Val Kilmer underwent a tracheotomy, chemotherapy and radiation while battling throat cancer

By Ale Russian
April 21, 2020 11:06 AM
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In a rare on-air interview, Val Kilmer opened up about his life post-throat cancer and the impact surviving it had on his voice.

The iconic actor is promoting his new memoir I’m Your Huckleberry by doing some of his first interviews in years. He appeared on Good Morning America on Tuesday to talk about his life, before and after his battle with throat cancer.

“I feel a lot better than I sound, but I feel wonderful,” Kilmer, 60, said. “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 asked what he missed most about his old voice, Kilmer’s quick answer showed his wit is still intact.

“That I had one! That I didn’t laugh like a pirate,” he said.

In a 2017 feature with The Hollywood Reporter, Kilmer revealed he had been battling throat cancer for two years. The interview saw him joined by his kids Mercedes, 28, and Jack, 24.

Kilmer underwent a tracheotomy, chemotherapy and radiation and also turned to his Christian Science faith and prayed for healing. Today, he is thankful to be cancer free.

“I have been healed of cancer for over four years now, and there has never been any reoccurrence. I am so grateful,” he wrote in his memoir.

The actor is also set to return for the Top Gun sequel moved to December. Though the details about his role reprising his character Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky haven’t been revealed, Kilmer said the reunion with Tom Cruise on set 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.