Top Gun star Val Kilmer recently gave a rare on-camera interview to promote his new memoir I’m Your Huckleberry. The 60-year-old opened up about his life after battling throat cancer, and he also revealed the impact it had on his voice.
In his first on-camera interviews in nearly ten years, Kilmer appeared on Good Morning America on Tuesday morning to talk with Chris Connelly about his life and career. And, the actor revealed that he is feeling much better after beating cancer.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 21, 2020
“I feel a lot better than I sound, but I feel wonderful,” said Kilmer. “I was diagnosed with throat cancer, which healed very quickly. This is a tracheotomy to help me breathe because the glands in my throat swelled up as well.”
When Connelly asked Kilmer what he missed most about his old voice, he quickly replied: “That I had one! That I didn’t laugh like a pirate.”
According to People magazine, Kilmer underwent a tracheotomy, chemotherapy, and radiation during his cancer battle, and the Christian Scientist used his faith and prayer to get better. Now, Kilmer is cancer-free.
“I have been healed of cancer for over four years now, and there has never been any reoccurrence. I am so grateful,” wrote Kilmer in his memoir.
Kilmer also discussed his reunion with Tom Cruise on the set of the sequel Top Gun: Maverick, but he didn’t give any details about the reprisal of his character Tom “Iceman” Kazansky. However, he did admit that reuniting with Cruise was emotional.
“It was absolutely moving. I really was surprised. Tom was wearing his jacket, the original jacked from the first movie. It was just very moving. I don’t want to give away anything, but in between takes, Tom and I just laughed like we were in high school,” Kilmer said.
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Getting set-up and ready for my interview with Chris Connelly on @goodmorningamerica tomorrow morning. This will be my first television interview in nearly 10 years and the first since being diagnosed and healed from throat cancer. We’re going to talk about my new book and some of the most memorable and difficult moments throughout my life. You may notice I sound like I have a frog in my throat. It’s not. It’s a buffalo. Though being healed from cancer, I am slowly and surely regaining my speech. As I haven’t let the adversity stifle my voice as an artist. I hope you’ll tune in and follow me on my journey.
Kilmer’s new memoir I’m Your Huckleberry got its name from his iconic line in the movie Tombstone, where he played Doc Holiday. In the book, the actor discusses his roles in Top Gun, Tombstone, and The Doors, and he also gets candid about his past romances.
Val Kilmer says his life was not built to handle the kind of fame he received after playing Jim Morrison in The Doors. He says he is very shy, so he has laid low and lived a quiet life in New Mexico despite his acting success and all of his famous girlfriends from the past.
I’m Your Huckleberry is available now wherever books are sold.