This likable performer of 1980s sitcoms and TV-movies branched out from light juvenile roles to more demanding work on stage and cable TV in the 1990s. Still best known as the academic underachiever and dedicated shopper Mallory Keaton on the hit sitcom "Family Ties" (NBC, 1982-89), Bateman entered show business after her younger brother Jason joined the final season of "Little House on the Prairie." She went to her brother's agency and soon found work in commercials by age 15. After initially reading for a small part in the pilot of "Family Ties," Bateman began her seven season stint as a sitcom regular in 1982. She garnered two Emmy nods for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work in the 1985/86 and 1986/87 seasons. While the character of Mallory did grow in complexity over the course of the series' run, Bateman displayed greater diversity in her outside projects.