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Everything you need to know about Kristy McNichol – Career, family, husband, and more

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Christina Ann McNichol, who many know as Kristy McNichol, might be a retired actress, but her legacy lives on. Kristy was born on 11 September 1962 and was famous for her role as “Buddy” in the Spelling-Goldberg hit TV series “Family” (1976). She also became more popular after winning 2 Emmy awards and being nominated for a Golden Globe for the role.

She was from a humble background, which motivated her to work hard to achieve great things for herself and her family’s sake. It’s also why she’s very much interested in humanitarian work. She devotes a lot of her time to charity work.

Her popularity also knows no bounds. In order to help kids who suffer bullying because of their sexuality, Kristy McNichol came out openly as a lesbian. She made the announcement during an interview with People magazine in 2012. We have a lot of interesting information on Kristy McNichol to share with you, so enjoy.

10 need to know facts about Kristy McNichol

  1. Kristy McNichol is a renowned actress and singer, and she started her creative career at the age of 6, starring in TV commercials.
  2. She was born on 11 September 1962 in Los Angeles, California, to James and Carolyn McNichol. Her parents, however, got separated when she was three years old.
  3. Kristy has multiple ancestries including, Scottish, Walloon-Belgian, German, and English. Also, her maternal grandfather was of Lebanese descent.
  4. While still a child TV star, Kristy and her brother Jimmy were managed by their mother, Carolyn.
  5. Kristy and her brother Jimmy worked together on a musical release produced by Phil Margo and Mitch Margo entitled “Kristy and Jimmy McNichol” for RCA Records.
  6. Despite being a renowned actress, Kristy and Jimmy also made it to the Billboard chart with their song “He’s So Fine” (a cover of The Chiffons’ 1963 hit), making it to No. 70.
  7. Kristy is gay, and she openly came out in 2012 after two decades of being with her lover, Martie Allen.
  8. She suffers from bipolar disorder.
  9. Kristy McNichol quit acting in 2001 because she was sick and had to focus on her health.
  10. She also devotes a lot of her time to charity work.

Also read: Who is antiques auctioneer Christina Trevillian on BBC Bargain Hunt? See age and weight loss.

Early life and family background

Kristy McNichol was not born into a wealthy family. In fact, her father was a carpenter while her mother worked odd jobs including, as a secretary, cosmetics salesperson, and movie extra, to support the family.

She was born on 11 September 1962 in Los Angeles, California, to James and Carolyn McNichol. She has two other brothers named Jimmy McNichol and Tommy McNichol.

However, while she only just three years old, her parents got divorced, leaving their entire care in the hands of their single mother.

Young Kristy McNichol
Young Kristy McNichol

Kristy’s parents are from two different worlds; her father is half-Irish while, and her mother is of Lebanese descent. She actually has multiple ancestries including, Scottish, Walloon-Belgian, German, and English.

At age 6, Kristy and her elder brother Jimmy McNichol appeared in a TV commercial, and both would eventually rise to fame in the show business. Their mother, Carolyn McNichol, was their manager.



Like many other actors and actresses before her, Kristy McNichol started the craft at a very young age. Kristy was not only an actress but was a singer too. She made her television debut in the short-lived drama “Apple’s Way” back in 1974. The American drama television series aired on CBS from 10 February 1974 to 12 January 1975.

Kristy played the role of a young city girl whose family (her parents and three other siblings) moved to their father’s small hometown in Iowa along. The drama focuses on the clash between the family’s urban ways and their new rural community, but it was short-lived due to lack of finding an audience.

Kristy McNichol today, partner Martie Allen, Jimmy McNichol, net worth
Kristy McNichol posing for a commercial

Her first trial, however, launched her into more good tidings. McNichol was cast in yet another television series titled “Family” and this served as her big break.

She played the fictional character Letitia “Buddy” Lawrence, a teenager and the youngest member of the Lawrence family. Sada Thompson and James Broderick played the role of her parents in the series.

The TV show had a 4-year stint, and Kristy McNichol got nominated for the Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Dramatic Series three years in a row (1977-1979). She was also victorious on two occasions, in 1977 and 1979.


In 1977, Kristy made a special appearance on the TV special “The Carpenters at Christmas”, and she performed several musical numbers with Karen and Richard Carpenter. A year later, in 1978, she and her brother Jimmy made their music debut.

