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Meet ‘Little Darlings’ Kristy McNichol and Tatum O’Neal at Steel City Con |

Meet ‘Little Darlings’ Kristy McNichol and Tatum O’Neal at Steel City Con

| Friday, December 7, 2018 6:00 p.m
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
Lou Ferrigno, known as 'The Hulk' is at the Steel City Con Dec. 7-9 at The Monroeville Convention Center in Monroeville.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
Actress Kristy McNichol of the “Little Darlings” and other shows and movies is at the Steel City Con Dec. 7-9 at The Monroeville Convention Center in Monroeville.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
Actress Tatum O’Neal of the “Little Darlings” and other shows and movies most notably “Paper Moon” is at the Steel City Con Dec. 7-9 at The Monroeville Convention Center in Monroeville.JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review

The “Little Darlings” have come to Pittsburgh.

Actresses Kristy McNichol and Tatum O’Neal are two of the celebrities appearing at Steel City Con inside the Monroeville Convention Center.

The stars from the drama of two 15-year-old girls from different side of the tracks who compete to see who will first lose their virginity while at camp are all grown up. And they’re still good friends.

“Tatum and I talk to each other,” said McNichol, 56, who began acting at age 9. “Tatum is wonderful.”

This is their first time together at Steel City Con on the East Coast. The show runs Dec. 7-9. The two have done past appearances together on the West Coast.

For this show, they were positioned in adjacent booths, signing photos from the “Little Darlings” days to other shows and movies they done.

The duo will be at the show tomorrow and Sunday.

What is it?

The Steel City Con is the exclusive comic con of the Monroeville Convention Center. It is one of the largest comic cons in the U.S. with over 100,000 square feet of convention space and filled with 750 vendor tables, artist alley, and celebrity guests. You can meet television and film celebrities along with experience celebrity question and answer sessions, celebrity photo ops, and theartist charity quick sketch. You can also take part in the Steel City Con’s cosplay, trivia contest and costume contests.

Hours are 2 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 8 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 9. Tickets are $23-$50.

California girls

McNichol and O’Neal live in California and say they are looking forward to their time in the Steel City. After McNichol’s career finished, she said she became involved in skiing and playing tennis and attending Los Angeles Valley College, where she spent some time in the choir to help raise money for students who can’t afford school. She’s also been traveling a lot and caring for her two dogs.

McNichol said there are more positives than negatives to being a child actor. She said really the only negative parts were not having the socialization of being in school and things like missing out on a prom.

“It helped that I had supportive parents,” said McNichol who doesn’t go back and watch herself in the shows and movies she did, but she said that she has seen everything she’s done at least once.

Two of her favorite roles were Mabel in the “Pirate Movie” and Angel in “Little Darlings.”

O’Neal, 55, said her role on “Little Darlings” came during that an awkward stage in her life because she was a teenager.

“I like to say that I live in a state of gratitude,” said O’Neal. “And that makes me happy. Acting is hard. It is not an easy job. The more support at home you have the easier you have it. Acting is a job, however, it’s one you can do until you die.”

Her advice to up-and-coming actors and actresses is to be prepared to hear “no” more than “yes.”

“There are times I wish I had a more ‘normal life,’ she said.

She is still the youngest ever to win an Academy Award, which she keeps in her home with other accolades.

“As a kid I don’t think I knew what I was winning, but I am grateful I have the award now,” she said.

Some people will recognize her which she said is nice.

The reveal

In her book, “A Paper Life” O’Neal is extremely candid. She talks about becoming the youngest Oscar winner in history for her performance in the film classic “Paper Moon.” As the sidekick to her father, the flamboyant star and man-about-town Ryan O’Neal, she became a fixture at the most glamorous Hollywood parties and counted celebrities ranging from Cher to Stanley Kubrick among her childhood friends.

Yet behind the glittering facade of Tatum O’Neal’s life lay heartbreak: abandonment, abuse, neglect, and drug addiction, her book reveals.

She talks about dysfunctional relationships with her father, Ryan O’Neal, and stepmother, Farrah Fawcett, as well as her alcoholic mother, Joanna Moore, and ex-husband, tennis pro John McEnroe.

After the collapse of her marriage and with no real family to turn to, Tatum O’Neal succumbed to the demons of her past that would nearly kill her. Now she has emerged clean and sober, rediscovering herself as an actress, mother, and wonderfully vibrant woman in what she considers the prime of her life.

“I am not spoiled like some people think,” she said. “Read my book, and see that I am the exact opposite. I am a good person and I try to be nice to people. I am more normal than people think.”

The Hulk also attending

Actor Lou Ferrigno is no stranger to Steel City Con. He said he enjoys coming to Pittsburgh because the fans are gracious. He has done other things than the “Hulk,” but it is what most people know him by, he said. He said attending such events gives him“instant gratification and the fans are so appreciative.”

Ferrigno eats right and works out daily, having trained Chuck Norris and Michael Jackson, which most people don’t know because it was a secret.

“I have people come up and tell me I got them in trouble with their mothers because they painted themselves green and tore things up in the house,” said the 67-year-old body builder who lives in California.


JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, or via Twitter @Jharrop_Trib.

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