Jimmy McNichol

Last updated
Jimmy McNichol
Jimmy McNichol (a.k.a. James Vincent McNichol III) in France.jpg
McNichol in 2011
Born (1961-07-02) July 2, 1961 (age 59)
  • Actor
  • singer
  • talk show host
  • real estate investor
Years active1974–present
Renée McNichol
(m. 1997)
Children3, including Kellee Maize
Relatives Kristy McNichol (sister)

James Vincent McNichol III (born July 2, 1961), known professionally as Jimmy McNichol, is an American former child actor and singer who first gained fame as a teen idol in the late 1970s. At the beginning of his career his popularity quickly grew causing networks like CBS to create and implement multiple television series specifically for his involvement and leading roles. After making a record number of appearances on top talk shows he was viewed by many as "the face you see everywhere." [1]


In 1978, McNichol recorded an album with his sister, Kristy, also a former actress, and the two went on to host a youth-oriented variety show for ABC. McNichol subsequently had lead roles in Smokey Bites the Dust (1981), and opposite Susan Tyrrell in the horror film Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (1981). After retiring from acting in the 1990s, McNichol relocated with his family to Colorado, and has been active in environmentalist causes, and working as a real estate investor and home renovator. [2]


1961–1966: Early life

James Vincent McNichol III was born July 2, 1961 [3] in Los Angeles, California, [4] to James and Carolyn McNichol. [2] He is of Lebanese and Irish descent. [5] McNichol is the oldest of three siblings, with a sister Kristy (b. 1962) [6] and brother Tommy (b. 1965). [7] McNichol was raised by his single mother after the children's father, a carpenter, abandoned the family shortly after Tommy's birth. [7] Their mother worked various odd jobs to support them, including as a secretary, cosmetics salesperson, and movie extra. [7] Tommy was raised separately from him and Kristy, by his grandparents in Burbank. [7]

1967–1991: Acting and music career

McNichol on The Fitzpatricks, 1977 Jimmy McNichol 1977 crop.jpg
McNichol on The Fitzpatricks, 1977

He began his career at age 7, acting in a Band-Aid commercial. He appeared in roughly 80 commercials from 1967–1973, including spots for Kool-Aid and Crest. [7] He landed minor roles appearing in shows such as Little House on the Prairie (1974) [8] and S.W.A.T. (1975). [9]

He had his first film appearance with an uncredited role in Sunshine (1973) at the age of 12. [10] His first regular starring role was as younger brother Jack on the network series The Fitzpatricks . Michele Tobin played his sister, Mo, on the show, and they later worked together on California Fever . McNichol sang the show's theme song and in 1978 recorded an album with his sister, Kristy and Jimmy McNichol, produced by Phil & Mitch Margo. [11] The album spawned one hit single, a cover of The Chiffons' "He's So Fine", [11] which charted at #70 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1978. [12] The siblings also appeared as co-hosts of the fall 1978 ABC All-Star Saturday Preview Special, a youth-oriented sketch comedy show featuring musical guests such as the Bee Gees and Donny Osmond. [13] McNichol and his sister, however, ceased performing together after Kristy had a manic breakdown while the two were in France; she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. [14] Afterward, McNichol stepped away from the music industry, later commenting: "I know the outcomeit's a real big high one year, and the next year, nobody knows who you are. All that singing and touring and the guys behind you doing drugs. Eventually it's gonna get to you." [15]

When California Fever ended, he won the role as host of a weekly talk show, Hollywood Teen, as well as the Jimmy McNichol Special, which first aired in April 1980. [16] [17] He also starred in the television film Champions: A Love Story (1979), a teen drama about an ex-hockey player and figure skater who fall in love. [18] He subsequently appeared in several other successful made-for-TV movies, including the thriller Blinded by the Light (1980), in which he starred opposite his sister Kristy as a gay teenager who escapes a religious cult. [19] He also made several low-budget feature films, including Smokey Bites the Dust (1981) [15] and the horror film Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (1982), co-starring with Susan Tyrrell and Bill Paxton. [20]

