Born in Louisville, Kentucky, on December 10, 1941, Tommy Kirk was raised in Los Angeles and took up acting when he was ten years old. At the age of 13, he was discovered while performing in a local production of Eugene O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness. Kirk began a long association with Disney Studios in 1955 in the Hardy Boys serials that aired on ABC-TV's Mickey Mouse Club. Undoubtedly the finest child actor to emerge from Disney, Tommy Kirk acted in some of Disney's biggest moneymakers, including Old Yeller (1957; with Dorothy McGuire), The Shaggy Dog (1959; with Fred MacMurray and Jean Hagen), and The Absent-Minded Professor (1961; with Fred MacMurray), easily handling both dramatic and comedic roles. As he matured, however, his days at Disney were numbered. After the release of The Misadventures of Merlin Jones (1964; with Annette Funicello, Kirk's contract ended.

Annette Funicello and Tommy Kirk

With Annette Funicello in a still from The Misadventures of Merlin Jones

Disney called Kirk back to the studio for The Monkey's Uncle (1965), his final film for Disney. The talented Kirk easily found other film roles and went to work making beach party films. Kirk replaced Frankie Avalon in AIP's Pajama Party (1964; with Annette Funicello and Jody McCrea). He also starred in Village of the Giants (1965; with Joy Harmon), The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966; with Deborah Walley), It's a Bikini World (1967; with Deborah Walley), and Catalina Caper (1967; with Del Moore). Unfortunately, the beach party genre folded, leaving Kirk with a dearth of scripts. In the late 1960s he was also contending with drug and alcohol problems, none of which did his career any favors.

the films of tommy kirk

Old Yeller (1957)

Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran

From Disney's well-crafted tearjerker Old Yeller with Kevin Corcoran

Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

James MacArthur, Tommy Kirk, and Janet Munro

With James MacArthur and Janet Munro in the Disney adventure Swiss Family Robinson

Bon Voyage! (1962)

Tommy Kirk, Deborah Walley, Fred MacMurray, Kevin Corcoran, and Jane WymanTommy Kirk

From the cute Disney movie Bon Voyage!. LEFT: With Deborah Walley, Fred MacMurray, Kevin Corcoran, and Jane Wyman as the Willard family. RIGHT: Kirk as Elliott Willard

Son of Flubber (1963)

Tommy Kirk and Fred MacMurray

From Disney's Son of Flubber with Fred MacMurray

The Misadventures of Merlin Jones (1964)

Tommy KirkTommy Kirk

Tommy Kirk as the title character in Disney's The Misadventures of Merlin Jones

Pajama Party (1964)

Tommy Kirk and Annette FunicelloTommy Kirk, Annette Funicello, and Elsa LancesterBuster Keaton, Annette Funicello, and Tommy Kirk

LEFT: With Annette Funicello in American International's Pajama Party. CENTER: With Annette Funicello and Elsa Lanchester. RIGHT: With Buster Keaton and Annette Funicello

The Monkey's Uncle (1965)

Tommy Kirk and Annette Funicello

A dapper Kirk escorts Annette Funicello in Disney's The Monkey's Uncle

Village of the Giants (1965)

Tommy Kirk, Vickie London, Toni Basil, and Johnny Crawford

From Village of the Giants with Vickie London, Toni Basil, and Johnny Crawford

The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966)

Tommy Kirk and Deborah Walley

From American International's final beach party film, The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini, with costar Deborah Walley

Mars Needs Women (1966)

Tommy Kirk

Perhaps one of the best exploitation film titles ever, Mars Needs Women was produced by AIP's TV subsidiary and directed by Larry Buchanan on a budget of about $25,000.

The Unkissed Bride (1966)

Tommy KirkTommy KirkTommy KirkTommy Kirk

From The Unkissed Bride with Anne Helm

Track of Thunder (1967)

Tommy Kirk

From Kirk's action flick Track of Thunder

Catalina Caper (1967)

Tommy Kirk and Ulla StromstedtTommy Kirk

From Catalina Caper. LEFT: With love interest Ulla Stromstedt. RIGHT: Kirk in a scuffle with one of the bad guys

It's a Bikini World (1967)

Deborah Walley and Tommy Kirk

With Deborah Walley in the fun low-budget beach flick It's a Bikini World

tommy kirk today

By the late 1960s, Tommy Kirk's acting career was over. In the early 1970s, plagued by substance abuse, Kirk left acting after appearing in Al Adamson's Blood of Ghastly Horror (1971; with John Carradine and Regina Carrol). Fortunately, he mustered the strength and willpower to end to his drug and alcohol problems. Later in the 1970s Kirk started a successful carpet-cleaning business.

