Cameron at CPAC in February 2012
|Born||Kirk Thomas Cameron
October 12, 1970
Panorama City, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, evangelist, TV show host|
|Spouse(s)||Chelsea Noble (m. 1991)|
|Relatives||Candace Cameron Bure (sister)|
Kirk Thomas Cameron (born October 12, 1970) is an American actor. He is best known for his role as Mike Seaver on the ABC sitcom Growing Pains (1985–92), a role for which he was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards.
As a child actor, Cameron made several other television and film appearances through the 1980s and 1990s, including the films Like Father Like Son (1987) and Listen to Me (1989). In the 2000s, he portrayed Cameron "Buck" Williams in the Left Behind film series and Caleb Holt in the drama film Fireproof (2008). His most recent film, Saving Christmas (2014), gained notoriety for reaching #1 on the IMDb Bottom 100 List within one month of its theatrical release.
Cameron is also an active Evangelical Christian, 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.
Cameron was born in Panorama City, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. His parents are Barbara (née Bausmith) and Robert Cameron, a retired schoolteacher. He is the brother to Bridgette (b. 1967), Melissa (b. 1970), and actress Candace Cameron Bure, who is most notable for her role as D.J. Tanner on the popular television sitcom, Full House. He went to school on the set of Growing Pains, as opposed to public school. He graduated from high school at age 17 with high honors.
Cameron began acting at age nine, and his first job was in an advertisement for a breakfast cereal. His first starring role was at age 13, in the television series Two Marriages. At this age, he appeared in several television shows and films. He became famous in 1985 after being cast as Mike Seaver in the ABC television sitcom Growing Pains. In the series, Mike would eventually have a girlfriend named Kate MacDonald, played by Chelsea Noble, Cameron's future wife. Cameron 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.
Cameron 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, Cameron went on to star in The WB sitcom Kirk which premiered in 1995 and ended two years later. In Kirk, Cameron played Kirk Hartman, a 24-year-old who has to raise his siblings. Cameron and Noble also worked together on Kirk.
Cameron has since mostly left mainstream film and television, 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. Cameron 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, Cameron 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 Cameron "Buck" Williams. Cameron's wife Noble also starred in the film series, playing Hattie Durham. Cameron 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 Cameron 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.
In 2012, Cameron was the narrator and host of the documentary film Monumental: In Search of America's National Treasure. On its opening day, March 27, 2012, Monumental grossed $28,340. The film stayed in theaters until May 20, 2012, grossing a total of $177,729.
In 2013, Cameron announced he would be the host of the film Unstoppable slated to premiere September 24, 2013. A trailer for the film was blocked on Facebook, with Cameron speculating that it was due to the film's religious content. Facebook has since removed the block, stating it was the result of a mistake by an automated system and a spam site previously registered at the same web address.
In 2014, Cameron starred in the faith-based comedy film Saving Christmas. The film was heavily panned by critics, winning the 2014 Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture and Worst Screenplay. Cameron also won the award for Worst Actor and Worst Screen Combo, which he won with "his ego".
Cameron 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 the television show of the same name that Cameron co-hosts, and which won the National Religious Broadcasters’ Best Program Award for two consecutive years. 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 replaced with Wretched Radio, 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.
Cameron 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 evolution. While Sapient contended during his arguments that Comfort violated the rules by talking about the Ten Commandments, Cameron later stated on the Way of the Master radio show that the rules of the debate did not say that the Bible could never be referenced, but rather that Comfort simply had to come up with one argument that didn't reference the Bible or faith.
In November 2009 Cameron and others distributed free copies of an altered version of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species on college campuses in the United States. The book consisted of Darwin's text with chapters of the book removed, and with an added introduction by Ray Comfort reiterating common creationist assertions about Darwin and evolution. The book was criticized by scientists and Darwin biographers who criticized the omission of key chapters of the book, and who stated that its introduction contains misinformation about Darwin, and long-refuted creationist arguments about the science of evolution, such as the linking of Nazi racial theories to Darwinist ideas. Comfort later said that the four chapters were chosen at random to be omitted in order to make the book small enough to be affordable as a giveaway, with the absent chapters available for download, but that the missing chapters were included in the second edition, which had a smaller text size that made printing the entire book as a giveaway affordable. The second edition still lacks Darwin's preface and glossary of terms. The National Center for Science Education arranged a campaign to distribute an analysis of the Comfort introduction and a banana bookmark at colleges across the U.S., a reference to Comfort's presentation of the banana as an argument for the existence of God.
