Former child actress Kristy McNichol (Family, The Love Boat, Empty Nest) has reappeared in the media recently and is “opening up about life after Hollywood.” After two decades of mega fame in the 70s and 80s, McNichol stepped away from acting. But why?
At a recent Love Boat reunion (Rich Little was there!) in Florida, where the cast gathered to christen a new Regal Princess cruise ship, McNichol was asked why she left show business. McNichol, now 52, said she left for a variety of reasons, “but a big one was my interest in learning what else there is in life.” What McNichol didn’t address was her abrupt departure from the NBC sitcom Empty Nest (a spin-off of The Golden Girls) in 1992. It was her last performance on camera. She left the series after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. McNichol is not the only actress who suffers from the disorder. Last month, actress Rene Russo revealed her struggle with bipolar disorder.