Attended Chatsworth High School with Kevin Spacey and Mare Winningham.
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.
Val Kilmer and Marlon Brando infuriated director John Frankenheimer on the set of The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996). Frankenheimer later vowed to never work with Kilmer again.
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.
Met first wife, British actress Joanne Whalley, when they filmed the 1988 fantasy, Willow (1988). They had two children: daughter Mercedes Kilmer (born in 1991) and son Jack Kilmer (born in 1995).
Is the second actor to play Batman in the movie franchise. He succeeded Michael Keaton (Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992)) and preceded #3 George Clooney (Batman & Robin (1997)); #4 Christian Bale (Batman Begins (2005); The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012)) and #5 Ben Affleck (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)). 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, Batman (1943), was released in 1941 and starred Lewis Wilson. The second 15-chapter film serial, Batman and Robin (1949), was released in 1949 and starred Robert Lowery. The TV series, Batman (1966), starred Adam West.
Did his own singing while playing Jim Morrison in The Doors (1991). The real members of the band said they had difficulty distinguishing Kilmer's voice from that of Morrison's.
Turned down the role of Ponyboy 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.
Got the role of Chris Shiherlis in Heat (1995) after Keanu Reeves, who was originally cast as Chris, backed out.
Contrary to popular belief, he enjoyed playing "Batman" despite his poor working relationship with Joel Schumacher during the production of Batman Forever (1995).
During the sled riding scene in Willow (1988), he can be seen wearing a black glove on his left hand.
Is the only blond actor to have played Bruce Wayne/Batman.
Oliver Stone once considered him for the role of Alexander the Great in his long-delayed Alexander (2004) project. Kilmer plays the father of Alexander, King Philip, opposite Colin Farrell in the Alexander role instead.
Did not want to appear in Top Gun (1986) but was forced to do so because of contractual obligations.
Appeared in Tombstone (1993) opposite Charlton Heston. Five years later, he succeeded Heston in the roles of both Moses and God in The Prince of Egypt (1998).
Does a variation on his trademark of twirling objects in Willow (1988): he twirls a sword during the fight in the snow camp.
Has played two legendary rock and roll musicians: Jim Morrison and Elvis Presley.
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.
Filmed his part as Elvis Presley in True Romance (1993) in 1 day.
Good friends with actor Frank Whaley and musician David Crosby.
Has lived in New Mexico since 1983.
His first auditions were for commercials at 13 years old.
His parents divorced when he was 9 years old. His father, Eugene, died in 1993.
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 Patrick Swayze's role in Dirty Dancing (1987) because he didn't want to be perceived as a "hunk."
He turned down Kyle MacLachlan's roles of Dune (1984) and Blue Velvet (1986). In the latter case, he dismissed the script as "pure pornography". It turned out to be a different version to the final film. He regretted turning it down.
Volunteered to work with AmeriCares in 1998, with whom he visited Iraq in April 1998 to deliver 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.
Broke his arm while filming The Doors (1991) when he performed a jump from the stage into the crowd and the stuntman failed to catch him. The injury has left Kilmer with an abnormal growth on his left elbow that can clearly be seen many times in Heat (1995).
Was originally set to play the lead role in The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) but asked to switch roles because of his divorce.
Keith Campbell has doubled for him in many films. His most recent double has been Chuck Borden.
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.
He and Elvis Presley, whom Kilmer portrayed in True Romance (1993), were/are both said to have Cherokee ancestry.
Shares two roles with Peter Dobson. In True Romance (1993), Kilmer plays Elvis Presley, a role Dobson played in Forrest Gump (1994). Kilmer also plays Chris Shiherlis in Heat (1995), which was a remake of L.A. Takedown (1989), in which Dobson played the role.
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.
Kilmer was eventually succeeded in the role of "Batman" by Christian Bale after George Clooney vacated the role. In The Prince of Egypt (1998), Kilmer provides the voice of "God", while Bale played "Jesus" in Mary, Mother of Jesus (1999).
Val's father, who was from Texas, was of English, Welsh, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, French Huguenot, and German ancestry. Val's mother, who was from Indiana, was of Swedish descent.
Second cousin of journalist and poet Joyce Kilmer.
His paternal grandfather was a gold miner in New Mexico.
He and his old friend Kevin Spacey have both played iconic characters from DC Comics. Kilmer played Batman in Batman Forever (1995), and Spacey played Lex Luthor in Superman Returns (2006).
He turned down the lead role in Captain America (1990) in favor of The Doors (1991). Captain America later fought Batman, whom Kilmer played, in the 1996 DC vs. Marvel storyline.
