Kristy McNichol, the Emmy-winning actress of the 70s American sitcom, Family, has been away from the spotlight for years now after she stepped down from Hollywood at the young age of 24. As a teen star, she played the role of Letitia Buddy Lawrence for the five seasons long sitcom Family and laid down her name as one of the most loved teen idols.
Kristy was born on September 11, 1962, in Los Angeles, California. Her show business started with commercials. She was 14 years old when the ‘Family’ hit it off and was really famous across the USA, making her a household name.
Then in 1980, she was cast alongside the stars Tatum O’Neal and Matt Dillon in the classic movie, Little Darlings. Kristy was making it to the magazine covers and pages. For the audience, she was a young, beautiful woman who played happy characters on the big screen.
However, by the end of the 1980s, Kristy McNichol became the subject of many rumors. This was no surprise since the young actress was really on the radar of the entertainment industry, and everyone wanted gossip to swirl around.
Well, Kristy became the subject of many discussions. From rumors of her sexuality that she is a lesbian to substance abuse, mental health, and bankruptcy, the paparazzi were all around her. However, she commented nothing on these speculations.
The young star was diagnosed with clinical depression and bipolar disorder. Her struggles with mental health rendered her unequipped and unreliable in acting and stardom. On June 2001, Kristy released a statement that announced her retirement from Hollywood. She did it for her own mental peace, personal development, and growth.
Almost a decade later, in 2012, Kristy finally talked about her acting life, her mental health, and most importantly, her sexuality. She even gave us a glimpse of her romantic life with her partner of over 20 years.
Kristy McNichol Comes Out As Lesbian, Talks About Her Partner
Back in the 1980s, Kristy never commented on the rumors surrounding her sexuality and being called lesbian. However, in 2012, Kristy finally broke her silence and came out as a lesbian. She shared a picture of her and her 20 years long partner, Martie Allen, with People stating she wanted to “be open about who I am.”
Before Martie, Kristy was in a relationship with Elisabeth Brooks, the Canadian actress most famous for her role in the film, ‘The Howling.’ Unfortunately, Elisabeth died in 1997 of brain cancer.
Kristy, who is currently 60, and her partner, Martie Allen, 63, have been together since the early 1990s. Martie is a former TV show personality, but she wasn’t as famous as her wife. She mostly played the roles of supporting characters in the movies and TV shows she featured in.
Her acting career didn’t take off as planned, and later, she turned to clinical psychology, becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist. As of now, only Kristy’s occupation is confirmed. She teaches acting in a Los Angeles-based private school.
Kristy and Martie have been living together for more than twenty years now but haven’t married yet or adopted any children, although they have adopted several pets. The ‘Little Darlings’ actress also revealed that she and Martie spend their time together playing tennis, traveling, doing yoga, and hanging out with their miniature dachshunds.
“This phase of my life is so good,” Kristie said in an interview with People in 2014. “My home life is happy and serene. I love singing. I also enjoy traveling and seeing the world. One of my favorite stops is Hawaii. I like everything about it and may eventually move there part-time.” Clearly, she’s living a peaceful life, off the spotlight, with Martie.
Kristy And Martie Extend Support To Queer Children
The reason McNichol came out about her sexual identity publicly was that she wanted to set a moment of togetherness and support for queer kids. McNichol was even more concerned about queer kids who are bullied for their mere identity.
Kristy’s publicist, Jeff Bellard, had informed that the actress was “very sad about kids being bullied” and wants her story to “help others who feel different.” Kristy wishes that her openness about her long-term relationship with a woman would be her way to extend solidarity, acceptance, and love for all the young queer people who are still battling to be fiercely open about it.
Not only has Kristy been open about her queerness, but she also addressed her mental health issues. She shared that she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and is on therapy and medication.
Kristy’s openness about taboo topics has been much appreciated by young people around the world. Although both Kristy and Martie are away from the public limelight, the two remain advocates of LGBTQIA+ and donate a lot to charities.
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