite oblivious over Meredith Baxter coming out in America so when I read the Prologue and it is about her coming out on NBC's Today Show - I was a little surprise. Unfortunately for the book, it is the only thing that surprised me.

The book was well written and she is a very intelligent person from what she writes. The book starts from birth and ends in around 2010/11 and although it does detail her life and her insecurities quite well, it is very vague on her working li
Jul 13, 2013 Joseph rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
utter drivel. a bore. the only reason I got this book was I understand how a woman comes out so late in life. however, I just ended up reading a bunch of fluff. spoiler alert: this autobiography seems ghost written. i felt that I had to force myself to read it just to get through it. I left it in a public place in hopes that some other gay dude like me will use it to kill time.
Nov 09, 2014 Steve rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
You know her and recognize her as Bridget in the controversial mixed faith marriage sitcom “Bridget Loves Bernie,” or in her later role as Nancy Lawrence Maitland in “Family” or as the TV mom Elyse Keaton in “Family Ties.”

As you will soon discover in the pages of this book, Meredith Baxter is not Bridget, Nancy or Elyse in real life. She comes from a very dysfunctional family, co-founded by a mother who didn’t want to be known as a mother and didn’t allow her children to even call her that. Mere
Teena in Toronto
A couple weeks ago I saw Meredith Baxter on "Oprah: Where are They Now" and was reminded about her memoir, which I thought would be an interesting read ... and it is.

Baxter is one of three children and her parents split up when she was young. Her mother, Whitney Blake had some success as an actress but put her acting dreams and ambitions before her children. She wouldn't let her kids call her "Mom" ... they had to call her "Whitney". Her mother's second husband, Jack, was a talent agent who also
Mar 21, 2016 Brigid rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 23, 2015 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a "Family Ties" fan, I'll admit I only really read this book because I wanted some behind-the-scenes information on the show. However, this book is so much more than that! This is the full story of Meredith Baxter.

This book starts out with Baxter's coming out story, including how it came about, and also the nerves she felt before it. Throughout it all, you see Baxter's signature humor. Before making the Today show decision (which occurred as a result of her story potentially being leaked by o
Kat Dietrich

Untied is a memoir by Meredith Baxter, long-time sitcom mother on Family Ties, and an actress on many made-for-tv movies.

I loved Family Ties, and always had a lot of respect for this woman, so I was very interested in reading her memoir.

I don't read a lot of autobiographies, because I am never sure of the "truth" behind the tale, so as in this case, I took everything with a grain of salt. However, most of this rang true. I had known she was an alcoholic, but was not aware how far disease took he
I just finished Untied and, frankly, don't know what to think. It is eminently readable and I enjoyed it, but as to its truthfulness, I have some doubt and I know exactly when that doubt struck me. At the very end of the chapter chronicling her marriage and abuse at the hands of David Birney, she says this:

"In no way is it my intent to hurt him any more than I think he intended to hurt me. I think he acted in the only way he knew how, to take care of himself. I don't think I was the target; I wa
Jan 23, 2016 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I was sorry to read that she was abused by her husband but glad she's happy now ....loved family ties when I was a kid
Angie Cain
Sep 21, 2016 Angie Cain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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