Below is a compiled list of the most interesting facts about Val Kilmer. Check it out!
Val Kilmer was born in Los Angeles, California, to Gladys Swanette (Ekstadt) and Eugene Dorris Kilmer, who was a real estate developer and aerospace equipment distributor. His mother, born in Indiana, was from a Swedish family, and his father was from Texas. Val studied at Hollywood’s Professional’s School and, in his teens, entered Juilliard’s drama program. His professional acting career began on stage, and he still participates in theater; he played Hamlet at the 1988 Colorado Shakespeare Festival. His film debut was in the 1984 spoof Top Secret! (1984), wherein he starred as blond rock idol Nick Rivers. He was in a number of films throughout the 1980s, including the 1986 smash Top Gun (1986). Despite his obvious talent and range, it wasn’t until his astonishingly believable performance as Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s The Doors (1991) that the world sat up and took notice. Kilmer again put his good baritone to use in the movie, performing all of the concert pieces. Since then, he has played two more American legends, Elvis Presley in True Romance (1993) and Doc Holliday in Tombstone (1993). In July 1994, it was announced that Kilmer would be taking over the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne from Michael Keaton.
Interesting Facts about Val Kilmer
- Made a personal appearance for the 2007 Orchard Beach Classic Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Show in New York. This was a one day non-profit fund raising event to raise money for the families of police officers who were killed in the September 11th terrorist attack. [September 2007]
- He turned down the lead role in Captain America (1990) in favor of The Doors (1991). Captain America later fought Batman, whom Kilmer played, in the 1996 DC vs. Marvel storyline.
- He and his old friend Kevin Spacey have both played iconic characters from DC Comics. Kilmer played Batman in Batman Forever (1995), and Spacey played Lex Luthor in Superman Returns (2006).
- After his first film, Top Secret! (1984), he went off and backpacked around Europe.
- Married and divorced in February of a leap year: 1988 & 1996.
- Turned down the role of Ponyboy in The Outsiders (1983) because he was working with a theater company at the time, and if he had pulled out, the show would have been cancelled and his fellow actors out of a job.
- While being let out of the metal cage during the filming of the crossroads scene in Willow (1988), the rope holding the cage up broke and the cage landed on Kilmer’s foot, nearly breaking it. Later on in the film, Kilmer (who played swordsman Madmartigan) can be spotted having difficulty walking.
- A Christian Scientist, he has starred in commercials for the Church. He credited his faith for curing his throat cancer although he did undergo surgery, chemo, and radiation, reportedly at the behest of his children, who are not Christian Scientists. He later denied having had cancer and blamed the conventional treatments for causing his “suffering”.
- Filmed his part as Elvis Presley in True Romance (1993) in 1 day.
- He has expressed a desire to play a villain in a Batman film to Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne/Batman.
- Enjoys scuba diving and traveling.
- He was considered for Louis in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994).
Personal Quotes by Val Kilmer
I’m going to put a museum on my ranch and people keep saying, ‘That’s a huge idea.’ Yeah, it’s big, but not bigger than the average big movie. A hundred million dollars in the art world is a substantial amount of cash to do anything. That’s maybe a big gallery’s total sales for a given year.- Val Kilmer
I’ve been very fortunate and met the guys that have become, basically, philosophers and have a kind of sensibility about life that’s very precious.- Val Kilmer
What I do for a living is listen.- Val Kilmer
With legitimate journalists I’ve always had a great time – I’ve never gone out of my way to court the press. That’s probably cost me some money, but I’ve always had the respect of my peers.- Val Kilmer
My father was raised in the mountains of New Mexico, and he picked cotton for a dollar a day. He was working for the family from the time he was 7.- Val Kilmer