NEWSMAKERS || Baxter of ‘Family Ties’ reveals she’s a lesbian

Baxter of ‘Family Ties’ reveals she’s a lesbian

NEW YORK — Meredith Baxter, who played mother Elyse Keaton on the 1980s TV series “Family Ties,” has revealed that she is a lesbian.

“I am a lesbian, and it was a later-in-life recognition of that fact,” the 62-year-old actress said in an interview Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show.

Baxter said she has been in a relationship with her girlfriend, a general contractor, for four years.

“Some people are saying, were you living a lie? And, you know, the truth is, not at all. This has only been in the past seven years,” she said.

Baxter has been married three times, including to David Birney, her co-star on the ’70s TV series “Bridget Loves Bernie.” She is the mother of five children.

Boyle debuts at No. 1

NEW YORK — Move over Beyonc . Step aside Taylor Swift. There’s a new queen of pop, and her name is Susan Boyle. The British talent contestant-turned-singing sensation sold just more than 700,000 copies of her debut album, “I Dreamed a Dream,” debuting at No. 1. Her record label, Columbia Records, says that not only gives her the best first week sales of 2009, but also the best-selling album debut by a woman in the Billboard SoundScan era.

The 47-year-old Boyle became an instant star when she appeared on “Britain’s Got Talent” this year.

Most fascinating people

NEW YORK — Michael Jackson’s children are among Barbara Walters’ most fascinating people of the year. ABC says Walters’ upcoming special, “The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009,” will include a profile of the late King of Pop’s kids: Paris, Prince Michael and Prince Michael II (known as Blanket).

The list also includes pop-culture sensation Lady Gaga, famous mother of eight Kate Gosselin, glam rocker Adam Lambert, record-breaking NFL quarterback Brett Favre, South Carolina’s first lady Jenny Sanford, comedian-filmmaker Tyler Perry, TV pundit Glenn Beck and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The 10th fascinating person will be announced on the show, which airs Wednesday.

Today’s birthdays

Singer Andy Williams is 82. Singer Jaye P. Morgan is 78. Actress Mary Alice is 68. Singer Ozzy Osbourne is 61. Actress Daryl Hannah is 49. Actor Brian Bonsall (“Family Ties”) is 28.

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