Christina Ann 'Kristy' McNichol (born September 11, 1962) is an American actress. McNichol is known for her roles as Leticia 'Buddy' Lawrence on the television drama series 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. McNichol was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Carolyn McNichol Lucas, a business manager and actress, and Jim McNichol, a carpenter. She has two brothers from that marriage: Thomas and Jimmy McNichol. Her parents divorced when she was six years old. When McNichol was 19 her mother married her much younger German boyfriend Siegfried Lucas.
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