Jimmy McNichol
McNichol in 2011
Born (1961-07-02) July 2, 1961 (age 62)
  • Actor
  • singer
  • talk show host
  • real estate investor
Years active1974–present
Renée McNichol
(m. 1997)
Children3, including Kellee Maize
RelativesKristy McNichol (sister)

James Vincent McNichol III (born July 2, 1961), known professionally as Jimmy McNichol, is an American 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 child 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

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 on shows such as Little House on the Prairie (1974)[8] and S.W.A.T. (1975).[9]

His first film appearance was 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 outcome—it'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] He also collaborated with Playground Television and Pet Power Kids on Animal Rescue The Rockies (or "ARTR"),[1] a TV series documenting animal rescue and related issues.

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] Their new familial bond was profiled in 2014 by Oprah Winfrey.[26]



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1973 Sunshine Uncredited [10]
1976 Stranded Tim Blake Television film [27]
1979 Champions: A Love Story Peter Scoggin III Television film [18]
1980 Blinded by the Light David Bowers Television film [19]
1981 Smokey Bites the Dust Roscoe Wilton [15]
1981 Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker Billy Lynch Also known as: Night Warning [20]
1984 Escape from El Diablo Daniel Also known as: California Cowboys [28]
1991 Reason for Living: The Jill Ireland Story Valentine McCallum Television film [21]
2012 Call to Action to Mayor Bloomberg: Sodas & Soap Operas Himself Short film
2019 Mister America Himself Archive footage


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1974 Run, Joe, Run Robbie Episode: "False Alarm"
1974 Gunsmoke Willie Episode: "The Tarnished Badge"
1974 Little House on the Prairie Harry Baker 3 episodes [8]
1975 Shazam! Kelly Martin Episode: "Double Trouble"
1975 S.W.A.T. Youth Episode: "Vigilante" [9]
1976 ABC After School Special: Me and Dad's New Wife
1977–1978 The Fitzpatricks Jack Fitzpatrick 13 episodes
1979 California Fever Vince Butler 10 episodes [8]
1983 The Love Boat Charles Davidson 2 episodes [8]
1984–1985 General Hospital Josh Clayton Recurring role
1985 ABC After School Special: First the Egg David Hanna
1995 V.R. Troopers Brandon Sands Episode: "A Hard Day's Mutant"
2013–2014 On Cinema Himself 2 episodes
2017 Decker Son of Dracula 5 episodes



  1. ^ a b McNichol, Jimmy. "Finding Jimmy". Jimmy McNichol. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e 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. ^ a b c d e 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. ^ a b c d "Jimmy McNichol Credits". TV Guide. Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Reilly, Sue (November 20, 1978). "Niff Kristy McNichol". People. Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  10. ^ a b c 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. ^ a b 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.
  14. ^ "Jimmy and Kristy McNichol- Closer Than Ever". Yahoo! Entertainment. July 18, 2013. Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  15. ^ a b c Robins, Cynthia (May 30, 1981). "Jimmy McNichol At 19". The San Francisco Examiner. p. B1 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ "Television/Radio: Jimmy McNichol". The Akron Beacon Journal. April 30, 1980. p. B5 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "Jimmy McNichol stars in first special". The Odessa American. April 27, 1980. p. 12 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ a b 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 icon
  19. ^ a b Dennis 2006, p. 124.
  20. ^ a b 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. ^ a b 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. ^ a b c Rouvalis, Christina (June 22, 2016). "Idol Find: Pittsburgh Rapper Teams Up with Dad Jimmy McNichol for New Show". Pittsburgh Magazine. 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. 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 icon
  28. ^ "Escape from El Diablo". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019.