Val Kilmer Opens Up About His Cancer Battle


Val Kilmer Opens Up About His Cancer Battle

Earlier this year, after much speculation surrounding the status of his health, actor Val Kilmer finally confirmed that he has been diagnosed with throat cancer.

The rumors started after the Top Gun star's friend and actor Michael Douglas revealed in an interview that Kilmer was "dealing with" cancer. Concerns grew even more when the actor was spotted walking around with a breathing aid on his neck back in 2015.  

Radar Online

Kilmer initially denied all the rumors, and wrote a Facebook post to reassure fans that he was doing fine and labelled Douglas as "misinformed."

"Some fans have mistakenly thought my silence about my personal issues meant that somehow I wasn't being responsible to my health, because of my reliance on prayer and Love. Nothing could be further from the truth," wrote Kilmer.

A few months after commenting on the speculations, Kilmer backtracked on his statement, and admitted that he did "have a healing of cancer" during a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session in May.

"He [Michael Douglas] 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 altho [sic] healing all the time," Kilmer explained.

Even through cancer and the invasive treatments, the actor has kept busy since the AMA. At the was promoting his film Cinema Twain, which tells the story of author Mark Twain's life, and more recently he starred in The Snowman.

He recently sat down to chat with The Hollywood Reporter and opened up about his life since the cancer diagnosis.

Joined by his ex-wife, Joanna Whalley, and children, 26-year-old Mercedes and 22-year-old Jack, Kilmer got very candid about his two-year battle with throat cancer.

Kilmer admitted that the disease has "taken its toll" on his body, and the recovery process wasn't easy. Apparently, he had to undergo a procedure on his trachea, which turned his voice raspy and left him short of breath.

The actor did previously address the issue with his voice while taking questions during his Reddit AMA.  "Because I don't sound my normal self yet people think I may still be under the weather," he explained.

Kilmer in "Top Gun"

Aside from chemotherapy, Kilmer credits his Christian Scientist faith for helping him with his recovery. His outlook on life has also changed since his diagnosis, he has different priorities these days, and values love over everything else.

"I was too serious," Kilmer admitted. "I'd get upset when things like Oscars and recognition failed to come my way."

"I would like to have more Oscars than anybody," he added. "Meryl Streep must feel pretty good, you know? It must feel nice to know that everyone loves her. It's about being loved."

Kilmer isn't the only person is his family who has been hit with a major health setback. Shortly after his diagnosis, his daughter was involved in a horrible car crash and was admitted to the same hospital as him.

The Hollywood Reporter

"We were in the same hospital at the same time," Mercedes recalled. Her brother, Jack, added, "I was just, you know, miserable, distraught, sitting next to these two."

Nowadays, they're both doing well and enjoying life one day at a time.

We're so glad Kilmer is in remission and back on the silver screen!

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.