Val Kilmer, 57, is opening up about his two-year fight against throat cancer, and how the diagnosis changed the way he viewed his life and his fame.


The actor admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that, before his diagnosis, he was far “too serious” about his career. “I’d get upset when things like Oscars and recognition failed to come my way,” he said. In a short time span, Kilmer found out he had throat cancer and his 26-year-old daughter Mercedes ended up in the hospital beside him after being in a car accident.

“I was just, you know, miserable, distraught, sitting next to these two,” said Kilmer’s son Jack, 22.

Rumors of Kilmer’s declining health began spreading in 2015, and the star denied having a tumor that January. A rep had previously shared that the actor was “undergoing tests” for a “possible tumor.” After being in the hospital, Kilmer again denied tumor rumors in October of that year. Michael Douglas fueled the rumor mill by suggesting Kilmer had cancer again in 2016. Kilmer claimed he was “misinformed.”

“There’s a rumor I’m unwell again and in hospital which is totally untrue,” read a Facebook post from Kilmer. “I was in to verify I have no tumor or infection of any kind which was verified by the very caring experts at UCLA.”

In April, Kilmer admitted that he “did have a healing cancer,” and that “his tongue is still swollen altho healing all the time.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kilmer has undergone rounds of chemotherapy to fight the disease. And while he is still motivated by fame, Kilmer also has other ambitions. “I would like to have more Oscars than anybody,” he said. “Meryl Streep must feel pretty good, you know? It must be nice to know that everyone loves her. It’s about being loved.”

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