Was succeeded as Batman by George Clooney.
To date (2007), he has appeared in one Tony Scott film per decade, for three decades. First was Top Gun (1986) in 1986, then True Romance (1993) in 1993, and then Deja Vu (2006) in 2006.
While promoting The Prince of Egypt (1998), he visited 6 countries in 5 days, stopping in Amsterdam, Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Paris and Zurich.
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 on October 29, 1991) and son Jack Kilmer (born on 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.
During the filming of Streets of Blood (2009), 50 Cent became good friends with Val Kilmer. The two actors bonded over their love of vintage cars and 50 Cent stunned Kilmer by giving him the keys of a 1965 Chevy Impala which the singer-turned-actor purchased for $100,000.
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]
Filming alongside Denzel Washington, Paula Patton and Jim Caviezel in Tony Scott's Deja Vu (2006), on location in New Orleans. [June 2006]
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]
Filming alongside Will Forte and Ryan Phillippe for Universal Picture's MacGruber (2010). [August 2009]
While on break from the set of Streets of Blood (2009) with 50 Cent, he joined Cuba Gooding Jr. in supporting the First Star Celebration for Children's Rights. [June 2008]
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 (1993)) and Wyatt Earp (Wyatt Earp's Revenge (2012)).
Val Kilmer auditioned for the lead role in Full Metal Jacket (1987) that eventually went to Matthew Modine.
Is referenced frequently in Psych (2006). He made a surprise cameo in the series finale as the oft-referenced but never seen Detective Dobson.
He's a big fan of Michael Fassbender. The two became friends after working together on Song to Song (2017) and The Snowman (2017) and he invited Fassbender to the set of Life's Too Short (2011) when he made an appearance on the show.
He has expressed a desire to play a villain in a Batman film to Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne/Batman.
He and his son Jack Kilmer have both appeared in films directed by Shane Black: Val in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) and Jack in The Nice Guys (2016).
Married and divorced in February of a leap year: 1988 & 1996.
He was cast as Detective Fanning in Collateral (2004), but pulled out before filming began, due to schedule conflicts with Alexander (2004). Mark Ruffalo later took the role.
He turned down Kiefer Sutherland's role in Flatliners (1990).
He was considered for Keanu Reeves' roles in Point Break (1991) and The Matrix (1999). He was also originally going to star in Johnny Mnemonic (1995), but left the project after he was cast in Batman Forever (1995).
He was considered for Vincent Mancini in The Godfather: Part III (1990).
He was considered for Jeff Bridges's role in Blown Away (1994).
He turned down Denzel Washington's role in Crimson Tide (1995). Years later, he noted it was one of the few films that he wished he had agreed to be in.
He was originally considered for Bruce Willis' role in Bandits (2001).
He turned down the role of Jack Swigert in Apollo 13 (1995) order to film The Ghost and the Darkness (1996).
He turned down Clint Eastwood's role in In the Line of Fire (1993).
He was considered for Hugh Jackman's role in Swordfish (2001).
He declined to return for Batman & Robin (1997) due to his commitment with The Saint (1997) and lack of interest.
He was considered to play Jeffrey Wigand in The Insider (1999).
He was originally involved in Dark Matter (2007), but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
He turned down Woody Harrelson's role in Indecent Proposal (1993).
He was considered for Louis in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994).
He was considered to voice the Beast in Beauty and the Beast (1991).
He turned down John Travolta's cameo in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002).
He turned down William Baldwin's roles in Backdraft (1991), Sliver (1993) and Fair Game (1995).
He auditioned for the role of Sergeant Elias Grodin in Platoon (1986). According to Oliver Stone, he gave a bizarre audition, where he portrayed the character as an Indian shaman.
Joel Schumacher originally offered him the lead role in A Time to Kill (1996) during the production of Batman Forever (1995), but their working relationship became so strained during production of Batman Forever that Schumacher vowed never to work with Kilmer again, publicly stating that Kilmer had "mental health problems" that made him difficult to work with.
He was considered for Tubalcain in Noah (2014).
A Christian Scientist, he has starred in commercials for the Church. He credited his faith for curing his throat cancer although he did undergo surgery, chemo, and radiation, reportedly at the behest of his children, who are not Christian Scientists. He later denied having had cancer and blamed the conventional treatments for causing his "suffering".
He starred in "Slab Boys" with Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon on stage.
He performed in "As You Like It" in Minneapolis with Patti LuPone.
Charles Durning told William Bolander, during a conversation on the set of Forget About It (2006), that Val Kilmer was one of the most talented actors he had ever worked with. They worked together on The Man Who Broke 1,000 Chains (1987) .