01/13/2017 04:32 EST

Family Ties' Meredith Baxter Felt 'Unburdened' After Coming Out

Meredith Baxter was known as the beloved TV mom Elyse Keaton on “Family Ties,” which is why it was a huge surprise when she came out on national television in 2009.

“I’m a lesbian,” she told Matt Lauer on “The Today Show.” “It was a later in life recognition of that fact.”

By the time Baxter came out, she had already been married three times and had five children, which made the reveal even more unexpected.

“After coming out on national television, I felt unburdened and that’s the way I feel now,” the 69-year-old said on “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” in 2013. “I don’t have anything I’m trying to hide.”

Watch the video above to hear more.

Baxter is now married to longtime partner Nancy Locke. The two tied the knot in 2013.

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