The pair recorded an album produced by Phil Margo and Mitch Margo entitled “Kristy and Jimmy McNichol” for RCA Records. The album had singles such as “He’s So Fine” (a cover of The Chiffons’ 1963 hit) on the Billboard chart. It peaked at number 70 while “Page by Page” also made the chart.

Kristy and Jimmy McNichol promoted the album at New York’s Studio 54 discothèque with other celebrities. They also performed together in the Carpenters’ holiday special titled “The Carpenters: A Christmas Portrait”.


Kristy McNichol also transitioned from TV to film, making her debut in the dark comedy “The End” (1978) and later on, she was a cast in the acclaimed TV movie “Summer of My German Soldier”. She also made several popular television movies, including Like “Mom, Like Me” (1978) as well as “Blinded by the Light” (1980), with her brother Jimmy.

McNichol advanced her career in film when the TV show “Family” was ending in 1990, co-starring with fellow child actress Tatum O’Neal in “Little Darlings”, where she played a lead role.

That spurred her further into the limelight as she got two lead roles the following year. She starred in “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” alongside Dennis Quaid as a sister-and-brother musical duo. Wikipedia reports that she got a six-figure salary for the film.

For the duration of her career, she enjoyed massive success and plenty of recognition via awards for her efforts, but she sadly had to cut the timeline short in 2001 due to personal reasons.

Personal life

Kristy McNichol has been out in the media at a very tender age starting from her stint as a child actor till she metamorphosed into a full blown adult but its still quite surprising that she finds ways to keep her affairs private.

She had been in a secret relationship with her partner, Martie Allen, for over 2 decades without anyone knowing till she came out about it in 2012.

She said in an interview with People magazine, “She hopes that coming out can help kids who need support. She would like to help others who feel different.”

Kristy McNichol partner, Martie Allen

Martie Allen and Kristy McNichol have been lovers for decades with the information about them only coming to light in 2012 as part of a scheme to render support to those like them who cannot also express their sexuality openly.

Martie is an American TV personality who pursued a career in acting after college in her early twenties but never managed to break into mainstream Hollywood prominence.

Kristy McNichol partner
Kristy McNichol(Left), and Martie Allen (Right)

She was born on 1 January 1960 to American parents and much of her information is relatively sacred. Martie Allen got some roles in films either as an uncredited extra or just a small screen time on TV shows.

Allen stopped pursuing a career in acting as well as her partner too. Kristy gave up acting to focus on her health and she taught acting at a private school in Los Angeles at a time.

Jimmy McNichol

For most of Kristy McNichol’s career, her brother, Jimmy McNichol, shared a part of it. Starting from when they featured in a television commercial while Kristy was only six years old to recording an album together. He’s been ever-present in her life.

Jimmy McNichol is an actor, musician, and environmentalist. He is also a co-partner in the entertainment production company Playground Television, Inc.

Kristy McNichol today, partner Martie Allen, Jimmy McNichol, net worth
Kristy McNichol today, partner Martie Allen, Jimmy McNichol, net worth

Jimmy was equally as famous as his sister. He was a teenage heartthrob, and his fame put him as one of the most wanted actors in the entertainment industry during the late 70s and the 90s.

He was a regular face on countless magazine covers and was consistently the star of top T.V. and film productions. He has been in over 50 commercials.

Jimmy is also an active philanthropist and successful real estate developer. He previously left acting to focus on raising his kids, and he spent his time in France with his wife and children.

Kristy McNichol today

Kristy McNichol had to cut her career short due to her inability to manage her condition. She suffered from bipolar disorder.

Nowadays, she is living out the rest of her days beside her lover in Los Angeles and has devoted her time to yoga and tennis. She also owns several miniature dachshunds as she is a huge fan of dogs.

Net worth

Being a celebrity often comes with a lot of curious fans. These fans are also part of the journey of any celebrity as they show their love and support for them at all times.

On many occasions, fans would want to know certain information about their idol, and one of the most interesting facts they inquire about is how much these stars are worth.

Well, as for the famous actress and singer Kristy McNichol, CelebrityNetWorth estimates her net worth to be around $4 million, which she made acting over the years. Also, she is a renowned singer, releasing an album alongside her brother in the 70s.


Kristy McNichol is undoubtedly an icon to many. She started from a humble background and built her way up into a successful household name in Hollywood.

She leads a simple yet private life and dedicates part of her time to humanitarian work. She is a true leader and a role model.

You may also like one of our latest article, Emily Hampshire: Everything you need to know about “Schitt’s Creek” Stevie Budd.

  1. Anonymous says


  2. Jackie says

    Bold lady.

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