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Kristy McNichol is an Emmy award-winning actress and singer, active on film and television during the 1970s-1980s.
Kristy McNichol - Full Biography (45:21)
Kristy McNichol - Teen Star (1:01)
Kristy McNichol - Family (1:10)
She first captured hearts as a fresh-faced teen actress in the TV drama Family, a role for which she earned two Emmy Awards. Inside, though, Kristy McNichol was battling a debilitating bipolar disorder.
Kristy McNichol was a teen idol and superstar back in the late 70's. Here, look at her life when the cameras were off.
Kristy McNichol's ABC television show "Family" was a huge hit and its release on DVD enabled a new generation to enjoy Kristy as the spunky tomboy, Letiticia "Buddy" Lawrence.
Growing up, Kristy McNichol wasn't alway the happiest little girl.
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When she was ready to work again, McNichol found new roles hard to come by. She did, however, finish up work on Just the Way You Are, which was released in 1984. Still, concerns about her mental health, and the possibility of her walking away from another film while in production, definitely dampened her work prospects. McNichol even briefly explored another career entirely, working for a time in 1985 as a hairdresser.
By the mid-1980s,
McNichol started landing a few parts in such forgettable films as the thriller Dream Lover (1986), You Can't Hurry Love (1988) and Two Moon Junction (1988). Her work on the small screen, however, led to a career revival with the situation comedy Empty Nest. She starred as a single police detective who lives with her widower father and divorced sister.
In 1993, McNichol had to leave the popular series because she was experiencing some difficulty managing her bipolar disorder, according to a report in People magazine. She returned for a few episodes two years later, as the series was ending. In the late 1990s, McNichol did some voiceover work for the animated series Invasion America before retiring from acting.
After years of avoiding the spotlight, McNichol shared some very personal news with the media in 2012. She came out as a lesbian, hoping that her public acknowledgement of her sexuality would help others. McNichol, according to her spokesperson, "is very sad about kids being bullied ... She would like to help others who feel different."
McNichol lives in Los Angeles. The former actress now devotes her time to such pursuits as yoga and tennis. She is also huge fan of dogs, and has several miniature dachshunds.
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