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She Retired over 20 Years Ago, Now Kristy McNichol Comes Forward

In the 70s and 80s, Kristy McNichol lit up the screen as a beloved teenage icon in hit shows like Family and Empty Nest, winning the hearts of millions with her captivating talent and magnetic charm. With two Emmy awards under her belt, she had become one of the most beloved and popular stars of her generation. However, just as suddenly as she had risen to fame, she vanished from the limelight and retired from acting before turning 30. What led Kristy McNichol to depart from Hollywood, and what has she been up to since then? Join us as we delve into the captivating journey of Kristy McNichol, uncovering the incredible reason why she emerged from a 20-year silence with a story of courage, love, and resilience that will leave you in awe. Stay tuned for a remarkable tale like no other.

Factsverse Presents: She Retired Over 20 Years Ago, Now Kristy McNichol Comes Forward

McNichol’s Early Life and Rise To Fame

Kristy McNichol’s journey to fame began in Los Angeles, California, where she was born on September 11, 1962. As a child actress, she landed several commercial gigs before skyrocketing to mid-to-late ’70s and ’80s television fame with her breakout role as Buddy Lawrence on the intense drama Family in 1976. The series propelled her into the spotlight, and the world watched her grow up on-screen from the age of just 14.

McNichols was nominated for the Emmy Award for Best Supporting actress in a dramatic series for three consecutive years beginning in 1979. Of those three nominations, she ended up taking home that coveted prize twice in 1977 and 1979.

Kristy McNichol’s career continued to grow after her role in Family. In 1977, Kristy McNichol made a guest appearance in The Carpenters at Christmas TV special, where she showcased her musical talent alongside the duo.

Kristy McNichol with Jimmy McNickol

The following year, she collaborated with her brother Jimmy McNichol on their first music project, Kristy and Jimmy McNichol, which was released under RCA Records and produced by Phil Margo and Mitch Margo. The album included two singles, “He’s So Fine,” a cover of The Chiffons’ catchy 1963 hit, which peaked at 70 on the Billboard chart, and “Page by Page.” The siblings promoted their album at New York’s Studio 54 discothèque, where they mingled with other celebrities. Kristy also appeared in The Carpenters: A Christmas Portrait TV special the same year.

During that period, Kristy was one of the most prominent teen stars and made several talk show appearances, including The Mike Douglas Show and Dinah!, as well as featuring in various celebrity-based sports programs such as Battle of the Network Stars. She starred in the critically acclaimed TV movie Summer of My German Soldier in 1978, while her debut in Black Sunday’s film career got cut.

Kristy McNichol in 1980

Kristy began to make her mark in the film industry in 1980 when she played a leading role in the coming-of-age movie Little Darlings, alongside Tatum O’Neal, with Matt Dillon and Cynthia Nixon in supporting roles. The movie was well-received, with many critics applauding her performance. That same year, she starred in The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia with Dennis Quaid and Mark Hamill, earning an unprecedented six-figure salary for a teenager. In 1981, she co-starred in Neil Simon’s drama Only When I Laugh and received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Despite her success, Kristy experienced a setback in 1982 when she was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress for her role in The Pirate Movie. Additionally, in 1984 while filming the lead role in the comedy-drama Just the Way You Are in France, she had an emotional breakdown, which caused filming to halt for a year.

She reportedly struggled with sleeplessness, strange dreams, and a dangerous amount of weight loss while working on the project. McNichol revealed to People in 1989 that the pressure of being a child star was one of the contributing factors to her breakdown.

Despite continuing to work as an actor for several years after the incident, most notably playing Barbara Weston on Empty Nest, a spin-off of The Golden Girls, McNichol left the industry after lending her voice to the animated series Invasion America in 1998.

She Came Out in 2012

In 2001, Kristy McNichol made the surprising announcement that she was retiring from acting after a successful career spanning 24 years. Her publicist issued a statement on her behalf, explaining that she wanted to focus on playing her most significant role – herself. McNichol expressed that the decision to step away from the industry had been the best thing for her personal happiness and well-being, despite disappointing some of her fans who had hoped she would continue acting.

She told People in 2014 that it was a positive decision for her, though she also said she would “never say never” to acting in the future.

