Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Kirk Cameron

Kirk Thomas Cameron (born October 12, 1970) is an American actor best known for his role as Mike Seaver on the television situation comedy Growing Pains (1985–1992), as well as several other television and film appearances as a child actor. In the 1980s and 1990s, Cameron appeared in dozens of television shows and in the films Like Father Like Son and Listen to Me.

Recently, he portrayed Cameron "Buck" Williams in the Left Behind film series and Caleb Holt in the 2008 drama film, Fireproof. Cameron 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.

Cameron was born on October 12, 1970, in Panorama City, suburb of Los Angeles. His parents are Robert Cameron, a retired school teacher, and Barbara (Bausmith), a stay-at-home mother. He is the brother to Bridgette, Melissa, and Candace. His younger sister Candace Cameron Bure 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 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 Rose (born July 18, 2001) and James Thomas (born April 13, 2003).

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 10, 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, Seaver's girlfriend was Kate MacDonald, who was 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 also guest starred in "Just One of the Guys" a 1988 episode of Full House in which he played the cousin of D.J. Tanner, who was played by Cameron's sister, Candace.

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 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. 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.

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 evolutionary theory. 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 March 2012, Kirk 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 the public and members of the entertainment industry, including Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Roseanne Barr, Craig Ferguson, Josh Charles, Sara Gilbert, Debra Messing, Martha Plimpton, Kristin Chenoweth and Cameron's former 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 recent comments on same-sex marriage on The Rosie Show, but he declined and suggested a private dinner to discuss this topic personally

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