“The Hollywood lifestyle was just overwhelming. A party here, an interview there, magazine and modeling shoots daily, your face everywhere and girls throwing themselves at you. As great as it felt at the time, I still felt something missing and that I needed to change.” Kirk Cameron
Golden Globe nominated American actor and Christian evangelist Kirk Cameron is best associated with his role as Mike Seaver on the hit ABC comedy series “Growing Pains” (1985-1992), which made him a teen idol in the late 1980s. He was handed several awards, including three Young Artists Awards and two People's Choice Awards, as well as received Golden Globe nominations. He later reprised the role for two TV films: “The Growing Pains Movie” (2000) and “Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers” (2004).
With his newfound fame, the curly-haired, boyishly handsome performer starred in several films and TV films such as the blockbuster hit “Like Father Like Son” (1987, won a Saturn Award), “Little Piece of Heaven” (1991), “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes” (1995) and “You Lucky Dog” (1998), and in his own TV series, “Kirk” (1995-1997). However, Cameron has since worked almost entirely on Christian-themed productions, most notably the Cloud Ten Pictures movie productions “Left Behind: The Movie” (2000), “Left Behind II: Tribulation Force” (2002) and “Left Behind: World at War” (2005).
One of TV Guide's “25 Greatest Teen Idols of TV” (2005), Cameron was an atheist until age 17 when he developed a belief in God. After converting to evangelical Christianity, he started to protest what he comprehended as immortality in “Growing Pains” by disassociating himself from fellow cast members. He even did not invite them to his wedding, although he later agreed to appear in a reunion TV film. Cameron apologized for his actions towards his TV family, mentioning it was his lack of maturity.
Currently, Cameron, who was once voted one of VH1's “100 Greatest Kid Stars,” joins forces with fellow evangelist Ray Comfort to train Christians in evangelism. They have a ministry together called “The Way of the Master,” which includes a television/video series, a multimedia website and a live daily radio show, “The Way of the Master Radio Show,” with Minnesota talk show host Todd Friel.
As for his personal life, Cameron has been married to actress Chelsea Noble since 1991 and they have six children together, four of whom were adopted: Jack, Isabella, Anna and Luke; and two biological: Olivia Rose and James Thomas. He and his wife of 17 years are the co-founders of Camp Firefly and The Firefly Foundation, which supports camping trips for terminally-ill kids and their families. Cameron is also a vegetarian.
Father of 6
Childhood and Family:
Kirk Thomas Cameron was born on October 12, 1970, in Panorama City, California. His parents, Robert Cameron and Barbara Bausmith (both actors), named him after Captain Kirk, the William Shatner character from the original “Star Trek” series (1966). He has three sisters, Bridgette, Melissa and actress Candace Cameron of the TV sitcom “Full House” fame. The family used to be the neighbors of actor Adam Rich. It was Rich's mother that encouraged the Cameron family to pursue a career in acting.
Meeting on the set of “Growing Pains,” Kirk tied the knot with model-turned-actress Chelsea Noble (born on April 6, 1976) on July 20, 1991. His wife gave birth to the couple's first child, daughter Olivia Rose, on July 18, 2001. Their son, James Thomas, was born on April 13, 2003. Kirk and Chelsea also have four adopted children, Jack (born in 1996), Isabella (born in 1997), Anna (born in 1998) and Luke (born in 2000).
Like Father Like Son
Hailing from Panorama City, California, Kirk Cameron kicked off his acting career at age 9 with work in TV commercials. He went on to make guest appearances in such TV series as “Bret Maverick” (1981), “Disney's Wonderful World” and “Herbie, the Love Bug” (both 1982), as well as acted in TV movies like “Beyond Witch Mountain” (1982) and “Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land” (1983) before landing his first regular gig on the short-lived ABC drama series “Two Marriages” (1983), playing Eric Armstrong.
Next, Cameron was cast alongside Stacy Keach in the made-for-TV film “Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer: More Than Murder” (1984), directed by Gary Nelson, and appeared with Julia Duffy, Charles Haid and David Huffman on an Emmy-nominated TV film called “Children of the Crossfire” (also 1984). His bit breakthrough, however, did not come until the following year when he won the starring role of Mike Seaver on the popular ABC family sitcom “Growing Pains,” which ran for seven seasons from 1985 to 1992. The actor nabbed three consecutive Young Artists awards for Best Young Male Superstar in Television in 1986 to 1988, two People's Choice awards for Favorite Young TV Performer (1988-1989) and a Blimp award for Favorite TV Actor at the 1990 Kids' Choice annual ceremony. He also was nominated for two Golden Globe awards.
Subsequently, Cameron emerged as a heartthrob in the late 1980s. His face graced the covers of numerous teen magazines, including “Teen Beat,” “Tiger Beat,” “16” and others. This put Cameron on the radar of producers who soon cast him in a string of starring roles. He portrayed Dudley Moore's son in the 1987 hit comedy “Like Father Like Son,” from which he took home a 1988 Saturn for Best Performance by a Younger Actor, teamed up with Jami Gertz and Roy Scheider for the drama “Listen to Me” (1989), a box office disappointment directed and written by Douglas Day Stewart, and played the brother of Jenny Robertson on the made-for-TV film “Little Piece of Heaven” (1991).
After the demise of “Growing Pains,” Cameron could be seen starring with wife Chelsea Noble in the TV film “Star Struck” (1994), portrayed Dexter Riley on the Disney television film “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes” (1995) and returned to series TV with his own sitcom, “Kirk,” which was broadcasted on The WB from 1995 to 1997. He once again acted with his wife in the 1998 Disney TV film “You Lucky Dog,” by director Paul Schneider.
Cameron departed mainstream movies after the cancellation of “Kirk,” although twenty years after “Growing Pains” ended, he reprised his coveted role in a 2002 “Growing Pains” television film and later for another TV film called “Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers” (2004). He also rejoined the cast of “Growing Pains” for a CNN’s “Larry King Live” (2006).
Apart from this, Cameron, who is an avid Christian evangelist, has focused his work almost solely on Christian-themed productions and joined Cloud Ten Pictures, a company that produces Christian themed films. He starred as TV journalist Buck Williams in “Left Behind: The Movie” (2000, released theatrically in 2001), which was adapted from the New York Times bestselling book of the same name. He also recreated the role in the direct-to-video “Left Behind II: Tribulation Force” (2002) and the movie “Left Behind: World at War” (2005), and had a supporting role as Josh in another Cloud Ten Pictures called “Miracle of Cards” (2001), opposite Catherine Oxenberg, Thomas Sangster and Richard Thomas.
Cameron will star opposite Erin Bethea in the drama film “Fireproof,” scheduled for an August 2008 release. This project is directed by Alex Kendrick and co-penned by Alex and Stephen Kendrick.
Kids' Choice: Blimp Award, Favorite TV Actor, “Growing Pains,” 1990
People's Choice: Favorite Young TV Performer, 1989
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: Saturn Award, Best Performance by a Younger Actor, “Like Father Like Son,” 1988
People's Choice: Favorite Young TV Performer, 1988
Young Artist: Best Young Male Superstar in Television, “Growing Pains,” 1988
Young Artist: Best Young Male Superstar in Television, “Growing Pains,” 1987
Young Artist: Best Young Male Superstar in Television, “Growing Pains,” 1986