In 1984, McNichol accepted the role of Josh Clayton on General Hospital . He performed in a band throughout the 1980s under the name "Jimmy James". His last major acting role was as Jill Ireland's son Valentine McCallum in the 1991 television film Reason for Living, co-starring Jill Clayburgh. [21] After completing Reason for Living, at age 30, McNichol decided to retire from professional acting. [22]

1992–present: Post-acting career

McNichol married his wife, Renée, in 1997. [2] They had a son, Nash, in late 1997, and a daughter, Ellis, in late 1998. [2] [22] McNichol is an avid environmentalist and in 1998 was focusing on ecological education with a web site called ECOTV. [23] Since leaving acting, McNichol began a career in residential construction and home rehabilitation. [2] In collaboration with Playground Television and Pet Power Kids, he co-created a TV series documenting animal rescues and issues, titled Animal Rescue The Rockies, also known as ARTR. [1]

In 2006, McNichol and his family relocated from Santa Barbara, California to Durango, Colorado, where he still resided as of 2016. [24] In 2010, he discovered he had a third child: daughter Kellee Maize a rap artist, songwriter, and entrepreneur from Pittsburgh, [25] who had been raised by adoptive parents in Pennsylvania. [22] The two subsequently began a relationship which was profiled in 2014 by Oprah Winfrey. [26]



1973 Sunshine Uncredited [10]
1976StrandedTim BlakeTelevision film [27]
1979 Champions: A Love Story Peter Scoggin IIITelevision film [18]
1980 Blinded by the Light David BowersTelevision film [19]
1981 Smokey Bites the Dust Roscoe Wilton [15]
1981 Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker Billy LynchAlso known as: Night Warning [20]
1984Escape from El DiabloDanielAlso known as: California Cowboys [28]
1991Reason for Living: The Jill Ireland StoryValentine McCallumTelevision film [21]
2012 Call to Action to Mayor Bloomberg: Sodas & Soap Operas HimselfShort film
2019 Mister America HimselfArchive footage


1974 Run, Joe, Run RobbieEpisode: "False Alarm"
1974 Gunsmoke WillieEpisode: "The Tarnished Badge"
1974 Little House on the Prairie Harry Baker3 episodes [8]
1975 Shazam! Kelly MartinEpisode: "Double Trouble"
1975 S.W.A.T. YouthEpisode: "Vigilante" [9]
1976 ABC After School Special: Me and Dad's New Wife
1977–1978 The Fitzpatricks Jack Fitzpatrick13 episodes
1979 California Fever Vince Butler10 episodes [8]
1983 The Love Boat Charles Davidson2 episodes [8]
1984–1985 General Hospital Josh ClaytonRecurring role
1985 ABC After School Special: First the Egg David Hanna
1995 V.R. Troopers Brandon SandsEpisode: "A Hard Day's Mutant"
2013–2014 On Cinema Himself2 episodes
2017 Decker: Unsealed Son of Dracula5 episodes


Related Research Articles

Tim Curry English actor and singer

Timothy James Curry is an English actor and singer. He is known for working in a diverse range of theatre, film, and television, most often portraying villainous characters. Curry rose to prominence with his portrayal of Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the film The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), reprising the role he had originated in the 1973 London and the 1974 Los Angeles musical stage productions of The Rocky Horror Show.

Leif Garrett American actor and singer

Leif Garrett is an American singer, songwriter, actor, and television personality. He worked as a child actor, then in the 1970s became famous as a teen idol in music. He later received much publicity for his drug abuse and legal troubles.

<i>Only When I Laugh</i> (film) 1981 film by Glenn Jordan

Only When I Laugh is a 1981 American comedy-drama film based on Neil Simon's 1970 play The Gingerbread Lady.

Tyler Hoechlin American actor

Tyler Lee Hoechlin is an American actor. Initially earning recognition for starring as Michael Sullivan Jr. in the 2002 film Road to Perdition, Hoechlin went on to star as Martin Brewer on 7th Heaven between 2003 and 2007. In television, he is also known for portraying Derek Hale on Teen Wolf and Superman in the Arrowverse series Supergirl and Superman & Lois.

