Val Kilmer's voice unrecognizable after battle with throat cancer leaves him with tracheotomy

The actor was promoting his new memoir 'I'm Your Huckleberry'. Now 60, Kilmer spoke while holding his throat and had a very raspy voice but assured fans he felt "a lot better than I sound"


                            Val Kilmer's voice unrecognizable after battle with throat cancer leaves him with tracheotomy
(Getty Images)
ADVERTISEMENT

In a rare on-screen interview, Val Kilmer opened up about his battle with throat cancer and how it had affected his voice to the point he felt he "laughed like a pirate."

The 'Top Gun' star had confirmed his cancer diagnosis in April 2017 but has since been reclusive and has not talked much about his battle.

However, the actor has recently been promoting his new memoir 'I'm Your Huckleberry' and appeared on "Good Morning America" to talk about his life, before and after throat cancer.

ADVERTISEMENT

Now 60, Kilmer was talking while holding his throat and had a very raspy voice but assured fans that he felt "a lot better than I sound." 

When questioned about what he could say about the condition of his voice and how he was able to communicate, he insisted he felt "wonderful" and added, "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."

ADVERTISEMENT

Asked what he missed about his old voice, he showed he had not lost his sense of humor and cheekily responded, "That I had one! And that I didn't laugh like a pirate!"

Kilmer had previously spoken about his cancer in a 2017 interview with The Hollywood Reporter where he explained how his Christian Scientist faith had helped him get through the ordeal. He also spoke about how it taught him to take things lightly.

ADVERTISEMENT

"I was too serious. I'd get upset when things like Oscars and recognition failed to come my way," he said about his movie career, adding that he "would like to have more Oscars than anybody."

In the recently-aired 'Good Morning America' interview, Kilmer talked about portraying The Doors' Jim Morrison and how people "just never knew if he was going to be alive tomorrow."

ADVERTISEMENT

He had done his own singing for the role and had been praised universally but was passed over at the Oscars and revealed he didn't know how to handle the fame that came along with such a role.

"My life was not built for that kind of fame and attention, and all of the sudden interest in Jim Morrison was about the sex, drugs, and rock and roll," he shared. "I'm very shy and I've tried to live a quiet life in New Mexico despite all my famous girlfriends of the past."

ADVERTISEMENT

Kilmer has reportedly detailed his romances with the likes of Cher, Ellen Barkin, Michelle Pfeifer, and Cindy Crawford in his new memoir, and said he felt these women were attracted to him because he was "committed."

"You have to be committed to a woman that's as dynamic and as committed to their work as someone like Cindy Crawford who was the number one model on the planet at the time," he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kilmer also talked about him reprising the role of Tom "Iceman" Kazansky in 'Top Gun: Maverick,' a long-awaited sequel to the 1986 original which is slated for release this coming December, and said his reunion with Tom Cruise was emotional.

"It was absolutely moving," he said. "I was really surprised. Tom was wearing his jacket, the original jacket 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."

ADVERTISEMENT