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Christina Ann "Kristy" McNichol (September 11 1962) is an American TV actress who also stars in movies, though discontinued acting in the late 1990s due to bipolar disorder. She acted as Letitia "Buddy" Lawrence in the television program Family and as Barbara Weston for the sitcom Empty Nest. She also acted alongside Cynthia Nixon in the 1980 movie Little Darlings. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in late 1992. She was born near Los Angeles.