Family actress Kristy McNichol was thrust into the spotlight as a teen when she snagged the role of Letitia “Buddy” Lawrence on the 1976 drama series. After more than two decades as a television star, the Emmy winner announced her retirement from the acting business in 2001 to focus on her life at home with partner Martie Allen.
Who Is Kristy McNichol’s Partner Martie Allen?
Kristy and her brother, Jimmy McNichol, both found fame at a young age after starring in commercials and popular drama series. The Love Boat actress became a teen idol during her time on Family, and fans could not wait to see what she was going to do next when the show ended in 1980.
That year, the California native starred in the film Little Darlings alongside Tatum O’Neal. In 1988, Kristy scored another iconic television arc with the role of Barbara Weston on Empty Nest. She left the show midway through its run and returned for the series finale in 1995. Christy announced her retirement from acting in a statement six years later.
“A lot of people have wondered what I’ve been up to,” she said. “I retired from my career after 24 years. My feeling was that it was time to play my biggest part — myself! I must say that it has been the best thing that ever happened to me. So many fans are disappointed that I’m not currently acting; however, some may not realize that the process I’m in at this time is necessary and vital for my personal happiness and well-being.”
After leaving Hollywood, Kristy came out as gay in 2012 and shared a photo with Martie with People at the time. The pair had already been living together for two decades before making their relationship public. Her publicist, Jeff Ballard, told the outlet that Kristy was “very sad about kids being bullied,” and hoped that her story would “help others who feel different.”
The Starsky & Hutch actress also revealed that the pair enjoy spending time together, playing tennis, doing yoga, traveling and hanging out with their miniature dachshunds. The couple have since kept their relationship out of the spotlight and remain pretty private. In a November 2014 interview with People, Kristy shared that she was happier than ever.
“This phase of my life is so good,” she said. “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.”