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David Birney, Meredith Baxter’s ex and father of her three children, died at the age of 83 — inside their brief marriage.

The pair married and had 3 kids as a couple. Their marriage, though, was short-lived, as they filed for divorce in Los Angeles after 15 years.

Years later, the couple’s relationship remained strained, and Meredith Baxter accused David Birney of being violent in her 2011 memoir, which he disputed. Here’s a look at their marriage and the death of David Birney.

Birney, who was born on April 23, 1939, earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Dartmouth College in 1961. He opted to pursue theatrical arts at the University of California rather than law at Stanford.

He enlisted in the army and was a member of the Showmobile program, which provided entertainment at military locations. Birney’s theatrical career took off in 1965 when he won the Barter Theater Award and spent a season performing in plays.

Birney made his Broadway debut two years later. His TV career skyrocketed after landing a role in “Bridget Loves Bernie,” in which he co-starred with Meredith Baxter.

Baxter was born on June 21, 1947, to a radio announcer and his actress wife, Whitney Blake. Baxter grew up wanting to be an actress like her mom.

Even though she had been on “The Doris Day Show” and “The Partridge Family,” no one recognized who she was until the early 1970s. She got her big break as the female lead in “Bridget Loves Bernie” in 1972.

Before landing her part alongside Birney, Baxter was a small-time actress whose prior notable performance was as the sister in the rodent horror film “Ben.”

Baxter and Birney met on the set of “Bridget Loves Bernie.” On their first weekday, they convened at the initial reading table and had lunch.

Baxter and Birney were having romantic candlelit dinners within two weeks. He was pleasant, beautiful, agile, lithe, and intense, she stated.

He enchanted her, even if she felt he was a touch arrogant. Baxter has no recollection of Birney proposing to her, yet their marriage was discussed once she discovered she was pregnant.

The actress was well aware that she would not have an abortion and that she did not want to raise a child on her alone. Her maid of honor informed her she didn’t have to marry, yet she went ahead with it anyhow.

Birney desired distinctive wedding rings, but his jeweler informed him that they would not be completed in time for their April 10, 1974 wedding. When they found the exact ring Birney was looking for on a server, he offered to purchase it from her.

The server was originally concerned that her boyfriend, Seamus, would be disappointed because he had just given her the Claddagh ring. However, she also wanted to preserve their wedding day, so Baxter wore ‘Seamus’s’ ring for the whole 15-year marriage.

In her memoir, Baxter claimed that their marriage affected them in many ways. They bought a four-bedroom house together and battled about Baxter’s surname change.

She didn’t want to have his name at first, but she agreed if it would make him happy. He was underwhelmed when she showed him the official paperwork.

Kathleen ‘Kate’ Jeanne, the couple’s oldest child, was born on December 5, 1974. Baxter, who was giving birth for the third time, claimed Birney pressured her to undergo a normal birth without any medicines, which she considered absurd.

They had twins, Mollie Elizabeth and Peter David Edwin, through C-section on October 2, 1984, since the infants were breech.

Birney was emotionally, physically, and verbally violent during their 15-year marriage, according to Baxter’s account. She also suspected him of having affairs, but she had no evidence.

She remembered his hitting her more than once, and she would sometimes not think of getting up to prevent being slapped again. Baxter then turned to booze to help him cope with the abuse. She did, though, become sober in 1990.

They divorced legally on September 13, 1990. Birney highlighted in her biography that Baxter regularly appeared in court with different lawyers and therapists and was misleading about their relationship.

He said that her memoir was a rehash of the things she told in court, and that they were untrustworthy. Birney, who thought it was preposterous that she couldn’t recapture a single case of delight or joy from their relationship.

For years, Baxter kept her sexuality a secret, only telling family and friends. Despite the fact that she played a lesbian mother on “Other Mothers” in 1993, she just came out publicly in 2009.

She had been seeing her girlfriend, Nancy Locke, for four years and had been living together for two years when she came out to the world.

After going through treatment to cope with marital troubles, her mom’s death, and breast cancer, the actress said that her awakening came from being sober and living a more open life.

In 2013, she married her long-term partner, Locke, in a small ceremony attended by close friends and family, during which the couple wrote handwritten vows.

Birney never remarried, although Baxter married twice more following their divorce. His second and final wife was Baxter. He did, however, have his “life partner,” Michele Roberge, who stated that the actor had Alzheimer’s disease.

The 83-year-old classically trained stage actor died on April 29, 2022, at his home in Santa Monica. On receiving the tragic news, Baxter conveyed her affection and sympathy to Birney’s life partner, Roberge, whom she claimed had tenderly cared for him for years.

She also considered the kids she shared with Birney, who had recently lost their dad.

Aside from Roberge, his three kids with Baxter and Baxter’s kids from a former marriage survive him. Birney also left behind two grandkids, Glenn and Gregory, as well as his siblings.

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