Remember Kristy McNichol? Here's how she looks now after she retired and came out as gay

Decades after winning the hearts of fans as a child actor, the star has continued to be an inspiration for people struggling with issues of mental health and sexual orientation.

Kristy McNichol, the actor who impressed TV audiences as a child star, is now 55 years of age.

Despite having retired from acting early on, she continues to inspire others through her open battle against bipolar disorder as well as by coming out as gay in 2012.

As reported by Closer Weekly, the star announced her retirement from acting in 2001, when she was just 24 years old.

McNichol had revealed that she was quitting a career in acting because she was in a position where she had to choose between 'continuing the show and not being well.' 

It was one of the hardest decisions she had to make as an actress. She had also explained that she had a chemical imbalance similar to manic-depressive illness.

According to Biography, it was later revealed that McNichols was actually struggling with bipolar disorder.

At the time of her retirement, she had stated that she was turning away from Hollywood to 'play her biggest part' yet, which playing herself in her real life. She believed that it was the best thing to have ever happened to her.

McNichols explained that she had given up her acting career but she was definitely winning on the aspects of life like her personal happiness and well-being.

In 2012, the resilient actor opened up about another crucial truth of her life - her sexual orientation. McNichol came out and announced that she was gay and she has been in a two-decade relationship with partner Martie Allen.

The star disclosed the surprising truth in the hope of inspiring a generation of children, who were being bullied because of their orientation.

Her publicist, Jeff Ballard, hoped that McNichol's coming out can help kids who need support. The star was living a happy and healthy life and was enjoying living leading a private life.

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