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Alexis Meade

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Template:Infobox characterAlexis Meade (born Alexander Spencer Meade) is a fictional character from the ABC dramedy series Ugly Betty. She was initially played by Elizabeth Penn Payne (when she was listed in the credits as "Masked Lady") and is now played by Rebecca Romijn.



Alex Meade has been a background presence in the series since its debut. The former editor-in-chief of Hudson magazine, he is believed dead by the world at large. His example as an editor was held over Daniel Meade's head by his father Bradford and his "death" cast a pall over the entire Meade family, contributing to his mother Claire's alcoholism. Alexis Meade has appeared repeatedly since the first episode, swaddled in bandages. She had been conspiring with Wilhelmina Slater to take over MODE magazine from Daniel. She had also been actively trying to implicate Bradford in the death of former MODE editor-in-chief Fey Sommers. Dialogue between Alexis and Wilhelmina fueled speculation that the mysterious bandaged woman was actually Sommers.

In the January 18, 2007 episode In or Out Daniel told Betty that Alex had been killed in a skiing accident. In the final moments of the episode, Wilhelmina told the mysterious bandaged woman, now out of her bandages, that her "skiing accident" had done her a world of good, and called her "Alex Meade." The woman corrected Wilhelmina, advising her that she was "Alexis" now.

Alexis attended Fashion Week in the episode I'm Coming Out. After initially flirting with Daniel, she told him her true identity, explaining that she had felt from a very young age that she was "in the wrong skin." This revelation put Daniel into a state of shock. Wilhelmina insinuated Alexis into the MODE "up and coming designers" fashion show. Following the show, Bradford began a speech but Alexis interrupted him, announcing her former identity as Alex moments before police arrested Bradford for the murder of Fey Sommers.

Following Bradford's arrest, Alexis moved to consolidate her control of Meade Publications and tried to install Wilhelmina as editor-in-chief of MODE, but Daniel obtained an injunction to block her actions. At the instigation of Betty and their mother, Alexis and Daniel set aside their differences and formed a fragile détente.

While Daniel always thought their father treated Alex like the golden child, Alexis has informed him that the real reason Bradford spent so much time taking part in characteristically masculine activities (the Boy Scouts and football games are mentioned) was to try and "cure" Alex's desire to be a woman. When Alex told his father he was going to undergo the sex change, his father said that if he did, Alex would be cut off from the family forever and that Bradford would rather have Alex dead. She also said the reason she didn't want to tell Daniel the truth was because she feared her brother "was just like Dad."

Alexis later has a change of heart about Daniel; when Wilhelmina remind her that he is the enemy and should be fired in favor of Wilhelmina as Editor-in-Chief, Alexis tells her that she won't fire him because he is her brother. That statement results in Wilhelmina ending their partnership for good and endeavoring to drive a wedge into their sibling rivalry.

Alexis was furious when she found out that Daniel was having an affair with Grace Chin.

After Bradford was released from jail and had Alexis fired, Claire Meade, the actual legal owner of MODE, appoints Daniel and Alexis as co-editors-in-chief in an effort to keep the Meade family from falling apart. But although Daniel makes some effort to share, it appears that Alexis might still be trying to outdo Daniel even as they try to work together for the sake of the family. In the meantime, Wilhelmina bides her time and tries to sow chaos through fueling the siblings' enmity.

Alexis is also hampered by Bradford's scheme to get rid of her, and with the help of Wilhelmina, the two pay off Rodrigo Veloso, a creative director at sister publication "MODE Brasil", to get her out of the United States by having him romance Alexis after she falls for him. Alexis later finds out about Rodrigo's deal after she picks up his phone and overhears the conversation, prompting Alexis to dump him. Because of this, Alexis has now made her hatred towards her father a major priority as she makes a phone call to a hired hitman about getting rid of someone " her life."

In the season one finale, an intoxicated Daniel stumbles into her office, his drug use out of control. She takes him to the hospital in her father's car. As they are driving they find out that the brakes of the car have been cut by the man that Alexis hired to kill her father. The Season finale ends with them crashing the car, and lying unconscious beside each other inside.

At the beginning of Season 2 she is in a coma. She wakes up from her coma at the end of the first episode. However, she has partial retrograde amnesia, and does not remember the past two years or becoming a woman. A few episodes later while attending a dinner hosted by Bradford and Wilhelmina she remembers again after witnessing an angry exchange between Bradford and Daniel, mirroring Bradford's own treatment of Alexis prior to her transition.

In the weeks that followed, Bradford decided to bond with Alexis, which didn't sit well with Daniel, who he supected of taking advantage of her by using her amnesia as a way to reestablish their previous father-son bond they had, which would come to a tragic end at Bradford's wedding to Wilhelmina when he had his fatal heart attack. Before his death he ask the two to be civil and forgave them. But that union would not last long: After learning that Bradford (in an unfinished taped will) left no clear successor for the CEO spot at Meade Publications, Alexis and Daniel resumed their competitive rivalry with a paintball contest. Unfortunately after Daniel sees an injured Alexis and after he picks her up, she takes Daniel's paintgun and shoots him, making her the President/CEO of Meade Publications.

Alexis, along with Daniel and Claire, were also responsible for terminating Wilhelmina's job at MODE after learning of her attempt to manipulate the Meade family, especially her attempt to marry Bradford. However, in the season two finale, after Wilhelmina returns to Mode through her plan involving Bradford's baby, Alexis makes her Editor-in-Chief after Wilhelmina points out to her how easy running the magazine is, and how much easier it would be if Daniel left.

Critical responseEdit

Slate named the character as one of the reasons they were looking forward to the return of the show in fall 2007.[1]


It was announced that in Season 3, the role of Alexis will be demoted from a regular character to a recurring character. Romijn stated that she is unhappy with the direction the writers have given her character. Her exact words to the New York Post's Popwrap were:

"They made a tremendous amount of changes, especially with the writing staff [during the writers' strike]. And while I know I'll be coming back next season, with all the changes, I'm not sure they can take care of my character they way they have been. So I'll be leaving, back in a recurring capacity, but time for me to leave and find something else."

E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos recently reported that Alexis will ultimately exit the show in Season 3 due to Romijn's pregnancy.


  1. Patterson, Troy (21). Oh, How We've Missed You!. Slate magazine. Retrieved on 2007-09-23.

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