Christina Ann "Kristy" McNichol (born September 11, 1962, in Los Angeles, California) is an American actress who has since retired from the industry. She is best known for her roles as Leticia 'Buddy' Lawrence on the TV drama 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. Born to a Scottish father and a mother of Palestinian background, Kristy McNichol appeared with her brother Jimmy 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 thanks to family friend Desi Arnaz. 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). 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 (1977 and 1979). Many future actors and actresses also guest-starred on the show, including Michael J. Fox and Leif Garrett. The popular show was considered a breakthrough for dealing with real life issues and is television producer Aaron Spelling's favorite of all his productions. McNichol was considered the program's draw and the show catapulted her to teen icon status in a few short years. In 1978, at the height of her stardom, McNichol and her brother released Kristy & Jimmy McNichol an album that featured the hit single, "He's So Fine." The McNichols partied at New York's Studio 54 with other big-name celebrities like Brooke Shields to promote the album. McNichol went on to appear on the Merv Griffin Show, The Carpenters Christmas Special, and ABC celebrity sports competitions. When Family wrapped in 1980, McNichol began her feature film career with a hit teen coming of age story, Little Darlings, costarring Tatum O'Neal. She began performing with other top talents, like Dennis Quaid, in The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (1980), for which at 19 she received an unprecedented six-figure salary. She also appeared with her pal Burt Reynolds in The End. This was followed by a Golden Globe Award nominated performance for Best Supporting Actress in Only When I Laugh by Neil Simon, for which Marsha Mason (The Goodbye Girl) received the Golden Globe for Best Actress (1981). McNichol also supported lead actress Susan Sarandon in a TV movie, Women of Valor, about American nurses being incarcerated in a Japanese concentration camp during World War II. In 1982, McNichol starred in the musical film, The Pirate Movie, alongside Christopher Atkins. The film flopped in spite of its multi-million-dollar budget. Later that year, McNichol stormed off the set of a film set in the French Alps and was diagnosed with clinical depression. Though she later completed the film, her reputation was damaged in an industry still insensitive to issues of mental illness, and she was subsequently offered only B-film titles and TV movies. But she continued to work, accepting limited roles. In 1988, McNichol played Barbara Weston on NBC's Empty Nest. McNichol left in 1992 when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. McNichol returned to the series for its final episode in 1995. Kristy's last public statement 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." Since retiring from the screen, McNichol, who has never married, has devoted much of her time to charity work. Ellen Corby (1976) · Kristy McNichol (1977) · Nancy Marchand (1978) · Kristy McNichol (1979) · Nancy Marchand (1980) · Nancy Marchand (1981) · Nancy Marchand (1982) · Doris Roberts (1983) · Alfre Woodard (1984) · Betty Thomas (1985) · Bonnie Bartlett (1986) · Bonnie Bartlett (1987) · Patricia Wettig (1988) · Melanie Mayron (1989) · Marg Helgenberger (1990) · Madge Sinclair (1991) · Valerie Mahaffey (1992) · Mary Alice (1993) · Leigh Taylor-Young (1994) · Julianna Margulies (1995) · Tyne Daly (1996) · Kim Delaney (1997) · Camryn Manheim (1998) · Holland Taylor (1999) · Allison Janney (2000) Complete list: (1962-1975) · (1976-2000) · (2001-present)

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It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kristy McNichol."