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Inside Val Kilmer’s History of Health Struggles and Cancer Rumors

Updated

Michael Douglas said over the weekend that his friend and onetime costar Val Kilmer has oral cancer. Douglas, who beat stage 4 oral cancer in 2013, said during a Q&A in London that his The Ghost and the Darkness costar is “dealing with exactly what I had, and things don’t look too good for him … My prayers are with him.”
However, in posts on his Facebook page, the Top Gun star has previously denied he has cancer amid reports about his health problems over the past few years.

Kilmer faced a medical scare in January 2015 when, following a 911 call, he was rushed from his residence to the UCLA Medical Center, and later underwent tests.

XPOSURE/AKM-GSI
XPOSURE/AKM-GSI

At the time, his rep released a statement about his condition.

“Film actor Val Kilmer is currently undergoing tests at a Los Angeles Hospital for a possible tumor. The 55-year-old Kilmer is being cared for by his two children, Mercedes, 23, and son Jack, who is 19, both L.A. residents,” said his rep at the time, Liz Rosenberg.

Getty
Getty

But Kilmer later addressed fans on Facebook, writing, “I have not had a tumor, or a tumor operations, or any operation I had a complication where the best way to receive care was to stay under the watchful eye of the UCLA ICU. I am praying for a speedy return to the boards as they say. God bless you all and please don’t worry.”

Concern over Kilmer’s health ignited again in October 2015, when the now-56-year-old actor was once more spotted at the UCLA Medical Center. However, Kilmer vehemently denied rumors that his health had declined.

“Thank you all for your love and support. There’s a rumor I’m unwell again and in hospital which is totally untrue. I was in to verify I have no tumor or infection of any kind which was verified by the very caring experts at UCLA,” he wrote on Facebook at the time.

Last December, Kilmer was photographed with what looked to be a tracheostomy tube around his neck, a red bandana hanging loosely below it.

In the months before, Kilmer had mostly worn scarves and shirts buttoned tightly around his neck, in photos posted on social media.

AKM-GSI
AKM-GSI

By February 2016, Kilmer seemed to be on the mend. He was spotted running errands in London without a breathing tube, his neck exposed and revealing a faint scar where the tracheostomy tube once was.