Tommy Kirk

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Tommy Kirk
Kirk in 1960
Thomas Lee Kirk

(1941-12-10)December 10, 1941
DiedSeptember 28, 2021(2021-09-28) (aged 79)
Years active1955–2001
Parent(s)Louis and Lucy Kirk

Thomas Lee "Tommy" Kirk (December 10, 1941 – September 28, 2021) was an American actor and businessman. He was best known for his work with the Disney Studios.

Career[change | change source]

Kirk's Disney career began in 1956 when he played Joe Hardy in The Mickey Mouse Club serial The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure. The Disney movies Old Yeller (1957), The Shaggy Dog (1959), and Swiss Family Robinson (1960) made him a popular teen star.

The Disney Studios dropped Kirk's contract when a woman complained to the Studio about the young actor's relationship with her 15 year old son. He went to American International Pictures. He appeared in their low-budget teen movies such as Pajama Party and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini.

Kirk was arrested for drug possession on Christmas Eve 1964. In 1970, he retired from movies and sought help for his dependency issues. He ran his own carpet and upholstery cleaning business. He wrote, and sometimes acted. Kirk became a Disney Legend on October 9, 2006.

Personal life[change | change source]

Kirk is openly gay. He was interviewed by the National Enquirer of January 2013 and said: "I don't blame anybody but myself and my drug abuse for my career going haywire. I'm not ashamed of being gay, never have been, and never will be. For that I make no apologies. I have no animosity toward anybody because the truth is, I wrecked my own career."

Kirk was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He died at his Las Vegas, Nevada home on September 28, 2021 at the age of 79.[1]

Filmography[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]

  • TCM: Tommy Kirk
  • Curzon, Daniel. 2005. Dropping Names. IGNA Books. pp. 39-40.
  • Griffin, Sean. 2000. Tinker Belles and Evil Queens: The Walt Disney Company from the Inside Out. NYU Press. pp. 99-101.