Kirk Cameron was born in Panorama City, California to Robert Cameron (who
also works as an actor) and Barbara Bausmith, and is the brother of Full House
actress Candace Cameron. He is said to have been named after the character
"Captain James T. Kirk" of the famed television series Star Trek.
Cameron appeared in several smaller film and television roles in the early 1980s, gaining reknown after being cast as "Mike Seaver" in the 1985 television series Growing Pains. He subsequently became a teen idol in the late 1980s, when he appeared on the covers of several teen magazines, including Tiger Beat, Teen Beat, 16 and others.
Kirk Cameron went on to star in a number of 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 he was "about 17 years old" (though others say in 1990) Cameron, who was not raised in a church-going family, converted to evangelical Christianity and began to protest what he perceived as immorality in Growing Pains. Cameron insisted that castmate Julie McCullough be fired for having posed in Playboy four years earlier, and that the 1989-90 season (depicting the engagement of his and McCullough's characters) be retconned into a dream. Although this did not happen, Julie was dismissed from the show and her character was written out as having left Mike at the altar. He also insisted that several episodes be rewritten to avoid what he perceived as objectionable themes and plotlines, and publicly described the show's producers as "pornographers"; three of them quit in protest (Cameron has since apologized, according to the 2003 article "The Rebirth of Kirk Cameron" in Christianity Today).
Cameron's fame dwindled after Growing Pains was cancelled in 1992. He has since left mainstream film, and works almost exclusively in religious-themed productions, among them the post-Rapture movies Left Behind: The Movie, Left Behind II: Tribulation Force, and Left Behind: World at War. He works with Cloud Ten Pictures, a company which produces Christian-themed movies, and has starred in several of their other films, including "Miracle of Cards".
Currently, Kirk Cameron partners with evangelist Ray Comfort in training Christians in evangelism. The two have a ministry together called The Way of the Master, which includes a television/video series whose primary aim is to show Christians how to share their faith "simply, effectively, Biblically ... the way Jesus did". Cameron and Comfort conduct interviews with a variety of people. They also conduct a live daily radio show with Minnesota talk show host Todd Friel.
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 Brothers release of the complete first season of Growing Pains, the first 22 episodes of the series, on Region 1 DVD. On March 17, 2006, Martin Bashir interviewed Comfort and Cameron about The Way of the Master on a segment of Nightline. Cameron also appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on April 12, 2006.
On April 16, 2006 (Easter Sunday), Cameron took part in a Sunrise Service at Orlando's SeaWorld Theme Park. The Backstreet Boys' Brian Littrell was also in attendance. It was the second time that Cameron had participated in the event, which has taken place every year since 1977.
Kirk Cameron met his wife, actress Chelsea Noble, on the set of Growing Pains, where she played his girlfriend. They married on July 20, 1991, and have six children: 4 adopted: Jack (b. 1996), Isabella (b. 1997), Anna (b. 1998), Luke (b. 2000); 2 biological: Olivia Rose (b. July 18, 2001), James Thomas (b. April 13, 2003).
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