Kristy McNichol Is Also Following Me

Forget about Ian Ziering.

I was walking around in a place that I would never freely admit I was walking around in. (Okay, it was a patio furniture store.) I was perusing a variety of things which I would never freely admit to knowing exactly what they were. (These really cool glider patio chair things with built in cup holders.) And out of the corner of my eye — there she stood. Kristy McNichol.

Best known for her roles in Little Darlings, The Pirate Movie, and the television shows Family and Empty Nest — she was the Britney Spears of the 70′s and 80′s and I’ll never forget that I had the hugest crush on her ever.

But times change, and fortunes wane, and before long you’re not the IT girl from decades prior, but you’re a bitter, wrinkly, limping Los Angeles resident arguing with a patio store manager about the fact that you ordered a black patio side table that was supposed to be here two weeks ago and now, well, still isn’t here.

You can imagine that I tried to diffuse the situation, me being the personable patio store problem solver that I am (i.e., I enjoy talking just to hear myself talk), and so I sidled up to the counter while she was saying something like, “…and you could have called me to tell me this fact before I came down here…” and proudly announced:

“I once ordered a piece of patio furniture that took four weeks to arrive!”

Well, Kristy McNichol, teen star of decades gone by, stared at me like I had just told her that I backed my car up into her Range Rover, and that there was a minor scratch but really nothing that the insurance companies needed to know about.

She just scowled at me with that pretty Little Darlings scowl that she threw Matt Dillon and Tatum O’Neil during the filming of that movie.

The moment ended without any serious conflicts.

Then last night, I realized that my ability to cause celebrities to stalk me was either the cause of a magical wish someone else had made for me, or the fact that they’re Googling themselves, finding WFME, and trying to harrass me so that I’ll stop writing about them.

Last night, I saw Kristy McNichol at the movies.

And I didn’t just see her. She sat behind me (one row behind me) in a screening of War of the Worlds. And she didn’t just sit behind me, but she was talking. And she wasn’t just talking and saying things to disturb me in the movie, but she was periodically kicking my chair.

Normally, I would have said something — but I didn’t want to risk a third meeting.

On my way out, I could sense that Kristy McNichol was behind me… And she was saying things to give me subtle warnings after our run in at the patio furniture store. She was talking to her friend, but saying things like “…those aliens deserved to die…creatures that don’t respect another’s personal space should be punished…” and “…that Tim Robbins character…you just don’t get in someone else’s business unless you really know what you’re talking about…”

It’s no wonder Kristy McNichol was the IT-girl decades prior, with a list of acting accomplishments a mile long. Such experience provided her with the talents to influence, impress-upon, and intimidate (as she did the previous evening while walking out of the theater.)

I hope I never see her again.

59 comments on “Kristy McNichol Is Also Following Me

  1. Daniel W. - February 12, 2007 at 2:20 am -

    I was lucky enough to attend the Academy Awards in 1980 I think it was. It was the year Kramer VS. Kramer came out and I was 17 years old. It was also the Oscars just after Little Darlings came out and I had a big crush on Kristy McNichol from Family. Buddy was a great character and she played Buddy to perfection. So the person I wanted to see the most was Kristy at the Oscars that year. We arrived, had our car valeted, and walked on the Red Carpet adjacent. I heard Army Archerd call out Kristy McNichol’s name and waited at the end of the red carpet with my cousin, Lisa, to see Kristy. There she was, with Ina Liberace, who I think is Liberace’s niece. She didn’t know which direction to go in. She turned to my cousin Lisa and asked which way to go, and Lisa just had her mouth open and nothing came out. I said we had just arrived and didn’t know where to go. Kristy didn’t look at me, didn’t acknowledge me, didn’t respond to me. I was extremely disappointed. Basically she blew me off. After that, I was never as big a fan of hers as I had been.
    I still think she’s an amazing actress. But I don’t believe she’s anything like her character Buddy Lawrence. When I hear she is bitter or obnoxious, it doesn’t surprise me.
    Side note….my friends used to dance at Oddysey while we were in high school and used to see Kristy there all the time. I never went to the club. But I remember back then everyone knew she was gay. Nothing wrong with that of course….but it wasn’t as easy to be a gay woman back then as it is now I’m sure.
    Good luck to Kristy on her life and health. Remember…be nice to a fan. A smile will go a long way.
    PS. Remember how Buddy on Family always had Donny Osmond photos on her wall and had a crush on him on the show? I think it was true that Kristy was a fan of Donny’s too. My friend, another Lisa, saw Kristy sitting in the front row at a Donny Osmond concert a few months ago. I’m sure Donny didn’t snub her.

  2. Cheryl Merrill - February 18, 2007 at 1:45 pm -

    Kristy McNichol came out of a 6 year hiatus as a celebrity on February 17th, 2007 to sign autographs at a celebrity event in Burbank. Many celebrities were there for the specific purpose of signing autographs.

    Up until this event, Kristy McNichol has been completely missing from public in every respect. There hasn’t been any news on her since the 2001 Stars at 40′s article.