“I was on the big stage between ages eight and 30,” McNichol told People via ABC News. “I left show business for a variety of reasons, but a big one was my interest in learning what else there is in life.”

Kristy McNichol and Elisabeth Brooks

Tragically, McNichol lost a close friend and former lover, Elisabeth Brooks, to cancer in 1997, just four days before McNichol’s 35th birthday.

Following her retirement, McNichol found fulfillment teaching acting at a private school in Los Angeles and dedicating herself to charity work. However, speculation about her personal life continued for years until 2012 when she publicly announced that she was a lesbian and had been living with her partner, Martie Allen, since the early 1990s. McNichol hoped that by coming out, she could support young people who experience bullying due to their sexual orientation. In the same statement, she also clarified that she had no real intention of returning to acting.

McNichol’s Relationship With Martie Allen

Martie Allen was born in 1962, but there is not much information available about her early life. After finishing high school, she traveled to Hollywood to pursue a career in show business. Though she landed a few minor TV roles, she did not achieve the level of success she had hoped for. However, it was in Hollywood that she met her partner and future love interest, Kristy McNichol.

The two began dating in 1992, during which time McNichol’s acting career had already begun to wane. While filming her comeback series, Empty Nest, McNichol was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and ultimately had to drop out of the show to focus on her health. Martie stood by her side through this difficult period and the two moved in together.

Martie remained a constant source of support for McNichol as she attempted to rebuild her career. Although McNichol only landed a few minor voice-over roles during this time, Martie never gave up on her. She even stayed by McNichol’s side during the filming of her final episode of Empty Nest.

Despite setbacks, Martie continued to encourage McNichol even when she announced her retirement from acting in 2001. She was also right there by her side when Kristy finally worked up the courage to come out in 2012.

Kristy McNichol Today

Kristy McNichol may have left behind her acting career, but that didn’t mean she left the world of entertainment entirely. Instead, she chose to impart her vast knowledge and experience to aspiring actors as an acting teacher in Los Angeles. Over the years, she shared her wisdom with countless students, eager to learn from a seasoned professional who had been in the industry for over two decades.

Now at the age of 60, Kristy McNichol leads a peaceful and contented life with her adorable miniature dachshunds by her side. When she’s not relaxing at home, she enjoys practicing yoga or hitting the tennis court.

Kristy McNichol Net Worth

Numerous sources have reported that Kristy McNichol’s estimated net worth is currently between $7 to $8 million. Although she has retired from acting, McNichol continues to earn income from royalties of her TV series and movies that are still popular with fans. In addition to her acting career, McNichol also worked as a brand ambassador for several notable companies during her time in the public eye, which contributed to her financial success.

Despite her financial success, McNichol has remained humble and grounded. She has never let her wealth define her and has always prioritized using her resources to give back to her community. McNichol has been actively involved in numerous charitable organizations over the years and has generously donated both her time and money to support causes that she is passionate about. Through her philanthropic efforts, McNichol has made a positive impact on the lives of many people and has inspired others to do the same.

Advocacy For LGBT+ Community

Kristy McNichol’s legacy will be a multifaceted one, encompassing both her impressive acting career and her advocacy for mental health and the LGBTQ+ community.

As an actress, McNichol left a lasting mark on the entertainment industry with her compelling performances in film and television. From her breakthrough role in the TV series “Family” to her iconic turns in movies like “Little Darlings” and “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” McNichol proved herself to be a versatile and talented performer with a range of abilities. Her work continues to inspire and entertain audiences to this day.

In addition to her acting career, McNichol’s decision to come out as a lesbian in 2012 was a significant moment in her life and career. As a public figure, her openness and honesty about her sexuality helped to increase visibility and representation for LGBTQ+ individuals. She has since become an advocate for mental health awareness, having shared her own struggles with bipolar disorder in the hopes of destigmatizing mental illness and encouraging others to seek help.

We’re just about out of time here, but before we wrap things up, we’d love to hear from you. Which one of Kristy McNichol’s film or television credits stands out the most to you? And did you know that she came out as a lesbian a decade ago? Let us know in the comments section down below. And as always, thanks for watching!

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