Val Kilmer Says He’s Recovering From Cancer in First Acknowledgement of Health Issues

4 minute read

Val Kilmer shared for the first time that he is recovering from cancer after months of denying that he was suffering from any serious health issues.

The 57-year-old actor participated in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Wednesday, where he addressed a question about Michael Douglas saying that his one-time costar was battling oral cancer, a disease Douglas beat himself in 2013, during a Q&A in October.

“A while ago, Michael Douglas claimed you had terminal cancer,” one fan asked. “What was the story behind that?”

“He was probably trying to help me cause press probably asked where I was these days, and I did have a healing of cancer, but my tongue is still swollen altho healing all the time,” Kilmer answered. “Because I don’t sound my normal self yet people think I may still be under the weather.”

Speaking at a Q&A in London in October, Douglas said that his The Ghost and the Darkness costar was “dealing with exactly what I had.”

“Things don’t look too good for him,” the 72-year-old actor said. “My prayers are with him. That’s why you haven’t heard too much from Val lately.”

Kilmer soon after addressed the comment on Facebook, saying he has “no cancer whatsoever” and hadn’t spoken to Douglas in nearly two years.

“I love Michael Douglas but he is misinformed,” the Top Gun star wrote. “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, which prevented me from continuing a tour of my play CITIZEN TWAIN. I ended up using a team at UCLA and have no cancer whatsoever.”

In October 2015, Kilmer vehemently denied that he had a tumor after being spotted at the UCLA Medical Center. A few months later, he was seen with what looked to be a tracheostomy tube around his neck. He was also spotted on multiple occasions covering his neck with scarves and bandanas.

He has since resumed his Citizen Twain tour, though he still has difficulty speaking. He told PEOPLE in March that he’s “doing great.”

Also during the Reddit AMA, Kilmer also spoke about working with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. He denied having a behind-the-scenes rivalry with Tom Cruise while shooting Top Gun.

“He was a sweet heart,” Kilmer said. “We were all quite rowdy me and all the real flyboys and the actors, so I actually felt a little sorry for him cause we all had time to play and date the cute extras and zoom around San Diego in muscle cars, but Tom was always in some scene and never go to play with us…”

Kilmer also spoke about working with legendary actor Marlon Brando on the 1996 sci-fi film The Island of Dr. Moreau.

“Brando was everything you want the major icon in your world to be, a genius and a gentleman,” he wrote. “I was getting divorced at the time and he was so gracious about offering me time and considered thought. He offered to call my ex on behalf of the children. He was one of the funniest men on earth. I still laugh out loud about some of the things he said and did. i mean he literally wore a salad bowl over his head.”

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