Tommy KirkRuss Tamblyn, Tommy Kirk, Stanley Livingston, Ross Hagen, and Fred Olen Ray

LEFT: Tommy Kirk in a 1990 photo. RIGHT: Cast member photo from Attack of the 60-Foot Centerfold (1995). Left to right: Russ Tamblyn, Tommy Kirk, Stanley Livingston (Chip from My Three Sons), and Ross Hagen. Seated: Director Fred Olen Ray

In the 1980s, Kirk began making irregular but welcome appearances in direct-to-video films, including the low-budget Streets of Death (1987). He has made a handful of film appearances since, such as Fred Olen Ray's campy Attack of the 60-Foot Centerfold (1995; with Russ Tamblyn and Ross Hagen). His latest film to date is the horror flick The Education of a Vampire (2001). It appears that Tommy Kirk is now retired.

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The Education of a Vampire (2001) with Gerald Brodin
Club Dead (2000)
Billy Frankenstein (1998) with Daran Norris
Little Miss Magic (1998) with Russ Tamblyn; directed by Fred Olen Ray
Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold (1995) with Russ Tamblyn, Ross Hagen, and Stanley Livingston; directed by Fred Olen Ray
Streets of Death (1987) with Larry Thomas
My Name is Legend (1976)
Blood of Ghastly Horror (1972) with Regina Carrol, Kent Taylor, and John Carradine; directed by Al Adamson
Ride the Hot Wind (1971)
It's Alive! (1969) with Bill Thurman; directed by Larry Buchanan
Track of Thunder (1968) with Faith Domergue and Brenda Benet
Catalina Caper (1967) with Del Moore, Michael Blodgett, Peter Duryea, Little Richard, Lyle Waggoner, Robert Donner, and Jim Begg
It's a Bikini World (1967) with Deborah Walley, Bobby "Boris" Pickett, and Suzie Kaye
The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966) with Deborah Walley, Aron Kincaid, Quinn O'Hara, Boris Karloff, Patsy Kelly, Susan Hart, and Basil Rathbone
Mars Needs Women (1966) with Yvonne Craig; directed by Larry Buchanan
The Unkissed Bride (1966) with Jacques Bergerac, Henny Youngman, and Anne Helm
The Monkey's Uncle (1965) with Annette Funicello
Village of the Giants (1965) with Beau Bridges, Joy Harmon, Johnny Crawford, Toni Basil, Ronnie Howard, and the Beau Brummels
Pajama Party (1964) with Elsa Lancester, Jesse White, Jody McCrea, Annette Funicello, and Donna Loren
The Misadventures of Merlin Jones (1964) with Annette Funicello
Son of Flubber (1963) with Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olson, Keenan Wynn, Ed Wynn, William Demarest, Paul Lynde, and Joanna Moore
Savage Sam (1963) with Brian Keith, Kevin Corcoran, and Marta Kristen
Bon Voyage! (1962) with Deborah Walley, Fred MacMurray, Michael Callen, Jane Wyman, and Kevin Corcoran
Escapade in Florence (1962) with Annette Funicello
Moon Pilot (1962) with Tom Tryon, Brian Keith, and Edmond O'Brien
The Absent Minded Professor (1961) with Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olson, Keenan Wynn, Elliott Reid, and Jack Mullaney
Babes in Toyland (1961) with Annette Funicello, Tommy Sands, and Kevin Corcoran
The Horsemasters (1961) with Annette Funicello and Janet Munro
Swiss Family Robinson (1960) with Dorothy McGuire, Janet Munro, and James MacArthur
The Shaggy Dog (1959) with Fred MacMurray, Annette Funicello, Jean Hagen, Tim Considine, Kevin Corcoran, Cecil Kellaway, and Roberta Shore
Old Yeller (1957) with Dorothy McGuire, Fess Parker, Chuck Connors, Beverly Washburn, and Kevin Corcoran
Down Liberty Road (1957) with Marshall Thompson and Angie Dickinson
The Mystery of the Ghost Farm (1956) with Tim Considine
The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure (1955) with Tim Considine

The Streets of San Francisco, episode Deadline, originally aired February 15, 1973
Mr. Novak, episode Love in the Wrong Season, originally aired December 3, 1963
Angel, episode Goodbye, Young Lovers, originally aired May 17, 1961
Bachelor Father, episode A Key for Kelly, originally aired November 19, 1959
The Millionaire, episode Millionaire Charles Bradwell, originally aired June 10, 1959
Playhouse 90, episode A Corner of the Garden, originally aired April 23, 1959
The Californians, episode Little Lost Man, originally aired December 3, 1957
Matinee Theatre, episode The Others, originally aired February 15, 1957
Matinee Theatre, episode The Outing, originally aired November 2, 1956
The Loretta Young Show, episode Little League, originally aired September 16, 1956
Gunsmoke, episode Cow Doctor, originally aired September 8, 1956
Crossroads, episode The Rabbi Davis Story, originally aired June 8, 1956
Big Town, episode Adult Delinquents, originally aired May 8, 1956
The Loretta Young Show, episode But for God's Grace, originally aired April 1, 1956
Frontier, episode The Devil and Doctor O'Hara, originally aired February 5, 1956
TV Reader's Digest, episode The Last of the Old Time Shooting Sheriffs, originally aired January 17, 1955

tommy kirk links

Comet Over Hollywood: The Story of Tommy Kirk

tommy kirk film now showing

Watch Tommy Kirk's 1969 horror film It's Alive!

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