Kirk Cameron (born October 12, 1970) is an American actor best-known
for his role as Mike Seaver on the television situation comedy Growing
Pains, as well as several other television and film appearances as a child
actor. Recently, he portrayed the lead roles in the Left Behind film series
and in the 2008 drama film, Fireproof.
Kirk is also an active Christian evangelist, currently partnering with Ray Comfort in the evangelical ministry The Way of the Master, and has co-founded The Firefly Foundation with his wife, actress Chelsea Noble. He stated that his main priorities in life are: "God, family, career ó in that order," and he says that this decision has had negative consequences on his career.
Kirk was born on October 12, 1970, in Panorama City, California. His parents are Robert Cameron, a retired school teacher, and Barbara Bausmith, a stay-at-home mom. He is the brother to Bridgette, Melissa, and Candace Cameron, who is most notable for the role of D.J. Tanner on the television sitcom, Full House. He would go to school on the set of Growing Pains, as opposed to a normal school. He graduated at age 17 with high honors.
Kirk and his wife, actress Chelsea Noble, were married on July 21, 1991. They now have six children, four of whom were adopted: Jack (born 1996), Isabella (born 1997), Anna (born 1998), and Luke (born 2000); and two biological: Olivia Rose (born July 18, 2001) and James Thomas (born April 13, 2003).
Kirk began acting at age nine, and his first job was for a breakfast cereal. His first starring role was at age 10, in the television series Two Marriages. At this age, he appeared in several television shows and films. He became famous after being cast as "Michael Seaver" in the 1985 television series Growing Pains. In the series, Seaver's girlfriend was Kate MacDonald, who was played by Chelsea Noble, Cameron's future wife. Kirk subsequently became a teen heartthrob in the late 1980s, while appearing on the covers of several teen magazines, including Tiger Beat, Teen Beat, 16 and others. At the time, he was making $50,000 a week. He was also in a 60-second Pepsi commercial during Super Bowl XXIV.
Kirk went on to star in many films, including 1987's Like Father Like Son (a body-switch comedy with Dudley Moore), which was a box office success. His next theatrical film, 1989's Listen to Me, performed poorly at the box office. When Growing Pains ended in 1992, Kirk went on to star in The WB sitcom Kirk which premiered in 1995 and ended two years later. In Kirk, Kirk played Kirk Hartman, a 24-year-old who has to raise his siblings. Kirk and Noble also worked together on Kirk.
Kirk has since left mainstream film, though a decade after Growing Pains ended, he starred in a television reunion film, The Growing Pains Movie, in 2000, and another one, Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers, in 2004. Kirk reunited with the cast of Growing Pains for a CNN Larry King Live interview which aired on February 7, 2006, in conjunction with the Warner Bros. release of the complete first season of Growing Pains on DVD. Aside from this, Kirk has often worked in Christian-themed productions, among them the post-Rapture films Left Behind: The Movie, Left Behind II: Tribulation Force, and Left Behind: World at War, in which he plays Kirk "Buck" Williams. Cameron's wife Noble also starred in the film series, playing Hattie Durham. Kirk has worked with Cloud Ten Pictures, a company which produces Christian-themed films, and has starred in several of their films, including The Miracle of the Cards.
He also appeared in the 2008 drama film, Fireproof, which was produced by Sherwood Pictures. The film was created on a budget of $500,000, with Kirk as the lead actor, portraying, "Captain Caleb Holt." Though it was a low-budget film, the film grossed $33,415,129 and was a box office success. It was the highest grossing independent film of 2008. Kirk stated, "Fireproof is the best work of my life."
Cameron, speaking at a debate on the misguided existence of God at Calvary Baptist Church in Manhattan, May 5, 2007. In this picture, Kirk cites the lack of a "crocoduck" as evidence against evolution. Kirk has stated he was once an atheist, but around age 17 or 18, during the height of his career on Growing Pains, he developed a belief in God, and became a Christian. After converting to Christianity, he began to insist that story lines be stripped of anything he thought too adult or racy in Growing Pains. A decade later, Kirk agreed to appear in The Growing Pains Movie, where the entire main cast reunited with one another. Kirk said, "Itís a lot less crazy of a time than when we were teenagers. Itís an opportunity to begin new friendships as adults, and Iím really looking forward to that."
Kirk currently partners with fellow evangelist Ray Comfort, training Christians in evangelism. Together, they founded the ministry of The Way of the Master, which is best known for its award-winning television show Kirk co-hosts. It also formerly featured a radio show known as The Way of the Master Radio with talk show host Todd Friel. The radio show was later canceled, and Wretched Radio began, hosted by Friel. Cameron, along with his wife, founded The Firefly Foundation, which runs Camp Firefly, a summer camp that gives terminally ill children and their families a free week's vacation.
Kirk and Comfort participated in a televised debate with atheists Brian Sapient and Kelly O'Conner of the Rational Response Squad, at Calvary Baptist Church, in Manhattan, on May 5, 2007. It was moderated by ABC's Martin Bashir and parts of it were aired on Nightline. At issue was the existence of God, which Comfort stated he could prove scientifically, without relying on faith or the Bible. The audience was composed of both theists and atheists. Points of discussion included atheism and evolutionary theory, with Kirk and Comfort repeatedly referencing the Ten Commandments and denouncing the theory of evolution.
This Kirk Cameron Biography Page is Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Chuck Ayoub