Tommy Kirk, ‘Old fashioned Yeller’ and ‘Swiss Family Robinson’ Indispensable person, Dies at Seventy nine

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Tommy Kirk, the actor identified for taking half in Travis Coates in “Old fashioned Yeller” and several diverse Disney movies, used to be found ineffective in his Las Vegas dwelling Tuesday. He used to be 79.

Kirk’s longtime friend Paul Petersen II posted the news on Facebook, writing, “Please know that Tommy Kirk appreciated you, his fans.”

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Kirk used to be born in Louisville, Ky. in 1941 and grew up in Los Angeles County. He started acting as an adolescent, and looked in a play on the Pasadena Playhouse, the place he used to be found by an agent who helped him to assemble his veil debut in “The Final of the Old fashioned Time Shooting Sheriffs,” a 1955 episode of “TV Reader’s Digest.” From there, he looked in episodes of several TV series alongside side “The Loretta Young Show” and “Gunsmoke.” His profile rose when he started to play the operate of Joe Hardy within the “Hardy Boys” series “The Mystery of the Applegate Enjoy” and “The Mystery of the Ghost Farm.”

In 1957, he used to be solid in “Old fashioned Yeller,” the Disney basic about a boy and his canine. The movie’s success ended in many more Disney roles for him. Particularly, he performed Wilby in “The Shaggy Dog,” Ernst in “Swiss Family Robinson,” and Biff Hawk in “The Absent Minded Professor” and its sequel, “Son of Flubber.”

One in all Kirk’s final enormous Disney roles used to be “The Misadventures of Merlin Jones,” which used to be launched in 1964. One day of the manufacturing, while he used to be 21, he started seeing a 15-year-venerable boy, per interviews with Kirk. Upon finding out Kirk used to be gay, Disney chose no longer to resume his contract.

He then moved to American Global Photography and starred opposite Annette Funicello in “Pajama Occasion,” which succeeded on the box place of enterprise, leading to but any other AIP operate in “The superior system to Stuff a Wild Bikini.” Meanwhile, Disney invited him support for but but any other movie, “The Monkey’s Uncle,” a sequel to ““The Misadventures of Merlin Jones” in holding with the success of the first movie.

In 1964, Kirk used to be arrested on a marijuana payment and used to be also found to maintain barbiturates in his automobile, even if the barbiturates had been later found to were prescribed by a doctor. Quiet, these incidents prompted studios to interchange him in different of his upcoming roles alongside side “The superior system to Stuff a Wild Bikini.”

Kirk publicly came out as gay in 1973. He also decided to discontinue his acting career and admitted to having struggled with drug abuse, which he spoke on correct by the comfort of his existence, announcing he didn’t blame studios for no longer searching to work with him.

In step with a statement from Disney, when he acquired the Disney Legends award in 2006, he mentioned, “I are making an try to be remembered for my Disney work, delight in ‘Swiss Family Robinson’ and ‘Old fashioned Yeller.’” He also recalled bumping into Walt Disney at a Beverly Hills hotel: “He used to be with Hedda Hopper, the legendary columnist. He place his arm round me, and he mentioned, ‘That is my correct-superior fortune fragment right here,’ to Hedda Hopper. I never forgot that. That’s the nicest compliment he ever gave me.”

“Tommy used to be gay and estranged from what remains of his blood-family. We in A Minor Consideration [a non-profit] supporting past and order young performers] are Tommy’s family. Without apology. We can put care of this,” Peterson mentioned in his put up.

To Kirk’s fans, he added, “You lifted him up when an replace let him down in 1965. He used to be no longer bitter. His church comforted him. Could God maintain mercy on his soul.”

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