Kristy McNichol to Make Rare Appearance at Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention

FAMILY, Kristy McNichol, 1976-80
Credit: Everett Collection

The popular Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention released some big news teasing two confirmed celebrity guests for 2025. Beloved child/teen star Kristy McNichol and comedian Vicki Lawrence will be in attendance at the 2025 June show.

Two-time Emmy winner Kristy McNichol’s story is a tale of two separate lives. The first one — the one her many fans remember — was very much in the public eye. Five seasons on the acclaimed 1976-80 drama Family propelled the young star into the spotlight (she was only 13 when it premiered), playing compassionate tomboy Buddy on the series.

FAMILY, Meredith Baxter, Gary Frank, Sada Thompson, James Broderick, Kristy McNichol, 1976-1980

Credit: Everett Collection

From then it was 1980 teen dramedy Little Darlings (pictured below) where she starred opposite Tatum O’Neal, and with that came greater pressure and expectations.

LITTLE DARLINGS, Kristy McNichol, 1980

Little Darlings (1980) © Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

Things came to a startling halt during the making of the 1984 rom-com Just the Way You Are where she starred opposite Michael Ontkean; as production was stopped midway for a year, during which McNichol was suffering from anxiety and the pressures of her career (she was diagnosed in 1992 with bipolar disorder). She later was a regular on Empty Nest through 1995, and after that, roles were spotty and she retired in 2001.

JUST THE WAY YOU ARE, U.S. poster, Kristy McNichol, 1984.

© MGM/courtesy Everett Collection

Is Kristy McNichol married, and where is the star today?

The “true” Kristy McNichol really emerged post 2001, as she concentrated on her own well-being. It would take another 11 years for fans to connect all the dots when McNichol bravely came out as a lesbian, in order to lend her support to kids being bullied for feeling different. The star (who is now 61) has been with partner Martie Allen since the early 1990s (she also previously had a relationship with the late actress Elisabeth Brooks), and nowadays, her onetime publicist confirmed, McNichol “enjoys living a very private life,” occasionally participating in charity events or star conventions.

Vicki Lawrence to appear at Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Conference.

The Carol Burnett Show capped off the most amazing one-night lineup of TV ever. Starting at 8pm ET, All in the Family, M*A*S*HThe Mary Tyler Moore ShowThe Bob Newhart Show and then The Carol Burnett Show at 10pm ET ran back-to-back Saturdays on CBS during the 1973-74 season! Seriously, what a lineup! Burnett’s comedy crew of Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner and Tim Conway created some of TV’s funniest characters and most memorable sketches from 1967 to 1978. At the time, Lawrence was just 18 when she got the role, where she was mentored by the best in the business.

MAMA'S FAMILY, Vicki Lawrence, 1983-90

Credit: Robert Phillips / Everett Collection

Lawrence was quick to harness her talents and brought us unforgettable characters from the start, eventually introducing us to Thelma Harper, which after The Carol Burnett Show she headlined her own spinoff. Thelma Harper, the cantankerous Southern matriarch of sitcom Mama’s Family, was a significantly toned-down version of the spiteful widow that Lawrence created in side-splittingly recurring sketches starting in 1973 on The Carol Burnett Show.

Yes, the brash, 60-something Southerner still used her signature white purse as a weapon during the sitcom’s run on NBC and then in syndication from 1986-90, but the laughs came more from Lawrence’s zingers and antics, along with her signature saying “Horse pucky!”

Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway, Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman celebrate the 25th anniversary of THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW, (it ran from 1967-1978), 2002.

25th Anniversary of The Carol Burnett Show. Photo Credit: Alberto Tolot / TV Guide / Courtesy Everett Collection

Lawrence would go on to have her own talk show Vicki! (1992-94), and star in countless TV series (including the more recent The Cool Kids) and movies/specials over the years. She recently attended Carol Burnett’s 90th birthday event, making a loving tribute to her former costar. Today, at age 75, the four-time Emmy winner is still active and will appear at the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention to greet her fans.


The 2025 Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention dates and location.

The famed convention also announced that there will not be a 2024 show, which will come as a disappointment for many. Event coordinators stated: “There will be no 2024 event. Believe me, we spent months trying to find a new venue that would not charge us a daily rate of four times more than the annual budget. Due to the crime in the city, we did NOT want a venue located in the city of Baltimore. We needed a venue large enough to host 200 tables. We needed a venue that offered FREE parking. And the APG Arena (which operates similar to a convention center) is awesome!”

The famed convention has a new home and earlier date for 2025.

The Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention will move to The APG Arena, 401 Thomas Run Road, in Bel Air, Maryland. It will be the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention’s 20th show. More details will follow as more guests get confirmed.

Hopefully we will see you there!