In April, Val Kilmer opened up about his battle with throat cancer in an appearance on Good Morning America.
During the interview, Kilmer, 60, said, “I feel a lot better than I sound, but I feel wonderful… I was diagnosed with throat cancer, which healed very quickly. This is a tracheotomy to help me breathe because the glands in my throat swelled up as well.”
Asked what he missed about his old voice, Kilmer said, “That I had one! That I didn’t laugh like a pirate.”
According to Cancer Health, Kilmer underwent chemotherapy and radiation and turned to his faith.
Today, the actor is cancer-free.
He Recently Wrote a Memoir
In a new memoir, titled I’m Your Huckleberry, Kilmer candidly talks about his career and his health. He also discusses his past romances with celebrities like Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Cindy Crawford.
In the book, he also reveals that he wasn’t in the original cast for the Top Gun sequel.
Kilmer writes, “I’d not only contacted the producers but created heartrending scenes with Iceman… The producers went for it. Cruise went for it. Cruise couldn’t have been cooler.”
The movie’s original release was delayed, but “Top Gun: Maverick” is slated to be released on December 23.
Opening up About Cancer
It wasn’t until 2017 that Kilmer opened up about his battle with cancer.
During a Reddit AMA session, the actor said that he was recovering from the disease after previously denying any health issues.
When a fan asked, “A while ago, Michael Douglas claimed you had terminal cancer… What was the story behind that?” Kilmer responded, “He was probably trying to help me ’cause press probably asked where I was these days, and I did have a healing of cancer, but my tongue is still swollen (although) healing all the time… Because I don’t sound my normal self yet people think I may still be under the weather.”
Kilmer was referring to a statement that Michael Douglas had made a couple of years prior. When the media asked him where he was during a press event in London, Douglas said Kilmer was dealing “with exactly what I had.” Kilmer subsequently took to Facebook to write that Douglas was “misinformed,” according to Today.
In 2017, a feature on Kilmer was released in The Hollywood Reporter. A section of it read, “A two-year battle with throat cancer has taken its toll, and a procedure on his trachea has reduced his voice to a rasp and rendered him short of breath.”
Kilmer attended Hollywood Professional School and later graduated from Julliard School with a BFA. He was originally a stage actor and rose to fame in the 1980s after appearing in hit films like Top Secret!, Real Genius, Top Gun, and Willow. Kilmer famously played Jim Morrison in The Doors in 1991, and later on, Bruce Wayne in Batman Forever.
With his ex-wife, Joanne Whalley, Kilmer has two children, Mercedes and Jack. The latter is an actor and appeared in The Stanford Prison Experiment and The Nice Guys.