Actor Val Edward Kilmer was born in the United States on December 31, 1959. Hollywood legend Val Kilmer made a spectacular comeback to the big screen in Top Gun: Maverick earlier this summer.

Longtime fans saw the actor reprise his cherished adversarial role alongside Tom Cruise in a way that also touched on Kilmer’s all-too-real battle with cancer.

What Illness Has Val Kilmer Battled?

Early in 2015, Val Kilmer had testing for what his representatives claimed was a potential tumour.

He said this at the time on social media: “I’ve never had a tumour, a tumour operation, or any other kind of surgery. I had a problem where staying under the UCLA ICU’s watchful supervision was the best course of treatment.”

In April 2017, Val admitted that he had a “healing of cancer” after previously refuting rumors that he had been given a cancer diagnosis.

According to a report from December 2017, Val had battled throat cancer for two years and had undergone a trachea operation that had left him breathless and with a raspy voice.

val kilmer's illness

Val inserts an electric voice box into his throat to speak. He had two tracheotomies and chemotherapy.

He admitted using a feeding tube because he can no longer eat in 2020, four years after becoming cancer-free.

Using historical audio of his speech, AI technology was able to recreate his voice in 2021. In Top Gun: Maverick, this was employed to produce his voice.

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Val Kilmer Bravely Opens Up On The Tragic Details Of His Illness

In October 2016, Michael Douglas startled the world by revealing that Val Kilmer was battling terminal cancer. During a London event, Douglas alleged that Kilmer’s situation is not favorable.

A few days later, Kilmer rejected Douglas’ assertions and said Douglas was mistaken. The last time he spoke with Douglas was two years ago, he wrote in a Facebook post to the public.

Later, he disclosed to the public that he had been dealing with throat cancer, which had a negative impact on his life. Since he had to get a tracheostomy to treat the life-altering illness, the procedure permanently destroyed his vocal cords. In order to choose between breathing and eating, he said, he needed to use a feeding tube.

val kilmer's illness

Along with tracheostomy, he also needed to get concurrent radiation and chemotherapy treatments. His body suffered as a result of these therapies, but fortunately, they also helped him to continuously heal and beat cancer.

The actor said in his New York Times interview that he was diagnosed with cancer and does not want to go through a lot of treatments, but his kids persuaded him to get professional help.

Although Kilmer acknowledged that it had been a challenge for him, he feels as though he has rediscovered himself as a result of the experience. He proudly proclaimed that he had experienced both losing and finding pieces of himself that he had never known existed. He expressed gratitude for having gone through these experiences.

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How Is Val Kilmer Doing These Days

Val Kilmer was able to triumph despite all the challenges brought on by his throat cancer. In the movie “Top Gun: Maverick,” he recently played Tom “Iceman” Kazansky once more.

Tom Cruise insisted that Val Kilmer be a part of the movie, according to an interview Jerry Bruckheimer gave to The Hollywood Reporter.

Val Kilmer must appear in the movie for Tom Cruise to accept the project. Everyone’s 35-year reunion through the movie was truly wonderful.

Everyone on the set reportedly became emotional while they were filming Kilmer’s sequences, especially after seeing him collaborate with Cruise once more, according to Bruckheimer. There are instances when Cruise and Kilmer can’t stop giggling while filming, so it’s not all sad.

In an interview with the LA Times, Val Kilmer said that playing the same character again in “Top Gun: Maverick” is both emotional and personal for him. He continued by saying that he and Cruise were close and that they annually exchange Christmas presents.

Public reactions to Kilmer’s presence in the movie have been surprisingly positive. He was ecstatic about it. The 62-year-old actor is doing fantastic right now. He asserts that he feels better every day in terms of his physical and emotional health.

He declared that he was not finished and that Werner Herzog would be the director of his next role, which would be Frankenstein. He is eager to get started and anticipates soon showcasing their artistic abilities to the globe.


Val Edward Kilmer is an American actor who faced a serious throat cancer diagnosis in private for two years, from 2015 to 2017, before publicly addressing health-related concerns. After being diagnosed with throat cancer, Kilmer’s children eventually convinced him to undergo formal treatment, which resulted in numerous rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatment as well as surgery, according to the Times.

Unfortunately, Kilmer’s surgeries resulted in the requirement for both a tracheostomy tube and a feeding tube, effectively preventing him from speaking as he previously had.

Since then, Kilmer has made an effort to push through obstacles caused by his health, including his long-awaited comeback to Top Gun: Maverick in May.

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