The most popular and acclaimed teen actor of her era, Kristy McNichol achieved stardom as "Buddy" Lawrence on Aaron Spelling's "Family" (ABC, 1976-1980). Revolutionary for its resolutely unglamorous focus on average American home life, the series showcased McNichol's natural charisma and considerable acting chops. She won two Best Supporting Actress Emmys and became a household name, racking up TV guest spots, merchandising deals and an album with her teen idol brother, Jimmy McNichol. After impressing in "Summer of My German Soldier" (NBC, 1978), she made the leap to film with the summer camp-set cult classic "Little Darlings" (1980) opposite Tatum O'Neal. McNichol scored again onscreen with "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" (1981) and "Only When I Laugh" (1981), earning a Golden Globe nomination for the latter. Reports of her erratic behavior and high-profile flops like "The Pirate Movie" (1982) and "Just the Way You Are" (1984) helped end her film career, but she regained footing as Richard Mulligan's tough cop daughter on "Empty Nest" (NBC, 1988-1995), a spin-off of "The Golden Girls" (NBC, 1985-1992). Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she left the show in 1992 to retire from acting and the public eye in order to focus on charity work, teaching and her health. Moved by multiple instances of LGBT suicide due to bullying, McNichol resurfaced in 2012 to come out as a lesbian. Although many critics and fans wished she would return to acting, Kristy McNichol seemed content to let her impressive professional legacy speak for itself.