I make no apologies about my feelings for Kim Richards. I fell madly in love with her when I was a kid and still hold a great fondness for her in my heart. Whenever I see a picture of her (at any age) I sigh, close my eyes, and wish that I had had the opportunity to woo and wed her. But that never happened, nor ever would have, so it remains a pleasant (yet painful) fantasy.
17 years in the business, a gaggle of high rated TV shows and movies, a child star to match few others, and suddenly we saw her no more. I will not deny that the last few of her projects were not box office gold, but I will not put the blame entirely onto Kim. As she grew older (as if 21 is too old for Hollywood!) her ability to get parts declined dramatically. I suppose too many producers and directors remembered her as a child star and couldn't get over that image.
I grew up watching Nanny and the Professor (both the show and the cartoon). I saw Kim on many (MANY!) other shows, and then she hit gold when she starred in Escape to Witch Mountain (one of my all time favorite films). If you don't remember that film with delight, well, I don't want to cuss here on Kim's page, so all I'll say is that there is something seriously wrong with you. ;P
There were many other TV series in Kim's career, some movies too, and of course Return from Witch Mountain which was pretty funky (plot, not acting). Kim worked and she worked well. The plot was not as endearing as the first and there was no building of relationships in it (ie. the kids, the cat, and the old crusty coot from the first film), so a wanna-be action movie was all it turned out to be. But heck, they had Bette Davis and Christopher Lee in the flick, so who knew that it would not be a winner? You see it and judge for yourself.
Then came Meatballs Part II (1984). It was the sequel to a box office winner but they left out Bill Murray and Chris Makepeace. How dumb was that? People went to see the first because of those two. Without them the sequel was doomed to fail. And it did fail! Plus the plot was terrible and they misused Kim totally. The funky alien (wannabe E.T.) and the hinting about Kim's role in Witch Mountain made me slightly sick to my stomach.
Tuff Turf came out in 1985. This was not a box office winner despite having James Spader, Robert Downey Jr., and Kim Richards in it. They did something with her hair in that film that still gives me a headache when I think about it, and to be honest I just can't believe Kim playing a tough girl role. Some people love that film, but I am not one of those people.
In 1990 Kim starred in (and produced) a movie called "Escape". I have not seen it (yet) as I didn't know about it until recently. That was the only project Kim did in the 1990s.
Kim says that she left show business to raise a family. I certainly believe that is true, but not the whole story. I think she had too much trouble getting roles and those that she did get were not quality roles with quality co-stars.
What would you do? I'd have left the business too.
Where is she now (07/02/08):
Kim also, now that the kids are getting older, wants to try her hand in the business again.
In 2000 they started doing something called "The Blair Witch Mountain Project". Kim will be/was in it.
Here is a more recent photo of her from Entertainment Tonight (sigh):
In 2006 she was in "Black Snake Moan" briefly.
In 2009 we will get to see her in "Race to Witch Mountain/"
In 2010 and on we see her on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills/