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Kirk Thomas Cameron (born October 12, 1970) is an Americanmarker 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. Recently, he portrayed the lead roles in the Left Behind film series and 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.

Early life and family

Cameron was born on October 12, 1970, in Panorama City, Californiamarker. 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 went to school on the set of Growing Pains, as opposed to a normal school. He graduated at age 17 with high honors.

Cameron 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).

Acting career

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 Michael 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 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.

Christianity and evangelism ministry

Cameron says 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, Cameron agreed to appear in The Growing Pains Movie, where the entire main cast reunited with one another. Cameron said, "It’s a lot less crazy of a time than when we were teenagers. It’s an opportunity to begin new friendships as adults, and I’m really looking forward to that."

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 Churchmarker, in Manhattanmarker, 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.

In November 2009 Cameron and others distributed free copies of an altered version of Darwin's On the Origin of Species on college campus in the United States.The book consisted of Darwin's text with selected parts removed and with an added introduction by Ray Comfort reiterating common creationist assertions about Darwin and evolution. The book has been criticized by scientists and Darwin biographers for containing misinformation about Darwin and repeating long-discredited creationist arguments, for employing logical fallacies, and for omitting key chapters of the book. 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 at colleges across the U.S. to distribute an analysis of the Comfort introduction and a banana bookmark,
in reference to Comfort's argument that the structure of the banana is evidence for Intelligent Design, or God.

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes/Box office
1981 Goliath Awaits Liam Television film
1982 Beyond Witch Mountain Boy Television film
1983 Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land Gary Television film
1986 The Best of Times Teddy $7,790,931
1987 Like Father Like Son Chris Hammond $34,377,585
1989 Listen to Me Tucker Muldowney $4,299,023
1991 A Little Piece of Heaven Will Loomis Television film
1998 You Lucky Dog Jack Morgan Disney Channel Original Movie
2000 The Growing Pains Movie Mike Seaver Television reunion film
Left Behind: The Movie Buck Williams $4,224,065
2001 The Miracle of the Cards Josh Television film
2002 Left Behind II: Tribulation Force Buck Williams Direct-to-video
2004 Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers Mike Seaver Television reunion film
2005 Left Behind: World at War Buck Williams Direct-to-video
2008 Fireproof Caleb Holt $33,456,317


Television

Year Title Episode Role
1981 Bret Maverick The Lazy Ace: Part 1–2 Boy #1
1982 Disneyland Boy
Herbie the Matchmaker Young Kid
1983 Two Marriages Eric Armstrong
ABC Afterschool Special The Woman Who Willed a Miracle
Andrea's Story: A Hitchhiking Tragedy
Jeff
1984 Children in the Crossfire Mickey Chandler
More Than Murder Bobby
1985 - 1992 Growing Pains Mike Seaver
1988 Full House Just One of the Guys Cousin Steve
1991 A Little Piece of Heaven Will Loomis
1993 The Horde Chauncey
1994 Star Struck Runner
1995 The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes Dexter Riley
1995 - 1996 Kirk Kirk Hartman
1997 WMAC Masters The Bibler
2002 Family Law Blood and Water Mitchell Stark
Touched by an Angel The Birthday Present Chuck Parker
2003 - present The Way of the Master Himself
2004 Jack & Bobby Today I Am a Man
2005 Night of Joy Host
2009 18 Kids and Counting Himself


Awards

Young Artist Awards
  • 1985 Best Young Supporting Actor in a Daytime or Nighttime Drama, Two Marriages (Nominated)
  • 1986 Best Young Actor Starring in a New Television Series, Growing Pains (Won)
  • 1987 Exceptional Performance by a Young Actor Starring in a Television Comedy or Drama Series, Growing Pains (Won)
  • 1987 Best Young Male Superstar in Television, Growing Pains (Won)
  • 1989 Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture, Listen to Me (Nominated)
Saturn Award Golden Globe Awards People's Choice Award
  • 1988 Favorite Young TV Performer (Won)
  • 1989 Favorite Young TV Performer (Won)
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Other Awards and Honors
  • On September 13, 2009 Cameron was awarded the key to the city of Cullman, Alabama by their Mayor Max Townsend at First Baptist Church of Cullman Alabama.


Notes

  1. {{cite web |url=http://www.intouch.org/atf/cf/{865500FE-874B-487B-A95C-C0B327D0A690}/wretched%20press%20release.pdf |title=Wretched with Todd Friel |date=February 26, 2008 |work=InTouch Ministries |format=PDF |accessdate=February 23, 2009}}
  2. Correction to article; "Evangelist Challenges Atheists to Debate on ABC"; April 29, 2007
  3. Press Kit, Livingwaters.com


Further reading

  • Still Growing: An Autobiography : ISBN 0830744517


External links

Websites


Interviews



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