<i>Family</i> (1976 TV series) American television series

Family is an American television drama series that aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) television network from 1976 to 1980. Creative control of the show was split among executive producers Leonard Goldberg, Aaron Spelling, and Mike Nichols. A total of 86 episodes were produced. It is seen occasionally on Decades, a digital subchannel TV network.

Jimmy Fallon American talk show host, and comedian

James Thomas Fallon is an American comedian, actor, television host, singer, writer, and producer. He is known for his work in television as a cast member on Saturday Night Live and as the host of late-night talk show The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and before that Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Kristy McNichol American actress

Christina Ann McNichol is an American retired actress, comedian, producer, and singer. She is known for such roles as Angel in the film Little Darlings, Polly in the film Only When I Laugh, and Barbara Weston in the TV sitcom Empty Nest. She won two Emmy Awards for her portrayal of teenage daughter Letitia "Buddy" Lawrence in the TV drama Family. McNichol retired from acting in 2001.

James Lafferty American actor

James Martin Lafferty is an American actor, director, and producer. He is best known for his portrayal of Nathan Scott on The WB/CW teen drama television series One Tree Hill from 2003 to 2012.

Christopher Atkins American actor

Christopher Atkins is an American actor, perhaps best known for his debut in the 1980 film The Blue Lagoon.

Elisabeth Brooks Luyties was a Canadian actress. Elisabeth is probably best remembered for her role as the evil, leather-clad siren Marsha Quist in The Howling (1981). Her other film appearances included Deep Space (1988), and The Forgotten One (1989), starring Kristy McNichol.

<i>The Pirate Movie</i>

The Pirate Movie is a 1982 Australian musical romantic comedy film directed by Ken Annakin and starring Christopher Atkins and Kristy McNichol. Loosely based on Gilbert and Sullivan's 1879 comic opera The Pirates of Penzance, the original music score is composed by Mike Brady and Peter Sullivan.

Andy Samberg American comedian and actor

Andy Samberg is an American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and musician. He is a member of the comedy music group The Lonely Island and was a cast member on Saturday Night Live (2005–2012), where he and his fellow group members have been credited with popularizing the SNL Digital Shorts.

Austin Nichols American actor and director (born 1980)

Austin Nichols is an American actor and director, known for his role as Julian Baker in The CW drama series One Tree Hill. He is also known for his roles in the films The Day After Tomorrow and Wimbledon. He starred as John Monad in the HBO drama series John from Cincinnati, and portrayed Spencer Monroe in the AMC horror drama series The Walking Dead.

Philip McKeon American actor (1964–2019)

Philip Anthony McKeon was an American child actor and radio personality, best known for his role as Tommy Hyatt, the son of the title character on the television sitcom Alice from 1976 to 1985.

Evan Peters American actor

Evan Thomas Peters is an American actor, best known for his multiple roles on the FX anthology series American Horror Story, Stan Bowes in the first season of the FX ballroom drama series Pose, and Peter Maximoff / Quicksilver in the X-Men film series (2014–2019).

Keri Lynn Pratt American actress of film and television

Keri Lynn Pratt is an American film and television actress. She is best known for her role as Missy Belknap in Jack & Bobby and as Dee Vine in the film, Drive Me Crazy; which was her debut role.

<i>Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker</i> 1982 American exploitation horror film by William Asher

Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker is a 1981 American exploitation horror film directed by William Asher, and starring Susan Tyrrell, Jimmy McNichol, Julia Duffy, and Bo Svenson. Framed as a contemporary Oedipus tale, the plot focuses on a teenager who, raised by his neurotic aunt, finds himself at the center of a murder investigation after she stabs a man to death in their house. The boy's sexually repressed aunt secretly harbors incestuous feelings for him, while a homophobic detective investigating the crime irrationally believes the murder to be a result of a homosexual love triangle.

Kellee Maize American rapper

Kellee Maize is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. Her first album, Age of Feminine, was released in 2007. Maize has recorded and released six full albums and several singles. As of 2011, her YouTube videos had combined for over four million views, and she had over 180,000 Twitter and Facebook fans. Her albums had been downloaded over 400,000 times, and she has been mentioned in various media outlets over 200 times. According to a news report in 2011, a Google search for “female rapper” displayed her website as the number one search result.

