03/31/2012 09:14 am ET Updated May 23, 2012

Meredith Baxter On Why Coming Out Was 'Glorious' (VIDEO)

Meredith Baxter, 64, has been an actress for more than 40 years. She is best known as Elyse Keaton -- the flower-child mom of Michael J. Fox's straight-laced Alex Keaton on program "Family Ties," which ran from 1982 to 1989. But baby boomers may remember her in her first sitcom, "Bridget Loves Bernie" on CBS in 1972, and her run on the show "Family" from 1976 to 1980.

What they likely didn't know is that Baxter struggled with alcoholism for years, putting herself and her children in danger. Baxter has been married three times and has five children, and in December 2009, when the tabloids began writing about her relationship with a woman, she came out about as a lesbian in an interview with Matt Lauer on the TODAY show.

In this moving video, Baxter talks about how she conquered alcohol, and why coming out was the best decision she ever made.