20 years after retiring from acting Kristy McNichol, best known for her role in Leonard Goldberg and Aaron Spelling produced drama Family, has revealed she’s a lesbian.
McNichol quit full time acting in 1992 after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder but has made occasional guest returns in later years. At her peak in the 1970s she worked on programmes ranging from The Carpenters at Christmas to The Love Boat.
But it was ABC Television’s saga Family, running from 1976 to 1980, that she is best remembered. She won an Emmy for her role as Buddy Lawrence. The 49-year-old has now decided to add her name to the list of well-known personalities who are gay in order to try ‘to help kids who are being bullied.’
A spokesperson for McNichol told America’s People magazine that she “is very sad about kids being bullied,” and that “She hopes that coming out can help kids who need support. She would like to help others who feel different.” They also added that she also now wants to “be open about who I am.”
Kristy has for the past two decades lived with her partner Martie Allen and has no plans to return to acting. Her last major role was in The Golden Girls spin-off Empty Nest for NBC.