On March 2, 2012 Cameron stated on Piers Morgan Tonight that "homosexuality is unnatural, detrimental and ultimately destructive to foundations of civilization". Cameron's comments received criticism from GLAAD, and provoked a backlash from gay rights activists and members of the entertainment industry, including Roseanne Barr, Kristin Chenoweth, Craig Ferguson, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Debra Messing, Martha Plimpton, as well as Growing Pains co-stars Tracey Gold and Alan Thicke. Piers Morgan stated that Cameron was brave for expressing his opinion, "however antiquated his beliefs may be". Rosie O'Donnell invited him to discuss his comments on same-sex marriage on The Rosie Show, but he declined and suggested a private dinner to discuss this topic personally.
Cameron and his wife, fellow Growing Pains star 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 (born 2001) and James (born 2003).
Conversion to Christianity
Cameron was an atheist in his early teens. When he was 17, during the height of his career on Growing Pains, he became a born-again Christian. After converting to Christianity, he began to insist that storylines be edited to remove anything he thought too adult or inappropriate in Growing Pains. After the series was cancelled, Cameron did not maintain contact with his former co-stars, and did not speak to Tracey Gold for eight years. Cameron has stated that this was not due to any animosity on his part toward any of his former cast-members, but an outgrowth of his desire to start a new life away from the entertainment industry, and the life he had been in for the previous seven years. Prior to the premiere of The Growing Pains Movie in 2000, for which the entire main cast reunited, Cameron described his regrets over how his relationship with his castmates changed after his religious conversion during production of the series, saying, "I definitely kind of made an about-face, going toward another aspect of my life", admits Cameron. "I shifted my focus from 100% on the show, to 100% on [my new life], and left 0% on the show—and even the friendships that were a part of that show. If I could go back, I think I could make decisions that were less inadvertently hurtful to the cast—like talking and explaining to them why I just wanted to have my family at my wedding."
|1981||Bret Maverick||Boy #1||Episode: "The Lazy Ace: Part 1"|
|1982||Beyond Witch Mountain||Boy||Movie|
|1982||Herbie, the Love Bug||Young Kid||Episode: "Herbie the Matchmaker"|
|1983||Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land||Gary||Movie|
|1983||Two Marriages||Eric Armstrong||Episode: "Relativity"|
|1983||ABC Afterschool Specials||Willy
|"The Woman Who Willed a Miracle"
"Andrea's Story: A Hitchhiking Tragedy"
|1984||More Than Murder||Bobby||Movie|
|1984||Children in the Crossfire||Mickey Chandler||Movie|
|1985–92||Growing Pains||Mike Seaver||167 episodes|
|1988||Full House||Cousin Steve||Episode: "Just One of the Guys"|
|1991||Little Piece of Heaven, AA Little Piece of Heaven||Will Loomis||Movie|
|1995||Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, TheThe Computer Wore Tennis Shoes||Dexter Riley||Movie|
|1995–96||Kirk||Kirk Hartman||31 episodes|
|1998||You Lucky Dog||Jack Morgan||Movie|
|2000||Growing Pains Movie, TheThe Growing Pains Movie||Mike Seaver||Movie|
|2001||Touched by an Angel||Chuck Parker||Episode: "The Birthday Present"|
|2001||Miracle of the Cards, TheThe Miracle of the Cards||Josh||Movie|
|2002||Family Law||Mitchell Stark||Episode: "Blood and Water"|
|2003–13||Praise the Lord||Recurring guest host|
|Way of the Master, TheThe Way of the Master||Himself/Host|
|2004||Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers||Mike Seaver||Movie|
|1986||Best of Times, TheThe Best of Times||Teddy|
|1987||Like Father Like Son||Chris Hammond / Dr. Jack Hammond|
|1989||Listen to Me||Tucker Muldowney|
|1990||Willies, TheThe Willies||Mike Seaver|
|1998||Birth of Jesus, TheThe Birth of Jesus||Video|
|2001||Left Behind: The Movie||Buck Williams|
|2002||Left Behind II: Tribulation Force||Buck Williams|
|2005||Left Behind: World at War||Buck Williams|
|2012||Monumental: In Search of America's National Treasure||Himself||Documentary; also producer|
|2014||Mercy Rule||Direct-to-video and digital download|
|2014||Saving Christmas||Kirk||Limited theatrical release|
- 1994: The Horde; Chauncey
Awards and nominations
- Laufenberg, Norbert B. (June 2005). Entertainment Celebrities. Trafford Publishing. p. 99. ISBN 978-1-4120-5335-8.
