Kirk in 2009
|Born||Thomas Lee Kirk
December 10, 1941
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
|Parents||Louis and Lucy Kirk|
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.
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."
Filmography[change | change source]
- Attack of the 60 Ft. Centerfold (1995)
- My Name Is Legend (1976)
- Mars Needs Women (1968)
- Catalina Caper (1967) as Don Pringle
- It's a Bikini World (1967) as Mike Samson/Herbert Samson
- The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966) as Chuck Phillips
- Village of the Giants (1965) as Mike
- The Monkey's Uncle (1965) as Merlin Jones
- Pajama Party (1964) as Go-Go
- The Misadventures of Merlin Jones (1964) as Merlin Jones
- Son of Flubber (1963) as Biff Hawk
- Savage Sam (1963) as Travis Coates
- Moon Pilot (1962) as Walter Talbot
- Bon Voyage! (1962) as Elliott Willard
- The Absent-Minded Professor (1961) as Bill Hawk
- Babes in Toyland (1961) as Grumio
- The Snow Queen (1960) as [Voice of] Kay
- Swiss Family Robinson (1960) as Ernst Robinson
- The Shaggy Dog (1959) as Wilby Daniels
- Old Yeller (1958) as Travis Coates
- Down Liberty Road (1956) as Jimmy Rawlins
References[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.