Val Kilmer is an actor we associate with iconic roles such as Doors’ frontman Jim Morrison, Batman and Tom “Iceman” Kazansky in Top Gun, but his latest challenge has been a personal one.
The actor was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2015 which healed very quickly but left him needing a tracheotomy, which, he joked, has left him with a laugh ‘like a pirate’.
The 60-year-old star didn’t go public with his diagnosis until 2017 and in his latest memoir talks about the poignant moment he realized he was gravely ill.
Val Kilmer Cancer diagnosis
He was staying in Cher’s guesthouse at the time: “Suddenly I awoke vomiting blood that covered the bed like a scene out of The Godfather.”
An ambulance was called as “blood dripped down my body, my vision blurred, my energy drained,” he said, as per USA Today.
His lungs and throat swelled up as a result of the diagnosis and he had to have a tracheotomy to help him to breathe.
“I feel a lot better than I sound, but I feel wonderful,” Kilmer told Good Morning America.
The father-of-two opens up about his diagnosis in his new book, a memoir called “I’m Your Huckleberry” — a famous line of his from the film Tombstone.
In it Kilmer talks about his iconic roles, his many past romances including with supermodel Cindy Crawford who he said: “You have to be committed with a woman that’s as dynamic and as committed to their work as someone like Cindy Crawford, who was the number one model on the planet at the time,” as per USA Today.
Val Kilmer in Top Gun 2
The actor, who was married to British actress Joanne Whalley for 8 years, also talked about the reprisal of one of his best-loved roles: Iceman in Top Gun, also starring Tom Cruise.
The movie, which he initially wanted no part of made him a mega movie star and when rumors surfaced that Cruise was looking to make a sequel he ‘begged’ to be a part of it again writing: “as the Temptations sang in the heyday of Motown soul, ‘ain’t too proud to beg,’” as per USA Today.
“The producers went for it. Cruise went for it. Cruise couldn’t have been cooler. … Tom and I took up where we left off. The reunion felt great,” he added.
Kilmer will reprise his iconic role as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky opposite Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick, currently scheduled for a Christmastime release.
Such a legend and can’t wait for the new Top Gun movie. Please share with all the Val Kilmer and Top Gun fans you know.