Who is Kristy McNichol?
Christina Ann McNichol was born on 11 September 1962, in Los Angeles, California, USA. She is a retired actress, comedian, singer and producer, best known for her role in several films during her youth. These included “Little Darlings” and “Only When I Laugh”, in which she portrayed Polly. She also won two Emmy Awards for her performance in the show “Family”, in which she played Letitia “Buddy” Lawrence.
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The Net Worth of Kristy McNichol
As of early-2020, Kristy McNichol’s net worth is estimated to be over $7 million, earned largely through a successful career in the entertainment industry.
While she amassed a good portion of her wealth there, she later moved on to other fields, though she remains active with charity work as a means to give back from all the success she had as an adolescent.
Early Life and Career Beginnings
Kristy is of Irish and Lebanese ancestry. She grew up in Los Angeles where her father worked primarily as a carpenter, and to help make ends meet, her mother took various odd jobs, working as an extra in films, as a secretary, saleswoman, and many others. Along with her brother, Jimmy McNichol, the two began a foray into the entertainment industry at a young age, with the support of their parents.
They first began appearing in commercials, and eventually got more offers to work on television.
One of her earliest appearances was as a guest in the series “Starsky & Hutch”, a popular show of the 1970s following the titular police detectives working in South California. More opportunities came her way during the 1970s, as she appeared in several TV series including “The Love Boat”, “Bionic Woman”, and “American Style”.
Rise to Fame
In 1974, McNichol got her first regular role in a television series when she was cast in “Apple’s Way”, portraying the titular Patricia Apple. However, the show was short-lived, as it only ran for two seasons before it was canceled by CBS due to low ratings. A few years later, she was cast in her most notable role in the series “Family” for which she won two Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actress thanks to her strong performances.
The show ran for four years and told the story of a middle-class family and their day-to-day endeavors. The network’s attempt at a more realistic show was successful, and many of the main cast members’ careers elevated thanks to the series.
While working on the show, she performed with The Carpenters in a television Christmas special, and the siblings decided on pursuing this new interest in music. They released the album “Kristy and Jimmy McNichol”, which contained the song “He’s So Fine” which reached 70th spot on Billboard, and she collaborated once more with The Carpenters during the next holiday season.
By the end of “Family”, she had established herself as one of the top teen stars, and constantly appeared in various talk show, and also participated as a guest celebrity in game shows.
In 1978, Kristy was cast in the television movie “Summer of My German Soldier”, which was based on the Bette Greene novel of the same name, and tells the story of a Jewish-American girl who befriends a German prisoner of war during World War II. The movie received acclaim, and helped her step into more mainstream film roles. She made her first appearance in “The End” in which she worked alongside Sally Field and Burt Reynolds.
In 1980, she was cast as the lead character in the film “Little Darlings”, which had her work with Matt Dillon and Tatum O’Neal. While the reception of the film was somewhat mixed, many praised her performance. Later in the year, she was cast in “The Night Lights Went Out in Georgia’ working alongside Mark Hamill and Dennis Quaid – she received a big payday in the film which was estimated to be in six figures, something that was unprecedented at the time. The following year, she won a Golden Globe Award for her work in “Only When I Laugh”.
Final Roles Before Retirement
In 1982, McNichol was in the film “The Pirate Movie”, but which was the first time that her performance received negative reviews, leading her to be nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress. The film was reviewed poorly by many critics, though many viewers still liked it, and it eventually developed a cult following over the years. However, the damage was done, and it was noticed that she was feeling the pressure and stress of keeping up with her career during her teens.
She suffered an emotional breakdown while filming “Just the Way You Are”, which led to the film being delayed for a year – she broke down due to the pressure, as well as the struggle she was under to hide her sexuality.
She took lesser film roles over the next decade, working on the television movie “Women of Valor” in 1986, and by the end of the decade appearing in “Two Moon Junction” and “You Can’t Hurry Love”. She then worked on the show “Empty Nest”, a spin-off from “The Golden Girls”, staying with the show until 1992. Some of the last projects she was in were “Invasion America” and “Extreme Ghostbusters”, both of which were voice roles.
After a few years away from any acting work, Kristy issued a statement through her publicist that she had retired from acting. She decided to look more into her well-being and pursue her biggest role, which was her life. She began working as an acting teacher in Los Angeles at a private school. She also used much of her earnings to work with various charities.
In 2012, she revealed to the public that she is a lesbian, a widely speculated aspect of her life for most of her career. The announcement ended all rumors, as she also announced that she had been living with a long-term partner for over two decades. While she didn’t initially intend on coming out to the public, she decided to encourage others who are struggling or being bullied because of their sexuality.