Actor Tommy Kirk, who starred in classic films such as old Yeller And shaggy dog Was fired at the age of 21 when the production company Disney found out he was gay.
Kirk admitted that when he eventually found out he was gay as a teen, he didn’t believe there would be consequences for sharing this information with Disney. However, it happened in 1964, when he told the producers. Tommy Kirk died in late September 2021 at the age of 79.
Did Tommy Kirk know he would be fired for being gay?
Kirk discussed being fired from Disney in an interview with Filmmax magazine in 1993. “When I was about 17 or 18, I finally admitted to myself that [I was gay and] Wasn’t going to change.” And Report.
“I didn’t know what the consequences would be, but I definitely had a feeling it was going to ruin my Disney career and probably my entire acting career. Disney was a family film studio and I had to be their young hero. When They found out I was involved with someone, so that was the end of Disney.
Despite being fired, he still had positive memories of his experience working at Disney. “I want to be remembered for my Disney work, like swiss family robinson And old Yeller, he said. Then he recalled the moment Walt Disney told gossip columnist, Heda Hopper, that he was important to the studio. “He put his hand around me, and he said, ‘It’s my good fortune. piece,’ to Hedda Hopper. I never forgot it. The best compliment he’s ever given me.”
Did Tommy Kirk talk to his family?
It wasn’t only Disney who turned his back on Kirk for being gay. Close friend Paul Peterson II shared that Kirk was also separated from his family. “Tommy was gay and separated from the remains of his blood-family. We are Tommy’s family in a modest view. Without apologizing. We will take care of it,” Peterson shared on Facebook, referring to the burial and service arrangements.
“Please know that Tommy Kirk loves you, his fans,” Peterson continued. “When an industry let them down in 1965, you picked them up. He was not bitter. His church comforted him. May God have mercy on his soul.”
In which movies and television series did Tommy Kirk appear?
Kirk appeared in several hit movies while at Disney. His career began when he played the role of Joe Hardy in two Hardy Boys television shows, Secret of the Applegate Treasure And Mystery of Ghost Farm. he also appeared Mickey Mouse Club in 1956 and 1957.
But he was best known for his role as Travis Coates in the 1957 film, old Yeller. From there he took on the role of Wilby Daniels. shaggy dog in 1959. Other films and television series he produced in the 1960s include absent minded professor (1961), flubber’s son (1963). he was also in The Audacity of Marilyn Jones.
Tommy Kirk was remembered for being ‘terrifyingly talented’
Despite being fired at Disney, he returned for another film: monkey uncle, which was the sequel The Audacity of Marilyn Jones. Disney’s later work includes pajama party in 1964 and he was remembered as extremely talented.
“He was one of the most talented people I’ve ever worked with. Terrifyingly talented,” hardy boys co-star Tim Considine shared in a statement. “A friend of mine who was a casting director told me that when Tommy Kirk came in to audition, he had never seen a child actor look as good, especially because he could cry on cue immediately. That one He was a great talent, and it was a privilege to work with him and call him a friend.”