Ranked #62 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
Co-authored play "How It All Began," performed at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Public Theatre, in 1981.
Was at the time the youngest student ever accepted into Juilliard's drama department. His record has been supplanted by Juilliard student Seth Numrich, who was admitted at 15 in 2002.
While being let out of the metal cage during the filming of the crossroads scene in Willow (1988), the rope holding the cage up broke and the cage landed on Kilmer's foot, nearly breaking it. Later on in the film, Kilmer (who played swordsman Madmartigan) can be spotted having difficulty walking.
Is the second actor to play Batman in the movie franchise. He succeeded Michael Keaton(1989 Batman, 1992 Batman Returns) and preceded #3 George Clooney (1997 Batman & Robin); #4 Christian Bale (2005 Batman Begins; 2008 The Dark Knight and 2012 The Dark Knight Rises) and #5 Ben Affleck(2016 Batman v Superman:Dawn of Justice). If counting the two different film serials and the television series then Kilmer is the fifth actor to play Batman. The first 15 chapter film serial was released in 1941 and starred Lewis Wilson. The second 15 chapter film serial was released in 1949 and starred Robert Lowery. The TV series starred Adam West.
Turned down a role in The Outsiders (1983) because he was working with a theater company at the time, and if he had pulled out, the show would have been cancelled and his fellow actors out of a job.
During the sled riding scene in Willow (1988), he can be seen wearing a black glove on his left hand.
Is the only blonde actor to have played Bruce Wayne/Batman.
Did not want to appear in Top Gun (1986) but was forced to do so because of contractual obligations.
Does a variation on his trademark of twirling objects in Willow (1988): he twirls a sword during the fight in the snow camp.
He was 4' 11" when he entered high school. He acknowledged this on Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993).
Admits in interviews that he is a horrible cook.
After his first film, Top Secret! (1984), he went off and backpacked around Europe.
Enjoys scuba diving and traveling.
Has lived in New Mexico since 1983.
His father, Eugene, died in 1993.
His first auditions were for commercials at 13 years old.
His parents divorced when he was 9 years old.
In 1995, Kilmer learned he was getting a divorce while watching CNN in a hotel room. "It was no fun," he has said.
In the past he used to send taped auditions to filmmakers, figuring they would be much better (and less pressure) than live auditions.
Loves buffalo (and owns several on his ranch in New Mexico).
Stated in 1999 that At First Sight (1999) was his most challenging role to date.
Turned down roles in movies such as: Dune (1984), Blue Velvet (1986), Flatliners (1990), Captain America (1990), Backdraft (1991), Sliver (1993), Point Break (1991), In the Line of Fire (1993), Indecent Proposal (1993), Crimson Tide (1995), Batman & Robin (1997), The Insider (1999), Bandits (2001), a cameo in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), Collateral (2004) and Dark Matter (2007).
Visited Iraq briefly in April 1998 with AmeriCares, delivering supplies such as food, medicine and baby food.
He was in the Kalahari Desert in Africa researching a story he was writing about witch doctors when he was offered the Batman Forever (1995) Batman role.
Wrote poetry for actress Michelle Pfeiffer.
Was originally set to play the lead role in The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) but asked to switch roles because of his divorce.
Warwick Davis, Kilmer's co-star in Willow (1988), says in his audio commentary that the question he is most frequently asked is: "What was is it like to work with Val Kilmer?" Davis says he has very fond memories of working with Kilmer, stating that Kilmer had a great sense of humor and was very dedicated to the job.
While the movie The Missing (2003) was being shot about one hour from his New Mexico ranch, he called up his old friend Ron Howard [writer/director] and asked for a part. Ron gladly accepted and gave him a part which only took 3 days to film. Kilmer's scene is close to 13 minutes long, not counting the DVD's deleted scene.
Grew up in the San Fernando Valley the middle son of three boys (Mark the eldest; Wesley the youngest). During his high school years, Wesley drowned in the family's swimming pool, an incident Val claims inspired his subsequent performance in The Salton Sea (2002).
