Disney Alum Tommy Kirk Found Dead in Las Vegas

Disney Alum Tommy Kirk Found Dead in Las Vegas

The former child star known for his role in the classic movie ‘Old Yeller’ has passed away at the age of 79 as he’s discovered lifeless at his home in the Sin City.

AceShowbiz -Former Disney child star Tommy Kirk has died, aged 79.

Best known for playing Travis Coates in the 1957 classic “Old Yeller“, Kirk was found dead in his Las Vegas home by a neighbour on Tuesday night (28Sep21). No foul play is suspected.

His death was announced on Facebook on Wednesday by friend and fellow child star Paul Petersen, who wrote, “My friend of many decades, Tommy Kirk, was found dead last night. Tommy was intensely private. He lived alone in Las Vegas, close to his friend… and Ol Yeller co-star, Bev Washburn… and it was she who called me this morning.”

“Tommy was gay and estranged from what remains of his blood-family.”

Kirk also found success in other Disney films like “The Shaggy Dog“, “Babes in Toyland“, “Son of Flubber“, and “Swiss Family Robinson“.

He was snapped up by studio bosses, who discovered him in the 1954 play “Ah, Wilderness!” at the Pasadena Playhouse in California, and cast him in The Mickey Mouse Club.

His time with Disney ended in a controversial fashion – Walt Disney himself reportedly fired Kirk in 1964 after discovering the then-21 year old was gay.

Despite that, he was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2006.

Following his Disney departure, Kirk went on to appear in a string of beach party movies in the mid-1960s, and starred alongside Ron Howard and Beau Bridges in low-budget 1965 sci-fi film “Village of the Giants“. His film credits also include “Mars Needs Women“, “Billy Frankenstein“, and “The Education of a Vampire“, his last movie in 2001.

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