- Kirk Cameron’s ‘Saving Christmas’ Sinks to Worst IMDB Rating in Site’s History
- IMDb Bottom 100 List
- Mansour, David (May 2005). From Abba to Zoom. Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-7407-5118-9.
- Celizic, Mike (October 18, 2007). "Candace Cameron has ‘Full House’ of her own". The Today Show. Retrieved February 22, 2009.
- "Full House: Cast Listing". TV.com. Retrieved November 27, 2008.
- "Just one of the guys". Chicago Sun-Times. November 16, 1987. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
I go to school on the set, not to a regular school.
- Mills, Bart (August 31, 1988). "Kirk Cameron grows past his early fame as teen idol". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
- Mills, Nancy (June 26, 1987). "Curly-Haired Kirk Cameron Teen-Age Heartthrob Takes Fame In Stride". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 27, 2009.[dead link]
- O'Conner, John J. (March 8, 1984). "ABC's Two Marriages Now A Weekly Series". The New York Times. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
- Rhudy, Ben (January 29, 2009). "Kirk Cameron talks Fireproof, marriage, and the demands of playing a firefighter". Monsters and Critics. Retrieved February 15, 2009.
- "End of the line Saturday winds up the week with series winding up their runs". Kogan, Rick, September 20, 1991, Chicago Tribune.
- "'Growing Pains' Pair A Couple Once Again". Slewinski, Christy, May 27, 1996, Chicago Tribune.
- "Will Fall Strategy Keep New Networks Alive?". The Charlotte Observer. August 28, 1995. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
- Ewald, Dan (March–April 2003). "The Rebirth of Kirk Cameron". Today's Christian. Archived from the original on July 11, 2008. Retrieved February 23, 2009.
- "Channel Hopping". Dayton Daily News. January 12, 1990. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
- Tucker, Ernest (September 27, 1987). "Dudley Moore & Kirk Cameron — Comic team of 'Like Father Like Son'". Chicago Sun-Times.
- "Like Father Like Son Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 26, 2008.
- "Listen to Me Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 26, 2008.
- Grahnke, Lon (August 23, 1995). "More Growing Pains — Kirk Works On Being Adult". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
- Johnson, Steve (August 23, 1995). "Up And Running, WB Gets A Jump On Fall With 'KIRK'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 27, 2009.[dead link]
- Owen, Rob (November 3, 2000). "On the Tube: 'Growing Pains Movie' catches up with the Seaver clan". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 24, 2009.
- "Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers : Overview". MSN Movies. Retrieved November 27, 2008.
- "Growing Pains Cast Reunion". CNN. February 7, 2006. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
- Lammers, Tim (November 4, 2005). "Film Series Is Something Kirk Cameron Won't Leave 'Behind'". ABC News. Retrieved February 24, 2009.
- Ault, Susanne (November 16, 2004). "Acquires distribution rights to Christian-related titles". Video Business. Retrieved February 23, 2009.
- Marrapodi, Eric (February 13, 2009). "'Fireproof' is still generating heat". CNN. Retrieved February 23, 2009.
