Val Kilmer Illness: Is He Unable To Speak? The Hollywood legend has spent the last seven years dealing with a condition that has changed the course of his career, including a tracheotomy that has rendered speech difficult, if not impossible.
Top Gun: Maverick, released earlier this summer, marked the triumphant comeback to the silver screen of Hollywood star Val Kilmer, who was able to reprise his beloved antagonistic role opposite Tom Cruise in a way that also touched upon Kilmer’s all-too-real struggle with cancer.
Kilmer, who is now 62 years old, was quiet for two years between 2015 and 2017 as he processed a devastating diagnosis of throat cancer. According to CNN, during the height of his career, the actor helped bring in over $2 billion for Hollywood. His oeuvre includes such classics as the original Top Gun and Batman Forever, as well as Tombstone and Heat. Fans and critics alike were concerned about Kilmer’s future after he opened up about the effects of his throat cancer treatment, including his inability to talk.
In a candid interview, Kilmer revealed that he initially resisted going to the doctor. Kilmer’s kids finally got him to agree to treatment for his throat cancer, which included numerous rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, according to the Times. A number of sources claim that after undergoing these operations, Kilmer was able to totally recover from his throat cancer diagnosis and appear to enter remission. These include the documentary Val, set to be released in 2020, and his memoir, I’m Your Huckleberry.
Sadly, Kilmer’s treatments required a tracheostomy tube and a feeding tube, thus rendering him unable to talk as he previously had.
“Now that it’s more difficult to speak, I want to share my story more than ever,” says Kilmer in the upcoming documentary Val, which will look back at the actor’s life and career leading up to his cancer diagnosis and treatment.
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Since then, Kilmer has worked hard to keep working despite health issues, most recently making his highly anticipated return to Top Gun: Maverick in May. According to a press release from Northeastern University, the screenwriters purposefully incorporated Kilmer’s real-life cancer recovery story into the plot, with “Iceman” communicating with Tom Cruise’s protagonist character through typing, with the exception of a single line of audio that was recreated from Kilmer’s real voice using AI technology.
Continue reading to learn more about Kilmer’s cancer treatment, his current health status, and his road back to acting and other creative endeavors.
The news about Kilmer’s failing health originally came from a friend and Hollywood peer, Michael Douglas, according to reports; Kilmer did not come forward with his predicament at the time and has since selectively provided details regarding the timetable of his recuperation. In 2017, Kilmer indirectly addressed the public about his past diagnosis in a Reddit AMA.
Kilmer stated at the time, “[Michael Douglas] was probably attempting to help me, [because] reporters undoubtedly inquired where I was these days, and I did have a healing of cancer.” “However, my tongue is still swollen, although it is improving steadily. People assume I’m still sick because I don’t sound [like] myself yet.”
After he and his then-girlfriend Cher experienced their first health scare:
Kilmer’s biography reveals an intriguing detail about how he was diagnosed with throat cancer and the role Cher had in the struggle.
“The bed was covered in blood when I woke up one night, and it looked like a scene from The Godfather. As he describes in I’m Your Huckleberry, “I prayed right away, and then I dialed 911.” I then went to tell my hostess what had happened. When others failed, Cher boldly stepped in.”
Kilmer claims that the two were able to joke even as he was being brought to the hospital to find out the severity of his condition.
“She looked at the paramedic, who was as gorgeous as Gregory Peck and seemed to be considering calling for backup. Just like in the movies, right? I drew her attention by bobbing my brows like Groucho Marx, despite the fact that I was dripping with blood. Greetings, Greetings, and Hubba Hubba! “Currently, he’s in the writing phase. “At first, Cher was embarrassed to be caught, but then she couldn’t contain her laughter at the brazenness of it all. While I looked like a stuntman out of Reservoir Dogs by Tarantino, and sure, my life did seem to be in mortal peril, here we were, making jokes about attractiveness and lust. Before they finished taking my vitals and putting an oxygen mask over my mouth, we shared a hearty chuckle.”
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