Is Val Kilmer Sick: Top Gun: Maverick, released this summer, marked the triumphant comeback to the silver screen of Hollywood star Val Kilmer, who was able to reprise his beloved adversarial role opposite Tom Cruise in a way that also alluded to Kilmer’s real-life struggle with cancer? Kilmer, now 62 years old, was quiet for two years between 2015 and 2017 as he processed a devastating diagnosis of throat cancer.
According to CNN, during the height of his career, the actor helped bring in over $2 billion for the film business thanks to his parts in films like the original Top Gun and Batman Forever, as well as Tombstone and Heat. After Kilmer revealed the effects of his throat cancer treatment, including his inability to speak, fans and critics alike were uncertain about what the future held for his career.
In an interview with the New York Times, he revealed his initial reluctance to seek medical assistance. The Times writes that Kilmer’s children eventually persuaded him to get treatment for his throat cancer, which included numerous rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.
Kilmer reportedly recovered from his throat cancer diagnosis and went into remission after undergoing the surgeries, as reported by several sources (including his upcoming documentary Val and his memoir I’m Your Huckleberry).
Kilmer’s treatments, however, necessitated the insertion of a tracheostomy tube and a feeding tube, effectively rendering him unable to talk as he once had. Kilmer says in his upcoming documentary Val, which will look at the actor’s life and career until his cancer diagnosis and treatment, “Now that it’s more difficult to speak, I want to share my story more than ever.” The film is set to be released in 2020.
On Confirming His Cancer Diagnosis:
In truth, it was Kilmer’s friend and Hollywood colleague Michael Douglas who broke the news about Kilmer’s declining health; the actor had not come forth with his predicament at first and has since only selectively provided details regarding the timing of his recovery.
Kilmer did not come clean about his previous condition until 2017 through a Reddit AMA.
Kilmer stated at the time, “[Michael Douglas] was probably attempting to help me, [because] reporters undoubtedly inquired where I was these days, and I did have a healing of cancer.” “Nonetheless, my tongue is still swollen, [although] it is getting better all the time. People are concerned that I am still ill since I don’t sound [like] me.”
Kilmer said that his recovery from throat cancer had “taken its toll” on his health in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter later that same year. Harvard Health notes that the vocal cords are generally the first site where signs of throat cancer are detected before the disease spreads to other parts of the throat (such as the pharynx or back of the neck).
Kilmer continued by saying that he had recently had surgery on his trachea, which had affected his voice and left him frequently out of breath. The procedure was later identified as a tracheotomy, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, “helps you breathe when the regular route for breathing is somehow blocked or limited” by creating an opening in the throat. It is currently unknown if or when Kilmer’s tracheostomy will be closed by his medical team.
On His First Health Scare Alongside Then Partner, Cher:
Kilmer’s biography reveals a fascinating detail of how he was diagnosed with throat cancer, including Cher’s part in the struggle. “I woke up one night looking like a scene from The Godfather because I had been vomiting blood all over the bed. I prayed right away and then dialed 911,” he writes in I’m Your Huckleberry. My hostess was then notified. Cher took the initiative and stepped in.”
“I watched as she took in the Gregory Peck–level good looks of the paramedic. It could only happen in the movies. I was drenched in blood, but I got her attention by bobbing my brows like Groucho Marx. Greetings, Greetings, and Hubba Hubba! “To put it simply, he writes. “A moment of embarrassment quickly gave way to laughter at the outrageousness of it all for Cher.
While I looked like a stuntman out of Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, and sure, my life seemed to be in mortal peril, we were making jokes about attractiveness and lust. Once they were done taking my vitals, we all shared a hearty chuckle before they slapped an oxygen mask over my face.”
On How His Recovery Left Him Unable To Speak:
In the upcoming biopic documentary Val (2020), Kilmer discusses in greater detail how the procedure altered his communication and future acting opportunities. In the clip, he remarks, “I am a sounding a lot worse than I feel,” while pointing to the incision on his throat, which is usually covered with a kerchief or scarf.
“I don’t need to stuff anything in here to be heard. You can either eat or breathe… It’s a challenge that anybody who meets me immediately encounters.” Saying, “I feel a lot better than I sound, but I feel amazing,” he elaborated. “Cancer in my throat was treated fast and successfully. The glands in my throat enlarged, so I had to have a tracheotomy to assist me in breathing.”
In a later GMA interview that aired in August of the same year, while talking about a new film project with his daughter, Kilmer said that he considers the loss of his capacity to speak a personal struggle. It’s no different from any other language or dialect, he continued. Aside from the unusual circumstances, “you must find a means to communicate that is no different than any other acting task.”
Who Is Val Kilmer?
On December 31, 1959, in Los Angeles, Val Edward Kilmer entered the world. Val’s parents split up when he was eight, and his younger brother passed away when he was 19. Unfortunately, Val Kilmer’s father also passed away in 1993, so the family tragedy continued. Kilmer went to a Christian Science school until the ninth grade before transferring to Chatsworth High.
I am humbled & inspired by the projects & artists in the web3 space. Had to share this incredible piece that @process_grey created to honor me. Love the goblins so much that I adopted the most mischievous one for @KampKilmer & he’s an artist too! @goblintown #collaboration https://t.co/kzb022OfrR pic.twitter.com/T2HA9thhJN
— Val Kilmer (@valkilmer) August 24, 2022
Kilmer went to the same high school as Kevin Spacey and eventually followed Spacey’s path to the Juilliard School. When Val Kilmer was admitted into the prestigious acting program, he became the youngest accepted student.
What Is Val Kilmer’s Net Worth?
As an American actor, Val Kilmer has amassed a net worth of $10 million. Kilmer has established himself as a major player in the film and television industries, and his name recognition is well-deserved. “Top Gun,” “Batman Forever,” “The Doors,” “Tombstone,” and “Heat” are just a few of his well-known flicks.
In the mid-1990s, Val Kilmer was one of the most paid actors in the world because of his roles in several highly successful blockbuster films. Sadly, Val’s blockbuster career and earnings dried up because of his reputation for being tough to work with.
He was divorced in 1996, at the height of his fortune and success, further destabilizing his financial situation. His ability to act regularly was already impaired before a diagnosis of throat cancer in 2015 further weakened him.