The Carpenters: A Christmas Portrait is a Christmas television special featuring The Carpenters that aired on ABC on December 19, 1978. It was the second Christmas TV special that the pop duo made and was taped in October 1978.

Sophie Bathsheba Thatcher is an American actress who made her feature-film debut in the 2018 American science fiction feature length film Prospect.


  1. 1 2 McNichol, Jimmy. "Finding Jimmy". Jimmy McNichol. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Smith, Kyle (October 5, 1998). "Greenbopper". People . Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  3. Pradt, Mary (1995). You Must Remember This 1961: Milestones, Memories, Trivia Nad Facts, News Events, Prominent Personalities & Sports Highlights of the Year. New York: Warner Treasures. p. 11. ISBN   978-0-446-91037-8.
  4. Chase, William DeRoy (1993). Chase's Annual Events . Chicago, Illinois: Contemporary Books. p.  275. ISBN   978-0-809-23732-6.
  5. Wu, Jessica (2011). Feed Your Face: The 28-day Plan for Younger, Smoother Skin and a Beautiful Body. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. p.  163. ISBN   978-1-25000-344-7.
  6. Dennis 2006, p. 123.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 Reilly, Sue (October 3, 1977). "Kristy and Jimmy McNichol and Their 34-Year-Old Mom Are Their Own Family Hour". People . Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  8. 1 2 3 4 "Jimmy McNichol Credits". TV Guide . Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  9. 1 2 Reilly, Sue (November 20, 1978). "Niff Kristy McNichol". People . Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  10. 1 2 3 Dye, David (1988). Child and Youth Actors: Filmographies of Their Entire Careers, 1914–1985 . Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. p.  148. ISBN   978-0-899-50247-2.
  11. 1 2 Leszczak, Bob (2015). From Small Screen to Vinyl: A Guide to Television Stars Who Made Records, 1950–2000. New York: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 180. ISBN   978-1-442-24274-6.
  12. "Kristy and Jimmy McNichol". Billboard . Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  13. "McNichols previews". The News Leader. Staunton, Virginia. August 27, 1978. p. 11 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  14. "Jimmy and Kristy McNichol- Closer Than Ever". Yahoo! . July 18, 2013. Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  15. 1 2 3 Robins, Cynthia (May 30, 1981). "Jimmy McNichol At 19". The San Francisco Examiner . p. 15 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  16. "Television/Radio: Jimmy McNichol". The Akron Beacon Journal . Akron, Ohio. April 30, 1980. p. 19 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  17. "Jimmy McNichol stars in first special". The Odessa American . Odessa, Texas. April 27, 1980. p. 12 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  18. 1 2 Geoghegan, Joan (January 7, 1979). "A Double First for Jimmy McNichol". The Central New Jersey Home News . New Brunswick, New Jersey. p. 31 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  19. 1 2 Dennis 2006, p. 124.
  20. 1 2 Stewart, Justin (January 15, 2019). "TCM Diary: Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker". Film Comment . Film Society of Lincoln Center. Archived from the original on February 13, 2019.
  21. 1 2 O'Connor, John J. (May 20, 1991). "Review/Television; Battling Cancer and an Addicted Son". The New York Times . Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  22. 1 2 3 Rouvalis, Christina (June 22, 2016). "Idol Find: Pittsburgh Rapper Teams Up with Dad Jimmy McNichol for New Show". Pittsburgh Magazine . Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  23. Smith, Kyle (October 5, 1998). "Greenbopper". People. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  24. Livingston, John (June 11, 2016). "Durango's Jimmy McNichol recounts Muhammad Ali encounter". The Durango Herald . Durango, Colorado. Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  25. Okura, Lynn. "Meet Kellee Maize, The Daughter '70s Heartthrob Jimmy McNichol Never Knew He Had (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  26. Maize, Kellee (October 11, 2014). "Creating Reality on Oprah: Finding My Famous Birth Dad and Aunt and Sharing the First Piece of Our Story". The Huffington Post . Archived from the original on October 19, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  27. "'Stranded,' drama on CBS". The News Leader. Staunton, Virginia. August 15, 1976. p. 11 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  28. "Escape from El Diablo". British Film Institute . Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019.