Why 'Empty Nest' Star Kristy McNichol Left Show Business

After 1998, she left acting behind.

ByMICHAEL ROTHMAN
November 07, 2014, 12:44 PM
PHOTO: Kristy McNichol attends Love Boat Cast Christening Of Regal Princess Cruise Ship at Port Everglades, Nov. 5, 2014, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Kristy McNichol attends Love Boat Cast Christening Of Regal Princess Cruise Ship at Port Everglades, Nov. 5, 2014, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

— -- After "Empty Nest" went off the air in 1995, Kristy McNichol stepped away from the spotlight a few years later.

Now, she's opening up about her decision to leave show business behind.

"I was on the big stage between ages 8 and 30," McNichol told People magazine. "I left show business for a variety of reasons, but a big one was my interest in learning what else there is in life."

In her more than 20 years in acting, McNichol was featured in shows like "Family," "Starsky and Hutch" and "The Golden Girls." From 1998 to 2012, she has no acting credits on IMDB.

Another show she appeared in during her storied career was "The Love Boat."

People caught up with McNichol, 52, earlier this week in Florida, as the original six "Love Boat" cast reunited to celebrate Princess Cruises' 50th anniversary.

McNichol said she couldn't be happier with how things turned out, even if fans were disappointed to see her go.

"This phase of my life is so good," she said. "My home life is happy and serene. I love singing. I also enjoy traveling and seeing the world. One of my favorite stops is Hawaii. I like everything about it and may eventually move there part-time."

As for if she will ever return to acting, she simply said, "Never say never."

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