Val Kilmer Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Val Kilmer is an American actor born on December 31, 1959. He first gained popularity on stage before making a name for himself in comedy movies like “Top Secret!” and “Real Genius”. He became widely recognized for his roles in action films such as “Top Gun” and fantasy movies like “Willow”. Kilmer earned praise for playing Jim Morrison in “The Doors” directed by Oliver Stone. He also starred in notable films like “Tombstone,” “True Romance,” “Heat,” and “Batman Forever” where he portrayed Batman.

Throughout his career, Kilmer appeared in a variety of genres including thrillers like “The Ghost,” and the Darkness espionage films such as “The Saint,” animated features like “The Prince of Egypt,” and historical dramas like Alexander. He continued to act in movies like “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” and “The Snowman”. Recently in 2022, Kilmer returned to the role of Iceman in “Top Gun: Maverick”.

In 2015, Val Kilmer was diagnosed with throat cancer which severely affected his ability to speak due to damage to his vocal cords from medical procedures and chemotherapy. His memoir titled “I’m Your Huckleberry: A Memoir” was published in 2020 detailing his life and career. His health journey was documented in the 2021 film “Val” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and received critical acclaim.

During the 1990s, Kilmer was one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood with films featuring him grossing over $3.5 billion worldwide. Critic Roger Ebert once praised him as perhaps the most underrated leading man of his generation.

Full NameVal Edward Kilmer
Date of BirthDecember 31, 1959
Place of BirthLos Angeles, California, USA
Height6 feet (1.83 meters)
SpouseJoanne Whalley
ChildrenMercedes and Jack Kilmer
Net Worth$10 million

Val Kilmer’s Early Life and Education

Val Kilmer Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Val Kilmer was born on December 31, 1959, in Los Angeles California. He grew up with his mother Gladys who had Swedish roots and his father Eugene who had Irish, German, and Cherokee ancestry. His parents split when he was 8 years old and his mother remarried in 1970. Kilmer’s grandfather worked as a gold miner in New Mexico.

Tragically in 1977, Kilmer’s younger brother Wesley who had epilepsy died in a drowning accident in a jacuzzi at the age of 15.

During high school at Chatsworth Val Kilmer knew Kevin Spacey and his girlfriend at the time was Mare Winningham. Kilmer made history as the youngest person to be admitted to Juilliard School’s Drama Division where he was part of Group 10.


Val Kilmer Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Val Kilmer turned down a role in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 film “The Outsiders” due to prior theater commitments. In the same year, he acted off-Broadway alongside Kevin Bacon, Sean Penn, and Jackie Earle Haley in “The Slab Boys.” Kilmer also appeared in an educational TV drama called “One Too Many” dealing with drinking and driving alongside a young Michelle Pfeiffer.

In 1983, Kilmer self-published a book of poetry titled “My Edens After Burns” inspired by his time with Pfeiffer. The book is rare and expensive with second-hand copies fetching $300 or more.

Kilmer’s breakthrough came with the comedy “Top Secret!” where he played an American rock star named “Nick Rivers.” He sang all the songs in the film and released an album under the character’s name. Alongside gaining fame he also became known for his charm and relationships with many women.

After a brief break backpacking in Europe, Val Kilmer starred in the 1985 comedy “Real Genius.” He declined a role in David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” but later gained immense popularity as “Iceman” in the action film “Top Gun” starring alongside Tom Cruise. “Top Gun” was a massive success grossing over $344 million worldwide and propelling Kilmer to stardom.

Throughout the late 1980s, Kilmer continued to build his career with roles in films like “Willow” where he met his future wife Joanne Whalley and portrayed Hamlet in the Colorado Shakespeare Festival.

In the early 1990s, Kilmer starred in various films including “The Doors” where he played Jim Morrison. He prepared extensively for the role immersing himself in Morrison’s life and music. His portrayal was acclaimed with members of The Doors praising his authenticity.

Kilmer continued his success in the 1990s with roles in “Thunderheart” and “Tombstone” where he played Doc Holliday and “Heat” alongside Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.

In 1995, Val Kilmer starred in “Batman Forever” taking over the role from Michael Keaton. The film was a box office hit although opinions on Kilmer’s performance as Batman were mixed. He decided not to return for another Batman film due to creative differences and scheduling conflicts with another project.

George Clooney later replaced Kilmer as Batman in 1997’s “Batman & Robin.”

