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Kirk Thomas Cameron (born October 12, 1970) is an American actor, director, and Christian evangelist who is most notable for his role as Mike Seaver on the television sitcom Growing Pains. Cameron is currently a partner in the evangelical Christian ministry The Way of the Master.

[edit] Early life

Cameron was born in Panorama City, California, USA, to Rob Cameron, a middle school teacher, and Barbara Bausmith, and is the older brother of Bridgette, Melissa, and actress Candace Cameron.[1]

[edit] Acting career

Cameron began acting at the age of nine, appearing in television commercials and guest roles. His first starring role was at the age of ten in the series Two Marriages. He gained renown after being cast as "Michael Seaver" in the 1985 television series Growing Pains, for which he received two Golden Globe nominations.[2] 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.

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 Growing Pains ended in 1992, Cameron went on to star in The WB sitcom Kirk which premiered in 1995 and ended two years later. He has since left mainstream film, though a decade after Growing Pains ended, he starred in a TV reunion movie, 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 Brothers release of the complete first season of Growing Pains on Region 1 DVD. Aside from this, Cameron works almost exclusively in Christian-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. The Left Behind Series is probably one of Kirk's best known roles in the Cloud Ten Pictures movie productions.

[edit] Evangelism ministry

Cameron states that he used to be an atheist, but when he was 17, during the height of his career on Growing Pains, he developed a belief in God.[3][4] After converting to evangelical Christianity, he began to protest what he perceived as immorality in Growing Pains, ostracizing himself from his fellow cast members. He did not invite them to his wedding. A decade later, Cameron agreed to appear in a Growing Pains TV movie, and apologized to his TV family, attributing his prior behavior to his lack of maturity.

Cameron currently partners with fellow 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, a multimedia website, and a live daily radio show The Way of the Master Radio Show with Minnesota talk show host Todd Friel.

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.

Cameron, speaking at a debate on the existence of God at Calvary Baptist Church in Manhattan, May 5, 2007.Comfort and Cameron participated in a televised debate with atheists Brian Sapient and his colleague and girlfriend, Kelly, of the Rational Response Squad, at Calvary Baptist Church in Manhattan on May 5, 2007. At issue was the existence of God, which Comfort stated he could prove scientifically, without relying on faith or the Bible. Martin Bashir served as moderator at the event. No official winner was declared by the event producers due to business practices held by ABC, and audience reaction was mixed, with support shown for both sides. Highlights included Cameron and Comfort repeatedly referencing the Ten Commandments and denouncing the theory of evolution. Conversely, the RRS provided several counterarguments in favor of atheism and evolutionary theory.[5] While many atheists contended that Comfort violated the rules by talking about the Ten Commandments, Cameron later stated on the Way of the Master radio show that the rules of the debate did not say that the Bible could never be referenced, but rather that Comfort simply had to come up with one argument that didn't reference the Bible or faith.[6]

[edit] Personal life

Cameron met his wife, actress Chelsea Noble, on the set of Growing Pains. They would later co-star on Kirk. They married on July 21, 1991, and have six children,[1] 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). Kirk wrote an autobiography called "Still Growing" in 2008.

Kirk's sister, Candace Cameron, is also notable for her appearance on another sitcom, Full House. Kirk made a guest appearance on the show in 1988

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