Val Kilmer talks throat cancer lessons: "I was too serious"

Posted on: December 20th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Photo by Venturelli/Getty Images for Baume & Mercier(LOS ANGELES) — Val Kilmer, and his adult actor children Jack, 22, and Mercedes, 26, are featured in a new video shot by The Hollywood Reporter, where the Top Gun and Tombstone actor talks — apparently for the first time — about his battle with throat cancer. 

For fans of the actor, who has for years denied he had cancer, the footage is striking: he appears gaunt, and although in good spirits, his once baritone voice is quiet, and his words so mumbled they require subtitles. 

Kilmer, 57, said his fight against the disease, which included chemotherapy, changed his priorities. “I was too serious,” he says. “I’d get upset when things like Oscars and recognition failed to come my way.” Still, the Academy Award nominee allowed, “I would like to have more Oscars than anybody…Meryl Streep must feel pretty good, you know? It must feel nice to know that everyone loves her. It’s about being loved.”

Beginning back in 2015, the actor began denying he had cancer, in a now-deleted Facebook post following his release from Los Angeles hospital. “I have not had a tumor, or a tumor operations, or any operation,” the Christian Scientist said, thanking friends for their support.

A year later, he denied a comment from a “misinformed” Michael Douglas — himself a throat cancer survivor — that Val had sought treatment for the same affliction. “The last time I spoke to him was almost two years ago, when I asked him for a referral for a specialist to get a diagnosis for a lump in my throat” Kilmer explained. “I ended up using a team at UCLA and have no cancer whatsoever. I still have a swollen tongue and am rehabbing steadily.”

Kilmer’s children are both from his marriage to his ex-wife and Willow co-star Joanne Whalley.

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