KRISTY MCNICHOL Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Christina Ann McNichol                                                           
Born: 11 September 1962 Los Angeles, California, USA                                   
Christina Ann McNichol (born September 11, 1962 in Los Angeles, California) is a       
former two-time Emmy Award winning Golden Globe nominated actress best known for       
her role as "Buddy" Lawrence on the TV drama Family, and as Barbara Weston on           
the sitcom Empty Nest. Her career in television and film began at the age of           
six having spanned more than 25 years, peaking somewhere in the early 80's. She         
is also the sister of former child actor Jimmy McNichol. McNichol's career came         
to a sudden close when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1994.                 
Kristy McNichol began her career appearing with her brother Jimmy McNichol in           
commercials and later on her own in guest appearances on such series as Starsky         
and Hutch, The Bionic Woman, Love American Style and The Love Boat. Her first           
stint as a series regular came with the role of Patricia Apple in the short-lived       
ABC television series Apple's Way (1973). The McNichols got a break when Desi           
Arnaz offered their mother an opportunity in the television industry for her           
talented children.                                                                     
In 1976, McNichol got another huge break being cast as Buddy in Family drama           
series (1976-'80) for which the actress earned Emmy Awards for Best Supporting         
Actress in a Dramatic Series in 1977 and 1979. Many future actors and actresses         
also guest starred including Michael J. Fox and Leif Garrett. The popular drama         
series Family was considered a breakthrough for its time in dealing with real           
life issues and was television producer Aaron Spelling's favorite of all his           
productions. McNichol was considered the series' main drawing attraction that           
catapulted her into teen icon status within a few short years.                         
In 1978 at the height of her stardom on the drama series, McNichol, along with         
her brother Jimmy, released a self-titled album Kristy & Jimmy McNichol, which         
featured a hit single "He's So Fine." The McNichols partied at New York's               
infamous Studio 54 with other big name celebrities like Brooke Shields to               
promote the album. McNichol went on to appear on the Merv Griffin Show,                 
Carpenters Christmas Special and ABC celebrity sports competitions.                     
When Family went off the air in 1980, McNichol began a promising feature film           
career with the hit teen coming of age story Little Darlings starring with Tatum       
O'Neal. McNichol began performing with other top talent like Dennis Quaid in The       
Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (1980) where she received an unheard of six       
figures for at the age of 19. McNichol also appeared in one of her first films         
with her pal Burt Reynolds in The End. This shortly followed with Kristy being         
nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in Only When I           
Laugh, by Neil Simon in which Marsha Mason (The Goodbye Girl) received the             
Golden Globe for Best Actress (1981). McNichol later was considered to have             
broken new ground for future young actresses, topping the $1,000,000 mark for           
one of her early film roles. McNichol also performed as supporting actress for         
lead actress Susan Sarandon in a made for TV movie Women of Valor about nurses         
being incarcerated in a Japanese concentration camp during WWII.                       
In 1982, McNichol's career took a dip when she starred in the cult musical film         
The Pirate Movie alongside Christopher Atkins of The Blue Lagoon fame. The film         
flopped in spite of a rather eccentric multi-million budget. In another sign of         
a downturn in McNichol's career, later that year McNichol walked off the set of         
a film set in the French Alps after having suffered a nervous breakdown. Though         
later completing the film, McNichol had damaged her reputation considerably in         
the film industry due to her being paid top dollar for her roles. B-film offers         
along with various made for TV movies seemed to be the only avenues for McNichol       
outside of television from thereon out. McNichol continued to work accepting           
limited roles in a series of B-films.                                                   
In 1988, McNichol made a brief comeback with a popular TV sitcom playing the           
character of Barbara Weston on the NBC's Empty Nest. McNichol had to leave in           
1994, when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. McNichol returned to the           
series for its final episode in 1995 with a warm welcome from the cast that had         
missed her and her talents considerably.                                               
Her last public statement to her fans was in June 2001, when she said:                 
"A lot of people have wondered what I've been up to. I retired from my career           
after 24 years. My feeling was that it was time to play my biggest part — MYSELF!     
I must say that it has been the best thing that ever happened to me. So many           
fans are disappointed that I'm not currently acting, however some may not               
realize that the process I'm in at this time is necessary and vital for my             
personal happiness and well-being."