The Family Ties star started drinking heavily as her abusive marriage to actor David Birney fell apart, but she never thought it was a big issue until she got drunk for a nude scene in a movie.
She recalls, "I had a job that was really difficult for me... I was working in Canada and alcohol had just become a way to make it (life) OK and I was doing a movie and they were pushing me to do something in the nude, and I didn't want to.
"I thought, 'Well, the only way to do this is to get myself real snockered (drunk) and I did and I got through it.
"It was after that movie the producer took me to lunch in Los Angeles and said, 'We think you have a drinking problem... We tried to cut this (movie) together and your eyes are out of focus and we can't understand you.
"I was stunned... I'd always thought of myself as a good girl; I was there, I knew my words and I didn't create problems, and then they were perceiving me as a problem."
The producer's big reveal prompted Baxter to follow the producer's suggestion and sign up for a 12-step meeting to battle her alcoholism.