Val Edward Kilmer (born December 31, 1959) is an award winning actor known for playing Iceman (no, not that Iceman), Jim Morrison, Doc Holliday, Batman, and Moses. He really likes to prepare himself for his roles, as some of his fellow actors have noted.
For a time in the 90s it looked like Kilmer was going to become one of Hollywood's truly elite A-listers, especially after the success of Batman Forever. However, his career began to slow after he developed a reputation for being difficult on set and appeared in a string of movies that did badly at the box office. Although he had a brief resurgence in the 2000's, with several critically acclaimed turns in smaller projects, his filmography began being filled with direct-to-DVD projects - this seems to be due at least in part to his unfortunate reputation of being difficult to work with. Roles in more mainstream films are painfully rare.
His career was almost completely sidelined by throat cancer, which he kept hidden for over a decade. Complications have resulted in the continued use of a tracheotomy tube that prevents him from speaking louder than a squeak. He's since shifted his focus towards painting and outreach programs to encourage students to pursue the arts and theater. He is also developing projects and curricula about Mark Twain, a personal hero of his.
Fittingly, like the real Jim Morrison, Kilmer is a musician as well, having released a CD in 2007.
From 1988 to 1996 he was married to British actress Joanne Whalley, whom he met while filming the sword and sorcery film Willow (and would star opposite for a second time in the thriller Kill Me Again). They had two children, daughter Mercedes and son Jack who is also an actor.
He was also the youngest actor ever accepted into Julliard's drama program for many years and is so far the only actor to play Batman who attended Drama school.
- Nick Rivers in Top Secret! (1984)
- Chris Knight in Real Genius (1985)
- Lt. Tom "Iceman" Kazansky in Top Gun (1986) and Top Gun: Maverick (2020)
- Madmartigan in Willow (1988)
- Jack Andrews in Kill Me Again (1989)
- Jim Morrison of The Doors in The Doors (1991)
- Ray Levoi in Thunderheart (1992)
- J.T. Barker in The Real McCoy (1993)
- Doc Holliday in Tombstone (1993)
- Mentor in True Romance (1993)
- Jean Mermoz in Wings Of Courage (1995)
- Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman Forever (1995)
- Chris Shiherlis in Heat (1995)
- Montgomery in The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) (1996)
- Patterson in The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)
- Simon Templar in The Saint (1997)
- Moses/God in The Prince of Egypt (1998) (voice)
- Virgil Adamson in At First Sight (1999)
- Willem DeKooning in Pollock (2000)
- Robby Gallagher in Red Planet (2000)
- Danny Parker in The Salton Sea (2002)
- John Holmes in Wonderland (2003)
- Lt. Jim Ducharme in The Missing (2003)
- Bobby Scott in Spartan (2004)
- Jake Harris in Mindhunters (2004)
- King Philip II in Alexander (2004)
- Perry Van Shrike/"Gay Perry" in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
- Paul Pryzwarra in Déjà Vu (2006)
- Mason Lancer in NUMB3RS (2007)
- Inish Scull in Comanche Moon (2008)
- Bogardus in Delgo (2008) (voice)
- J Ohn Cologne in Columbus Day (2008)
- John Smith in Felon (2008)
- Stevie Pruit in The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)
- Virgil in Hardwired (2009)
- Dieter von Cunth in MacGruber (2010)
- Hall Baltimore in Twixt (2011)
- Himself, in the viral Internet video that announced the production of a new Tenacious D album (2012)
- Bravo in Planes (2013) (voice)
- Det. Dobson in Psych (2014)
- Gert Rafto in The Snowman (2017)
- Walter in The Super (2017)
- Reboot Bluntman in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019)
- Author Appeal: A lot of his later work revolves around Mark Twain because he's a huge fan of Twain's work.
- Badass Baritone: His voice used to be very deep and smooth, before his battle with throat cancer reduced it to a weak rasp.
- Mr. Fanservice: Back in his heyday. He was nominated for the MTV Movie Award for Most Desirable Male for Tombstone, and won it for Batman Forever.
- Same Language Dub: Starting with The Snowman all of his appearances have been dubbed due to his battle with throat cancer.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Built himself a reputation for it. Joel Schumacher declared that "Val did me two great favors. When I wanted him to be Batman, he said yes. Then he created a situation which allowed me not to have him play Batman again". John Frankenheimer was even crueller ("There are two things I will never do in my life, I will never climb Mount Everest, and I will never work with Val Kilmer again. There isnt enough money in the world.) Apparently he's mellowed out, culminating in some Adam Westing playing himself in Harmony Korine's The Fourth Dimension.
- Those Two Actors: He has done two films with Michael Fassbender whom he is good friends with in real life.
- Vocal Evolution: He was noted for his deep, smooth voice. This became noticeably strained in the New Tens because of a tumor pressing against his vocal chords. Post-surgery complications have left him reliant on a tracheotomy tube and rendered his voice into a rasp.