Michael J. Fox's TV Mom Is Gay

"I'm a lesbian, and it was later-in-life recognition," Meredith Baxter said

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    "I'm a lesbian, and it was later-in-life recognition," Meredith Baxter said.

    Beloved TV sitcom mom Meredith Baxter revealed today that she is a lesbian who has been been involved in a serious same-sex relationship for four years.

    "I'm a lesbian, and it was later-in-life recognition," she told NBC's "Today" Show this morning.

    "Some people would say, well, you're living a lie and, you know, the truth is, not at all. This has only been for the past seven years."

    In a revealing interview with Matt Lauer, the iconic "Family Ties" actress known for playing Michael J. Fox's mother on the 1980s TV series confessed that she's been leading a double-life as a closeted lesbian for seven years.

    "I had a great deal of difficulty connecting with men in relationships," Baxter said this morning. "I assumed I was a bad picker ... It never occurred to me to think, 'Oh, it's me.'"

    Baxter, 62, said she came to the realization that she was gay late in life when she became involved with a same-sex partner and had an "awakening."  She said she is currently involved in a four-year relationship with a same-sex partner.

    The TV mom was prompted to tell her story as rumors about her sexuality swirled amid tabloid reports that she was on a lesbian cruise with a gal pal.

    "I wanted it to be my own words," she said.

    The actress, best known for playing mom Elyse Keaton on "Family Ties," has been married three times and has five children.