TV Flashback - What Happened to Empty Nest Star Kristy McNichol?

kristy mcnichol
Kristy McNichol and the Cast of Empty Nest

The Hallmark Channel is reminding the folks from Generation X of the quirky Saturday night sitcom Empty Nest in an all day marathon today.  The Golden Girls spinoff which chronicled the lives of a doctor whose grown-up daughters came home to roost ran from 1988 – 1995.    Former teen star Kristy McNichol played middle daughter Barbara, an undercover police officer by day and troublesome daughter by night.

What happened to former teen star Kristy McNichol?

Kristy McNichol was one of the first stars to successfully navigate the path from teen star to adult actress.  She gained fame with her role of Buddy on the 70s show Family and went on to have a string of films successes including Little Darlings, The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia, and Only When I Laugh.   She received a mid-career bump when she joined the cast of Empty Nest and then abruptly disappeared in 1992.    Here decision to leave the show was largely unexplained at the time.    Later she revealed that her behavior had turned erratic and she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.   Now she keeps her feet wet in Hollywood by helping train the next generation of actors by teaching at a private school in Los Angeles.

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