  3. Todd - April 15, 2007 at 7:03 pm -

    I met Kristy at the above-mentioned celebrity autograph show. She was nothing less that personable and friendly. She signed my DVD cover from “The Pirate Movie.” As I am a teacher, I asked if she was still teaching. She said she had not taught in several years. I got to have my photo taken with her with our arms around each other. A great moment with someone who’s career I have followed since “Family.”

  4. Mike James - May 11, 2007 at 5:39 am -

    Paul, you seem like a self promoting delusional person.

  5. Henry - May 21, 2007 at 2:43 pm -

    OMG people, this was clearly written tongue-in cheek! Back off on bashing the poor guy Cheryl. You clearly lack the insight to understand this style of writing. Perhaps you take umbrage with the whole “cranky woman” thing because it strikes too close to home?

  6. Dorothy - October 3, 2007 at 6:50 pm -

    I’m slightly taken aback at the failure to recognise irony here…but oh well. we all found this site because we were looking for wahtever reason.

    In my case it was a combination of having seen a program on Donny Osmond on the telly last night (in the UK) and remembering that K.M. was a fan of his, and then today, totally separately, looking up my home town’s summer festival, finding it on Wilkipedia, following various unrelated links, including looking at a list of all people born on Sept 11 (a very random walk) as was I, and having confirmed that fact that K.M and I were born on the same day (in 1962, and a day now “infamous” for other reasons), which I think I knew when i was a “Family” fan. Anyway, I am also manic-depressive, and bisexual and have since 1976 been a big fan of hers. I hope she is well and sorry I’ve never run in to her, but then I live in the UK, not California. One of very few actors I have respected my whole life and would have liked to know. Still.
    I still have a crush on her, age 45.

  7. Ingrid - November 24, 2007 at 5:44 am -

    I have always had a mad crush on Kristy. It is hard to believe she had scowled at you. She is human though and could have been having a bad week.

  8. tina - August 8, 2008 at 4:48 pm -

    Cheryl, stay off the drugs. Or get on the right ones.

    I was just watching a rerun of Golden Girls, and ‘Barbara Weston’ came to the door about Sophia’s ‘stolen’ glasses. Anyhow, blast from the past — I had to google her because I hadn’t heard anything since the bipolar stuff came out.

    Some of you commenters’ stories of meeting her are very entertaining — except Don Jensen’s. I couldn’t imagine bringing up internet and tabloid rumors to a former star that you’ve only just met and will never see again, i.e. a perfect stranger. Sounds rude, and she was far more gracious to you than I would have been.

    I always liked her — I was too young to see Little Darlings, nor would the subject matter have been something my parents would have approved of, but I loved watching Family reruns. I really identified with Buddy. I was a tomboy, too.

    Fiance, huh? Well, I guess she could be bisexual as well as bipolar. Not that it matters. I guess I’d just believed the rumors of lesbianism; it seemed to fit. She can be whatever she wants to be.

    It sounds like she’s reasonably well-adjusted for someone with a child star past, and I’m glad that she saved her money so that she can now live in comfort and pursue the things that interest her (like real estate, hair dressing, and teaching). Go Kristy!

  9. CEE - January 3, 2010 at 3:08 pm -

    I feel a bit foolish, this petered out well more than a year ago, but I felt PD needed a word said–indirectly–on his behalf:
    It’s upsetting, this movement in Amerika today, “The Force of Nice”, I call it…you know, the whole “don’t ever be rude, negative or judge anyone” thing. Give it about 20 more years, I figure the volk like me and PD will be sent away to reeducation camps (serious), for no other reason than we made a (early period) Letterman-like comment about someone else. Strange. The younger you all are, the more thin-skinned…yet, few of you care about the irony of lashing back…
    Personally, I’m thrown by the fragile nature of the female animal especially, e.g. Paul adjudges Kristy as–effectively–an extra in the “Thriller” video, and from out of the woodwork come the home psychoanalyses (Cheryl Merrill), adjudging Paul a cryin’ lil’ weenie who’s intimidated by da big bad wimmzenz. Sad. No one can have a damned opinion any longer, without half the audience baring teeth…and yet, those who bare the teeth seem the least happy of the crowd (Cheryl Merrill), the kind with the thin facade of fun, those who dutifully attend the party and snarl at others by way of keeping order, the whole time privately wishing there were no such things as parties! You know, sometimes I wish I could travel back in time for real; it wouldn’t be Hitler’s Mom I’d toast. It’d be Freud’s.
    Kristy McNichol…and I am a devotee of the “remove shoes in her presence” level, though never met and only wrote her once…was what she was, and now is what she is (I apologize if that’s too est-ian for anyone). Point blank, period. She was Huntress Diana, mighty upon the Earth, and now she’s melting. Yeppers. It’s happening to us all, from Moment One of birth. But, its being natural doesn’t make aging an attractive state…and, some age faster, for various reasons. We all have our preferences, men and women alike, our crushes and our desires. To boldly state them, whatever the context, should not be subject to the couch-evaluations of the amateur who is hurting (Cheryl Merrill). Kristy gives the physical appearance of being half-dead. For my part, I’d still kneel on command and Thank Her.

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