A multiple Emmy-winning actress who was a familiar face on TV from the 1970s through the 1990s has come out as a lesbian, People magazine reports.
Kristy McNichol won two Emmys for the ABC drama series “Family” in the 1970s. She also had a long run on the NBC sitcom “Empty Nest” in the 1980s and 1990s, along with roles in movies including “Little Darlings” (1980) and “Two Moon Junction” (1988).
McNichol had been keeping her sexual orientation quiet for years, but told the publication that after almost 20 years of being out of the public eye, she wanted to step forward and "be open about who I am."
McNichol released a picture of herself with her partner, Martie Allen. The actress, who dropped out of show business after "Empty Nest," felt that as she was facing her 50th birthday, now was the time to speak up. Through her publicist, McNichol explained that she is “very sad about kids being bullied. She hopes that coming out can help kids who need support. She would like to help others who feel different."
She said she is currently focused on staying healthy, travels often and is raising her beloved miniature dachshunds. According to Jeff Ballard, her publicist, "She is very happy and healthy. … She enjoys living a very private life."