Val Kilmer opens up about his battle with throat cancer and says he feels better than he sounds


Val Kilmer has opened up about his battle with throat cancer and even admitted that he’s shy despite all of his famous girlfriends of the past. 

In an Tuesday morning interview with Good Morning America, the Top Gun star said: ‘I feel a lot better than I sound. I feel wonderful.’

Kilmer, who was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2015, said it has ‘healed very quickly’.

‘This is a tracheotomy,’ he said while holding his hand to his throat, ‘to help me breathe because the glands in my throat swelled up as well’.

When asked what he misses the most about his voice, Kilmer told GMA: ‘That I had one! And that I didn’t laugh like a pirate.’

  

Val Kilmer has opened up about his battle with throat cancer and even admitted that he’s shy despite all of his famous girlfriends of the past

Kilmer is pictured as Iceman in the Top Gun film

Kilmer is pictured in September 2019

The Iceman icon (left in Top Gun) then opened up about his relationships and the fact that he’s actually shy despite playing Jim Morrison in the 1991 film, The Doors, which was ultimately about ‘sex, drugs and rock n’ roll’

The Iceman icon then opened up about his relationships and the fact that he’s actually shy despite playing Jim Morrison in the 1991 film, The Doors, which was ultimately about ‘sex, drugs and rock n’ roll’.

‘I’m very shy. I’ve tried to live a quiet life out in New Mexico despite all my famous girlfriends of the past,’ Kilmer said, referring to Cher, Cindy Crawford and Angelina Jolie.  

‘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,’ he told GMA. 

Kilmer, who makes an appearance in this year’s release of Top Gun: Maverick, which stars Tom Cruise, also spoke briefly about the upcoming movie.  

Kilmer's memoir chronicles his lost loves and lifelong spiritual journey

Kilmer’s memoir chronicles his lost loves and lifelong spiritual journey

‘It was absolutely moving,’ the actor said, referring to the trailer. 

‘I really was surprised and Tom was wearing his jacket from the first movie and it was just very moving.’

While Kilmer is known for his blockbuster movies of the 80s and 90s like Tombstone and Batman Forever, he has also shown off his artistic talents in the form of a new book.  

In his new memoir, he recalled flings with some of the world’s most famous women including Jolie, Cher, Carly Simon and Crawford.

The 60-year-old even admitted that he still pines for actress Daryl Hannah, writing in his memoir I’m Your Huckleberry: ‘Lord knows I’ve suffered heartache. But Daryl was by far the most painful of all.’

He added: ‘I knew I would love her with my whole heart forever and that love has lost none of its strength. I am still in love with Daryl. When we finally broke up, I cried every single day for half a year.’

The 1980s heartthrob’s love life eventually ran dry, following a whirlwind of love affairs that started when he became Cher’s lover aged 21 and she was in her mid-thirties.

The Batman actor found himself single and out of money from losing land investments in 2015, living in a cottage in Malibu with the postman and local burrito man as his best friends. 

‘I was a weirdo beach bum and it was bliss – then bliss turned to mayhem. I coughed up coagulated blood. I presumed this was the day of my death’, Kilmer confesses in his memoir that chronicles his lost loves and lifelong spiritual journey.  

While Kilmer is known for his blockbuster movies of the 80s and 90s like Tombstone and Batman Forever, he has also shown off his artistic talents in the form of a new book

While Kilmer is known for his blockbuster movies of the 80s and 90s like Tombstone and Batman Forever, he has also shown off his artistic talents in the form of a new book  

Kilmer admits in his new memoir that he still pines for actress Daryl Hannah (pictured together in 2003), writing in his new book I'm Your Huckleberry: 'Lord knows I've suffered heartache. But Daryl was by far the most painful of all'

Kilmer admits in his new memoir that he still pines for actress Daryl Hannah (pictured together in 2003), writing in his new book I’m Your Huckleberry: ‘Lord knows I’ve suffered heartache. But Daryl was by far the most painful of all’

Kilmer and Cindy Crawford in 1996

Kilmer and Angelina Jolie in 2004

Kilmer recalled flings with the world’s most famous women including Angelina Jolie (together right in 2004), Carly Simon and Cindy Crawford (together left in Moscow in 1996)

Kilmer describes how he called for an ambulance and crawled up the wooden stairs from his guesthouse to the Pacific Coast Highway so the ambulance could find him.

He woke up in a Santa Monica hospital after an emergency tracheotomy for throat cancer.

His old lover Cher had him transferred to David Geffen’s School of Medicine at UCLA where he underwent chemo and radiation over a two-month stay.

A lifelong Christian Scientist following the beliefs of both of his parents, Kilmer wrote: ‘I do not deny miraculous healing’, Kilmer writes.

Reflecting on the cancer that had caused his tongue to swell and block his lymph passages, requiring two tracheotomies, Kilmer said: ‘The cancer miraculously healed much faster than any of the doctors predicted’.

Now when he talks, he has to put a finger to the aperture in his throat to be understood.

