Tag Archives: Kristy McNichol

Crossover Event: #80sCrushes

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Hi Everybody! It’s time again for our monthly ’80s crossover event, brought to you by The ’80s League. As you can tell from the title, this month’s selection is on ’80s crushes. As part of this event, we also contributed a podcast episode. Marissa, Robert, and Paul discussed their ’80s crushes. You can download the podcast from iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever else you get your podcasts from. And you can also go to the show notes, and listen directly on this site right here. The picks we made on the podcast will be different from the crushes I list in this article.
In addition to Return to the ’80s, other participants include:
80s Reboot Overdrive Blog and podcast
Rediscover the ’80s
Realweegiemidget
Killer Kitsch

Now, let’s check out more of my ’80s crushes.


Kristy McNichol

In the summer of 1982, there was a movie I, and apparently the rest of the world, wanted to see – E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. It was playing in a nearby theater that only had 2 screens. And E.T. was only showing on one of them. Of course, when we got to the theater, the movie was sold out. Instead, we saw the movie that was being shown on the other screen – The Pirate Movie. I don’t remember knowing about that movie going into it. Coming out, this 11 year old was in love. I thought Kristy McNichol was beautiful, and I was really drawn to her. Several years later, she starred in The Golden Girls spinoff, Empty Nest. And I found that my feelings had not changed. She still made my heart skip a beat.

Unfortunately, Kristy has not really been in anything in almost 20 years. In 2001, she officially announced her retirement from acting. And years after that, I was dealt another crushing blow. Kristy McNichol revealed that she is gay, in the hopes that her openness would help young people who are bullied because of their sexuality. It’s great that she’s open about it now. But, it killed any shot of us ever getting together. Well, as Samantha’s father says in Sixteen Candles, “That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they’d call ’em something else.”


Tracey Gold

Growing Pains is one of my all-time favorite sitcoms. It was already a great show on it’s own. But, my crush on Tracey Gold (and her character, Carol Seaver) didn’t hurt either. I thought she was so cute, and smart. It used to annoy the crap out of me when her brothers picked on her. And this was made even worse when they made fat jokes about her. That’s so stupid as it is. But, she wasn’t even fat, so it made no sense to me. Then to find out that Tracey battled anorexia made things even worse. She even had to miss several episodes of the show due to her condition. Luckily, she was able to recover. Ah, cute, smart, and strong. Not a bad combination


Samantha Fox

Throughout the ’80s, and to this day, my music taste tends to lean toward Rock. I also love me some R&B and old school Rap. But, I got tired of most pop music. That changed with the arrival of Samantha Fox. I thought she was gorgeous. And I actually liked her music too! Her first album, Touch Me, was mostly pop, but some of it had a little rock edge to it. I loved the title track as well as “Do Ya Do Ya (Wanna Please Me)“. Actually, I liked every song on that album. Next was her self-titled album. “Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)” was the first single released in the U.S. The song opens with her saying “Maybe, just maybe
Naughty girls need love too.” in her British accent. Love that accent!
Her third album, I Wanna Have Some Fun, was also a fun album. The title track always got us all out on the dance floor.


I could go on and on with my crushes. But I’ll stop here, and I’d love to hear from you. Who were some of your crushes – real life or celebrity.

Once again please check out the posts from the rest of the 80’s League:

80s Reboot Overdrive Blog and podcast
Rediscover the ’80s
Realweegiemidget
Killer Kitsch

And you can also check out the Return to the ’80s Podcast to hear about more of our crushes.
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Quote of the Day: The Pirate Movie

Frederic: [moments after meeting for the first time] Look, I know this is going to sound silly, but I think I love you. I think I might even want to marry you.
Mabel: God, that was a short love scene!

Happy 53rd Birthday to Kristy McNichol!!!

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Daily Trivia – 5/24/12

Question: Representing the “Finicky Party”, who ran for president for the first time in 1988?


Last Question: On Empty Nest, what ’70s child star played Officer Barbara Weston?

Answer: Kristy McNichol

Kristy McNichol was one of the biggest teen stars of the late ’70s when she was playing Leticia “Buddy” Lawrence on the Aaron Spelling drama series Family (1976-1980). She earned two Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Dramatic Series (1977 and 1979) for the show. During this time, she and her brother Jimmy made their own foray into music, recording an album, Kristy & Jimmy McNichol. The album included the single “He’s So Fine” (a cover of The Chiffons’ 1963 hit), which peaked at #70 on the Billboard chart.

Critics say that around 1982, Kristy’s career started to decline. This was actually the time when I saw Kristy McNichol for the first time, and developed a little crush on her. As many of us recall, the summer of 1982 was when E.T. came out. We went to go see the movie. Oops! It was sold out. Instead, we saw the other movie that was playing at that theater – the multi-million-dollar-budget musical spoof, The Pirate Movie! It starred Kristy McNichol and Christopher Atkins. Here are a couple of musical numbers from the movie:

Even though I saw the movie in the theater, it flopped. I was always looking forward to seeing McNichol in more movies, but her roles were becoming more few-and-far-between.

There were rumors that Kristy’s behavior was becoming problematic, and that she was developing a drug problem. It turns out that she did not have a drug problem after all. She was suffering from bipolar disorder.

However in 1988, she landed the role of Barbara Weston on The Golden Girls’ spinoff, Empty Nest. She starred along side Soap vets Richard Mulligan and Dinah Manoff. Kristy left the series in 1992 when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She would return for the show’s final episode in 1995, her last screen appearance as an actress to date.

In June 2001 she stated:

“A lot of people have wondered what I’ve been up to. 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.”

Since retiring from the screen, she has taught acting at a private school in Los Angeles and devoted much of her time to charity work.

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