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Kristy McNichol (1962)

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  Summary  

Christina Ann "Kristy" McNichol is an American actress.

McNichol is best known for her roles as Leticia “Buddy” Lawrence on the television drama series Family and as Barbara Weston on the sitcom Empty Nest. She is also the sister of former child actor Jimmy McNichol. McNichol retired from acting when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1992.

  Biography  

 early life and career
McNichol was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Carolyn McNichol Lucas, a business manager and actress, and Jim McNichol, a carpenter. She has two brothers from that marriage: Thomas and Jimmy McNichol. Her parents divorced when she was six years old. When McNichol was 19 her mother married Siegfried Lucas. In the same year Lucas and McNichol's mother adopted McNichol's sister Jennifer Lucas.

McNichol appeared with her brother Jimmy in commercials and later, on her own, in guest appearances on such other series as Starsky and Hutch, The Bionic Woman, Love American Style and The Love Boat, thanks to family friend Desi Arnaz. Her first stint as a series regular came in the role of Patricia Apple in the short-lived CBS television series Apple's Way .

In 1976, McNichol was cast as Buddy in the television drama series Family (1976–80), for which she earned two Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Dramatic Series . Many actors and actresses guest-starred on the show, including Helen Hunt, Michael J. Fox and Leif Garrett. Family, produced by Aaron Spelling, was considered a breakthrough for television drama that dealt with "real life" issues.

In December 1977, McNichol appeared on The Carpenters at Christmas TV special, performing several musical numbers with the duo. In 1978, McNichol and her brother Jimmy made their own foray into music, recording an album, Kristy & Jimmy McNichol, for RCA Records. The album included the single "He's So Fine" (a cover of The Chiffons' 1963 hit), which peaked at #70 on the Billboard chart. The McNichols promoted the album at New York's Studio 54 discothèque, with such other big-name celebrities in attendance as Brooke Shields. In December 1978, McNichol would appear in another Carpenters holiday special, The Carpenters: A Christmas Portrait, this time with Jimmy.

By this time, McNichol was one of the biggest teen stars of the era and appeared on various chat shows, including The Mike Douglas Show and Dinah!, as well as making several appearances on Battle of the Network Stars and other celebrity-based shows. Also in 1978, she starred in the acclaimed made-for-television film adaptation of Bette Greene's Summer of My German Soldier.

McNichol began her feature film career in the Burt Reynolds comedy The End in 1978. She later co-starred with Tatum O'Neal, Matt Dillon, and Cynthia Nixon in the hit coming of age movie, Little Darlings, in 1980. Her critically acclaimed performance in that film was considered to be of Academy Award caliber by many reviewers. She appeared with Dennis Quaid and Mark Hamill in The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia , for which, at age 19, she received an unprecedented six-figure salary. The same year, she co-starred in Neil Simon's Only When I Laugh, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.

By 1982 McNichol's fortunes began to decline. She starred in the multi-million-dollar-budget musical spoof The Pirate Movie alongside Christopher Atkins, but the film flopped at the box office. Later that year, McNichol failed to return to the set of Just The Way You Are after the production had halted for Christmas vacation. By this time, unfounded rumors of McNichol's alleged drug use were rife and it was often speculated to be the cause of her increasingly problematic behavior later attributed to bipolar disorder. Although McNichol eventually completed the film, her reputation was severely damaged by the incident. Just the Way You Are underperformed at the box office, despite a healthy opening weekend. After one more unsuccessful starring vehicle, 1986's Dream Lover, McNichol was subsequently offered only B-film titles and television movies. She supported lead actress Susan Sarandon in the 1986 TV movie Women of Valor, about American nurses incarcerated in a Japanese concentration camp during World War II, and also appeared in cameo roles in two theatrical films of 1988: You Can't Hurry Love and Two Moon Junction.

In 1988, McNichol played Barbara Weston on the NBC sitcom Empty Nest, a spin-off of The Golden Girls, along with Richard Mulligan and Dinah Manoff. But McNichol's attendance once again became a problem, and she left the series in 1992 when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She returned to the series for its final episode in 1995, her last screen appearance as an actress to date, though she went on to voice characters in the animated TV series Extreme Ghostbusters and Invasion America .

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Макникол, Кристи", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.