Kilmer was born in Playa del Rey, California but his parents moved to Chatsworth on the sprawling northern border of the San Fernando Valley when his block was mowed down to make an LAX runway.

His father was an aerospace equipment distributor, stingy but generous with himself, buying a Cadillac but not letting his mother purchase curtains for the living room.

At age eight, Kilmer started secretly smoking his uncle’s Pall Mall cigarettes in his tree house – a habit he deeply regrets. 

Kilmer escaped the dreaded San Fernando Valley for New York City – where Marlon Brando, ‘the north star of my theatrical fantasies’, had studied 33 years earlier.

He enrolled at the Julliard School, the youngest ever to get accepted at the highly rated private performing arts conservatory. 

Kilmer graduated and then fell under the spell of Cher when she picked him up in the city.

Kilmer graduated and then fell under the spell of Cher when she picked him up in the city. They rode off into the New York City sunset and headed west when he chose to live with her atop Caesars Palace in Vegas instead of furthering his acting studies. 'We both loved laughing and went on doing so for well over a year'

Kilmer graduated and then fell under the spell of Cher when she picked him up in the city. They rode off into the New York City sunset and headed west when he chose to live with her atop Caesars Palace in Vegas instead of furthering his acting studies. ‘We both loved laughing and went on doing so for well over a year’

Kilmer segued to Michelle Pfeiffer (pictured together in 1985) after playing in an ABC Afterschool Special, One Too Many and they became confidantes. He adored her, he confesses but had an unrequited crush on her younger sister

Kilmer segued to Michelle Pfeiffer (pictured together in 1985) after playing in an ABC Afterschool Special, One Too Many and they became confidantes. He adored her, he confesses but had an unrequited crush on her younger sister

They rode off into the New York City sunset and headed west when he chose to live with her atop Caesars Palace in Vegas, instead of furthering his acting studies.

‘We both loved laughing and went on doing so for well over a year. Cher trafficked in intoxicating glamour and I, a Valley boy, fell under her spell.’ 

After all that fun, he writes they were now less lovers and really best friends.

Kilmer segued to Michelle Pfeiffer after playing in an ABC Afterschool Special, One Too Many and they became confidantes. 

He adored her, he confesses but had an unrequited crush on her younger sister.

Ellen Barkin followed, a romance that was ‘as whimsical as it was whirlwind’.

‘I was crazy for her, and we had some fabulous days’, he recalled remembering her laugh and the softness of her hair.

But she became another who got away, ‘no doubt due to my unmanageable preoccupations, my neglect,’ Kilmer adds. 

Kilmer fled to Santa Fe and finally hooked up with Joanne Whalley (pictured together), an actress he had met years earlier and watched her from afar while she had no interest in him

Kilmer fled to Santa Fe and finally hooked up with Joanne Whalley (pictured together), an actress he had met years earlier and watched her from afar while she had no interest in him

Following in their parents' footsteps: The Jay and Silent Bob Reboot actor has two children - Jack, 24; and Mercedes, 28 - with Joanne Whalley, whom he divorced in 1996 after eight years of marriage (pictured in 2018)

Following in their parents’ footsteps: The Jay and Silent Bob Reboot actor has two children – Jack, 24; and Mercedes, 28 – with Joanne Whalley, whom he divorced in 1996 after eight years of marriage (pictured in 2018)

Simon soon stepped in after the two met at a party in New York. Kilmer had arrived with Cher, but she had wandered off.  

Kilmer quickly fell in love, writing: ‘I wanted to be with Carly every day of the rest of my life.’

But that faded he surmised when Carly realized he was hopelessly in love with her. 

Kilmer fled to Santa Fe and finally hooked up with Joanne Whalley, an actress he had met years earlier and watched from afar while she had no interest in him.

Now they fell in love and married in New Mexico and honeymooned on Marlon Brando’s island in Tahiti.

They promised they would always be together but that promise began to fade when each wanted to film in a different city at the same time.

They eventually split up, but not before having two children. Their relationship had unraveled when she shut him out of the parental role, leaving Kilmer rarely seeing his kids.   

Next up in love land for Kilmer was Crawford in 1996 while getting his divorce from the mother of his children. 

‘Oh God, I loved Cindy and just kept loving her, I thought I could have died from her love because its delight was simply too much to bear. I would die of happiness,’ he gushed. 

They began traveling the world together but as the most in-demand supermodel, she was always one step away, heading for another city.

Jolie rescued Kilmer from his solitude and she was ‘perhaps the most soulful and serious of them all,’ Kilmer mused. 

He moved on to Jaycee Gossettt in 1999 for three years but then let her slip away. 

Then came Daryl Hannah, ‘the 6′ tall Amazonian tower of delicate power’.  

Now without the company of a sweetheart and having loved so deeply, Kilmer feels he has nothing left to give in a romantic relationship and feels lonely part of every day.

Kilmer started creating art when he was in the hospital and it morphed into something people wanted to collect.

He set up an art factory in Brentwood and with a new lease on life, he feels he is no longer a slave to love and a hopeless romantic. He is focused on friends, his art, his foundation and his spiritual growth. 

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