- "Church hosts showing of 'Fireproof' movie". The Herald-Dispatch. January 22, 2009. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
- Buss, Dale (January 21, 2009). "What Christians Watch". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 24, 2009.
- "Monumental: In Search of America's National Treasure". boxofficemojo. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
- "Kirk Cameron fights Facebook over new film". USA Today. July 26, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
- "Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
- Grinberg, Emanuella (February 22, 2015). "Kirk Cameron sweeps the Razzies for 'Saving Christmas'". CNN.
- Phan, Katherine T. (February 14, 2009). "Christian Evangelist's Book Ranked Bestselling 'Atheist' Item". The Christian Post. Retrieved February 15, 2009.
- "Christian Reality TV Show wins 'Best Program' and 'People's Choice' Awards". Christian Broadcasting Network. June 14, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2009.
- "Wretched with Todd Friel" (PDF). InTouch Ministries. February 26, 2008. Retrieved February 23, 2009.
- "'Fireproof' shows Christian movies sell". ABC News. October 3, 2008. Retrieved February 24, 2009.[dead link]
- "Growing Pains Are Behind Him". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. September 13, 1998. Retrieved February 24, 2009.
- "Correction to article; "Evangelist Challenges Atheists to Debate on ABC"". Christianpost.com. 2007-04-29. Retrieved 2012-04-06.
- "Prepare for a Conflict: The Nightline Face-Off No-Holds Barred Battle Over the Existence of God". ABC News. May 7, 2007. Retrieved November 27, 2008.
- "Was somebody lying or just plain forgetful?". Way of the Master Radio, May 9, 2007 Hour 2 Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Actor Blasts Evolution". CNN. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
- Jones, Oliver. "Kirk Cameron Stands Behind Controversial Darwin Statements". People. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
- Scott, Eugenie (October 30, 2009). "How Creationist 'Origin' Distorts Darwin". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved October 31, 2009.
- "The Don't Diss Darwin Institute". National Center for Science Education. Retrieved 2009-11-20.
- Ray Comfort; Darwin, Charles (2009). Origin of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition. Bridge-Logos Foundation. ISBN 0-88270-919-4.
- "The Don't Diss Darwin Institute". National Center for Science Education. 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-20.
"Got Comfort? Get protection!". National Center for Science Education. November 19, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-20.
- "Cameron: 'Homosexuality is unnatural'". CNN. March 2, 2012.
- Fowler, Brandi (March 4, 2011). "Kirk Cameron: Homosexuality Is 'Detrimental and Destructive'; GLAAD Says 'He's Out of Step'". E!.
- Serpe, Gina (March 5, 2012). "Kirk Cameron backlash swift as stars slam anti-gay speech". Today.
- Marikar, Sheila (March 5, 2012). "Kirk Cameron Receiving Support Despite Anti-Gay Comments". ABC News.
- Johnson, Zach (March 5, 2012). "Update: Tracey Gold, More Stars Slam Kirk Cameron for Anti-Gay Remarks", Us Weekly.
- "Kirk Cameron, Rosie O'Donnell to discuss gay rights". On Top Magazine. March 15, 2012.
- "Cameron Selected as latest IWU World Changer". Indiana Wesleyan University. March 1, 2012.
- "Kirk Cameron On His Kids: "I forgot who was adopted and who was not"". People.com. June 3, 2008.
- Bashir, Martin (7 May 2007), "Does God Exist? The Nightline Faceoff", ABC News, retrieved 4 April 2009
- "Back of Book Segment". The O'Reilly Factor Flash. April 12, 2006. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
- Cameron, Kirk; Ray Comfort (2004). The Way of the Master. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. p. Foreword. ISBN 1-4143-0061-1.
- "The Cast of 'Growing Pains:' Where Are They Now?". Fox News. December 18, 2008. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
- Keck, William (November 3, 2000). "TV Family’s Cast Gets Over Its Own 'Growing Pains'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
- "Kirk Cameron". metacritic. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
- "1988: Nominees and Winners". peopleschoice.com. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
- "1989: Nominees and Winners". peopleschoice.com. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
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