His work with the New Mexico Film Investment Program fueled a nearly 40-fold growth in the state's annual production revenue, from $3 million in 2002 to $117 million in 2006.
Born to Eugene Kilmer and his wife, Gladys Ekstadt.
Val's father was of English, as well as Welsh, Northern Irish (Scots-Irish), French Huguenot, and German, ancestry. Val's mother was of Swedish ancestry.
Second cousin of journalist and poet Joyce Kilmer.
His paternal grandfather was a gold miner in New Mexico.
Was considered for the role of Captain America/Steve Rogers in the failed 1990 film adaptation of the character. Captain America later fought Batman, whom Kilmer played, in the 1996 DC vs. Marvel storyline.
Was succeeded as Batman by George Clooney.
Actor Girard Swan has worked as his double on past films.
Volunteered to work with AmeriCares in 1998.
While promoting The Prince of Egypt (1998), he visited 6 countries in 5 days, stopping in Amsterdam, Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Paris and Zurich.
Younger brother of Mark and older brother of Wesley.
Attended high school with Mare Winningham and stated in his biography that "he was in love with her, cause she was old enough to drive and he wasn't".
Father, with Joanne Whalley, of daughter Mercedes Kilmer (born October 29, 1991) and son Jack Kilmer (born June 6, 1995).
Told Interview magazine during a 1991 conversation to promote The Doors (1991) that as a child, his family had employed a veteran of the Vietnam War, ongoing at the time, as a full-time babysitter. When the man found work elsewhere, the Kilmer family lost touch with him. Through Interview magazine they made an appeal for the Vietnam vet to reconnect with them.
Is a longtime board member of the New Mexico State Film Commission, which tries to persuade Los Angeles - based filmmakers and studios to film on location in New Mexico.
Made a personal appearance at the Big Apple Comic Book & Sci-Fi Expo in New York City. This was a two day fund raising event for several non-profit organizations as Kilmer donated all proceeds. [November 2007]
Playing in a production of David Mamet's "The Postman Always Rings Twice" in London. [July 2005]
While on break from the set of his latest film, he joined former ambassador 'Joseph Wilson', 'Jonathan Richards', former CIA undercover agent Valerie Plame Wilson, 'Mary-Charlotte Domandi', Jane Fonda and Ali MacGraw in reading pieces from the new Eve Ensler book about ending violence against women and girls worldwide. Ticket-sale proceeds from this exclusive event went to various non-profit projects around the world. [June 2007]
While promoting Comanche Moon (2008) and awaiting production of his latest film to start; joined Rosario Dawson, Jessica Alba, Katie Holmes, Gina Gershon and Kerry Washington in supporting V-Day and the global effort to end violence against women and girls. Ticket-sale proceeds from this event went to fund several non-profit non-violent humanitarian missions around the world. [January 2008]
Made a personal appearance for the 2007 Orchard Beach Classic Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Show in New York. This was a one day non-profit fund raising event to raise money for the families of police officers who were killed in the September 11th terrorist attack. [September 2007]
He has two roles in common with Adam West: (1) West played Doc Holliday in Sugarfoot (1957), Colt .45 (1957) and Lawman (1958) while Kilmer played him in Tombstone (1993) and (2) West played Batman / Bruce Wayne in Batman (1966), Batman: The Movie (1966), SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show (1984), The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (1985), The New Adventures of Batman (1977) and Legends of the Superheroes (1979) while Kilmer played him in Batman Forever (1995).
He has two roles in common with Christian Bale: (1) Kilmer played Batman / Bruce Wayne in Batman Forever (1995) while Bale played Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and (2) Kilmer played Moses in The Prince of Egypt (1998) while Bale played him in Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014).
As of 2015, is the only actor to play Batman in a live action movie (not based on a TV series) to not be nominated/win an Academy Award for acting.
The only actor to have played both Doc Holliday ("Tombstone") and Wyatt Earp ("Wyatt Earp's Revenge").