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Tommy Kirk has died. Being gay cost him his career.

James K

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Kirk rose to fame as a pet project of Walt Disney himself, who cast Kirk in the original TV series The Hardy Boys, part of the popular show The Mickey Mouse Club. The popularity of the show made Kirk into a household star, ...

... 1963, Kirk’s career hit the skids. The actor would later recall that he knew he was gay from a very early age,...

When I was about 17 or 18 years old, I finally admitted to myself that I wasn’t going to change. I didn’t know what the consequences would be, but I had the definite feeling that it was going to wreck my Disney career and maybe my whole acting career. It was all going to come to an end.”

Kirk was right. In 1963, the 21-year-old Kirk began a relationship with a 15-year-old boy. When Disney learned of the affair, he personally fired Kirk....


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It was not just a case of Disney firing him, Walt went out of his way to make sure he would not get work elsewhere. In 1970 I was involved in the pre-production of a film to be made in the UK. Kirk's name was suggested for one of the parts. I am not sure how far things went, but did hear on the grapevine that Walt had phoned the producers and told them that if they used Kirk he would make sure distribution was blocked in the USA. 

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