Kristy McNichol Biography
Kristy McNichol whose full name is Christina Ann McNichol is a famous American actress, comedian, singer, and producer. She is an Emmy award-winning actress and appeared in the early films and television in the 1970-1980s as a young actress.
McNichol was born in Los Angles, California on September 11, 1962, and was the daughter of her parents, James and Carolyn McNichol. They were a middle-class family. Her father worked as a carpenter while her mother worked many jobs including secretary, a cosmetic person, and also as a movie extra. When she was three her parents got divorced so Kristy and her sister Jennifer and two brothers Jimmy and Tommy were raised up by her mother. McNichol first appeared in commercials with her brother Jimmy McNichol and later, she appeared as a guest appearance on her own. She acted in the tv drama Family for which she won two Emmy Awards. After that, she started a singing career. She starred in several movies over the next years but due to her bipolar disorder condition, she retired from the acting industry in the 1990s.
Kristy McNichol was a famous child actor of her time. Just at the age of 6, she shot her first commercial. Both she and her brother Jimmy were trying to make their careers. At the time their mother Carolyn was also their manager. Her first major rule as a series regular came with the role of Patricia Apple in the CBS television series Apples Way (1974). Patricia Apple’s role as a young city girl who moves to her father’s small hometown in Iowa along with her parents and three other siblings. Much of this was drama centered on the clash between the family’s urban ways and their new rural community. But Unfortunately, the series failed to find many viewers.
McNichol’s big break was when she starred in the television series Family. As teenager Letitia “Buddy” Lawrence, she was the youngest member of the Lawrence family. Sada Thompson and James Broderick played her parents on the series. Meredith Baxter-Birney appeared as her older sister, Nancy, who left her husband while she was pregnant, and Gary Frank was cast as her older brother, Willie, who was in his late teens. Quinn Cummings later joined the family as Annie Cooper, their adopted daughter.
In addition to her career in the tv, she started a film career and started her career with her first film The End (2018) which was a dark comedy type of film. And on the small screen, she made a number of small television films like Like Mom, Like Me (1978) and Summer of My German Soldier (1978). She also acted in Blinded by the Light (1980), with her brother Jimmy. After her tv series Family ended McNichol took her film career to the next level by co-starring with fellow child actress Tatum O’Neal in the movie Little Darlings. The plot revolved around a bet between their two characters about who would lose their virginity first while staying at a summer camp. The film got mixed reviews from the audience but McNichol got praise from the viewers for her acting of Angel, a tomboy who was from the wrong sides of the tracks.
The same year she landed two major film roles. She co-starred with Dennis Quad as a sister and brother musical duo in the movie The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (1981). It was met with tepid reviews, but her next effort brought her strong praise when she acted in Only When I Laugh (1981) a dramatic comedy film. Critic Robert Ebert claimed that she turned in a wonderful performance.
No doubt she faced many struggles throughout her life and career. Her next films project The Pirate Movie (1982) was not a success and turned out to be a flop in the box office. During this time period, she made a film White Dog (1982) but it wasn’t even released in the United States because of its racist programming. The plot was a dog who was trained to attack people with black skin and because of its racist nature, it wasn’t released in the US. She had her confidence shaken by this recent losing streak so she continued on traveling to France to film Just the Way You Are. In the movie, McNichol starred as a talented flute player with a lame leg. While hiding her physical handicap by wearing a fake cast, her character falls for a photographer while in Europe. McNichol was struggling to hold herself together during filming. She told the press that she could hardly sleep while filming this movie.
After some time, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder which is also known as manic depression.
Later when she was ready to work again, she found new roles difficult to come by but she did end up working on Just the Way You Are (1984). Concerns about her mental health and walking in the middle of shooting has definitely ruined her reputation. For a brief time, she explored another career in 1885 as a hairdresser. By the mid-1980s she started landing a few parts in such unforgettable films as the thriller Dream Lover (1986), You Can’t Hurry Love (1988), and Two Moon Junction (1988). Later on, in 1993, she decided to quit acting because she was having difficulties controlling her bipolar disorder. She did some voiceover in the animated series Invasion America in 1998 before retiring for good.
Kristy McNichol’s family consists of her two brothers Thomas McNichol and Jimmy McNichol and her sister Jeniffer Lucas. Her mother Carolyn McNichol Lucas supported her through her career. She couldn’t spend much time with her father as the parents got divorced when she was a kid. She came out as a lesbian, hoping that her public acknowledgment of her sexuality would help others and got married to her spouse/partner Martie Allen.
Currently, McNichol is living happily with her wife in Los Angeles. She now devotes her time to such pursuits as yoga and tennis and also is a huge fan of dogs and owns several miniature dachshunds.