I doubt many people have heard of Jimmy McNichol except for those who bought teen magazines. He was never as famous as his younger sister Kristy and never seemed to land a hit TV show. I do remember thinking he was a stand-up guy when he stood by Kristy during her dark (crazy) time. He seemed to be quite talented but never had the same success as his sister or other teen idols of the day. I don’t know why that happens. He was certainly talented enough. Oh yeah, he was hot too. Yum.
James Vincent McNichol was born on July 2, 1961 in Los Angeles. He and his sister Kristy used to hang out on the set of Family Affair where their mom worked. Little Jimmy thought acting looked easy, so he decided to give it a try. He got a Band Aid commercial at the age of seven and appeared in tons of commercials (60?) before getting TV gigs.
He had some minor roles in Gunsmoke, Little House on the Prairie, Shazam, and others. In 1977, he landed the role of Jack Fitzpatrick on the TV show The Fitzpatricks. I don’t remember that show. Was it like an Eight is Enough thing? It also starred minor teen heartthrob Clark Brandon. Jimmy then starred in a TV movie about ice skating. I don’t remember that either. It was called Champions: A Love Story. I thought it was an Ice Castles rip off, but what do I know…..
He was in a show called California Fever which should have been a hit because it starred a bunch of hot dudes. It had Jimmy, Lorenzo Lamas (who I think got top billing), Marc McClure (Marty McFly’s brother in Back to the Future), Rex Smith, Michele Tobin, and Cosie Costa (The Kids from C.A.P.E.R.). Joseph Bonaduce (Danny Bonaduce from The Partridge Family‘s dad) was a producer on California Fever. I wonder how he made time to produce what with all the beatings he was giving Danny. Well, I guess Danny was 20 by that time so he could probably defend himself. And I’m sure he had already moved out. Anyhoo, California Fever flopped after ten episodes. Too bad. So sad.
Jimmy made some bad B movies in the early 80’s and was then on General Hospital for a year or so. I also remember a cool talk show he hosted (Hollywood Teen) in the late 70’s that didn’t last very long. All the current teen idols would go on there and talk to Jimmy. I remember when Leif Garrett was on. Yum.
Donny and Marie?
Jimmy did an album with his sister that was an embarrassment. Neither could really sing at that point. I saw them perform on Merv Griffin or Mike Douglas and it was really bad. Neither can dance. They did a song on a Dick Clark special called He’s a Dancer. Uhh….not sure who they’re singing about. I think their agents were maybe trying to make them the next Donny & Marie. While the McNichol kids were talented, they weren’t Osmond talented.
Jimmy McNichol has been married since 1997. He and his wife have a son and daughter together. Jimmy found out in 2010 that he has another daughter from a relationship he had when he was 18. Can you imagine finding out that you have a grown daughter? That daughter (Kellee Maize) is married with a child which makes McNichol a grandpa. Grandpa Jimmy.
But, yeah. I think Jimmy McNichol was just as talented (maybe more so) than a lot of teen idols of his time. He kind of sputtered here and there with TV and movies but never really got his big break. McNichol retired from acting at the age of 30. He and his family live in Durango, Colorado which is way nicer than Hollywood. Wikipedia says that McNichol is in “residential construction and home rehabilitation”. Is that a fancy way of saying that he flips houses? I bet Jimmy McNichol is a good husband and father AND brother. Maybe it’s a good thing he never got his big break.