In 1996, Val Kilmer appeared in a lesser-known movie called “Dead Girl” and starred alongside Marlon Brando in the poorly received “The Island of Dr. Moreau”. That same year he acted with Michael Douglas in the thriller “The Ghost and the Darkness”. The following year he played Simon Templar in the popular action film “The Saint”.

Val Kilmer Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Val Kilmer enjoyed playing diverse roles like an eccentric artist a nerdy British scientist a cleaner and a Russian mob boss embracing the challenge of portraying these versatile characters. He even wrote poetry for the film for which he earned $6 million. The Saint did well financially earning $169.4 million worldwide.

In 1998, Val Kilmer voiced Moses in “The Prince of Egypt” and starred in the indie film “Joe the King” in 1999 where he portrayed a blind man. He described this role as one of his most challenging at the time.

Moving into the 2000s, Kilmer starred in the big-budget flop “Red Planet” and had supporting roles in “Pollock” and “Hard Cash”. He also took on roles in thrillers like “The Salton Sea” and “Spartan” where he underwent intense training for his part as a government agent.

In 2003, he played John Holmes in Wonderland and appeared in “The Missing”. The next year he starred in “Spartan” and “Stateside” and reunited with Christian Slater for “Mindhunters” although it was released later in 2005. Kilmer also appeared in Alexander a big-budget film that received mixed reviews.

In 2004, Val Kilmer returned to the stage to play Moses in “The Ten Commandments: The Musical” and made a cameo in “Entourage” as a Sherpa involved in cannabis cultivation.

Kilmer had plans to work with Richard Dutcher on a film about Joseph Smith but it never materialized. He performed in “The Postman Always Rings Twice” in London in 2005 and co-starred with Robert Downey Jr. in “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” a critically acclaimed but limited-release film.

In 2006, Kilmer had a supporting role in “Déjà Vu” and was honored with a song named after him by Bowling for Soup. He also appeared on “Numb3rs” and released a charity CD.

In 2008, Val Kilmer starred in “Felon” and voiced KITT in the “Knight Rider” TV series. He continued his film work with “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call,” “New Orleans,” and “Streets of Blood” in 2009 as well as a role in the TV series XIII.

In the 2010s, Kilmer appeared in films like “The Traveler” and “Twixt” directed by Francis Ford Coppola. He also played Dieter Von Cunth in “MacGruber” and had a cameo in Tenacious D’s music video.

Kilmer spoke at William Woods University in 2010 and starred in Harmony Korine’s short film “The Lotus Community Workshop” in 2012. He received a Grammy nomination and voiced a character in Disney’s Planes alongside his Top Gun co-star Anthony Edwards.

In 2020, Kilmer acted alongside his daughter Mercedes Kilmer in “Paydirt”. He reprised his role as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky in the long-awaited Top Gun sequel “Top Gun: Maverick” released in 2022.

Net Worth

Val Kilmer has an estimated net worth of $10 Million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. The main source of Val Kilmer’s net worth comes primarily from his acting career in movies and television. He starred in several successful films like “Top Gun,” “Batman Forever,” and “The Doors,” which earned him significant earnings and fame. Kilmer’s acting roles over the years contributed to his wealth through salaries, royalties from film earnings, and endorsements related to his career in entertainment.

Additionally, he has occasionally ventured into producing and voice acting, further enhancing his financial portfolio.

Personal life

Val Kilmer Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

In 2011, Val Kilmer sold his large ranch in New Mexico where he enjoyed outdoor activities like hiking and fishing and even raised bison.

Regarding relationships and family Kilmer has dated celebrities like Cher, Cindy Crawford, and Angelina Jolie. He was married to actress Joanne Whalley from 1988 to 1996 and they have two children together: Mercedes and Jack.

Kilmer is known in Hollywood for being challenging to work with and having disagreements with actors such as Marlon Brando and Tom Sizemore. Some directors like Joel Schumacher and John Frankenheimer have openly criticized his behavior and work ethic.

Politically, Val Kilmer supports causes like Native American rights and environmental protection. He also lobbied Congress on healthcare issues in 2013.

Kilmer is passionate about music and released an album called “Sessions with Mick” in 2007.

In terms of health, Kilmer faced a serious battle with throat cancer undergoing treatments including chemotherapy and surgeries. He now uses an electric voice box to speak due to damage to his trachea.