Val Kilmer Says He Feels 'a Lot Better Than I Sound' After Tracheotomy Due to Throat Cancer

Val Kilmer had a two-year battle with throat cancer that required a tracheotomy, affecting his voice

Val Kilmer
Rochelle Brodin/Getty.

As he prepares to return to the big screen, Val Kilmer is assuring fans he's doing just fine.

The actor, 60, appears in Paydirt, his first film since recovering from throat cancer that led to a tracheotomy. The procedure significantly affected his voice, but Kilmer said on Good Morning America on Monday that he's in good spirits.

"I'm doing great, I feel a lot better than I sound," Kilmer said.

He also addressed how he's handling communicating and working now, as he gets used to his new voice.

"It's just like any other language or dialect," the Top Gun actor said. "You have to figure out a way to communicate that's no different than any other acting challenge but it's just a very unique set of circumstances."

Paydirt also stars Kilmer's 28-year-old daughter Mercedes in her screen debut. The two play father and daughter in the film, making Kilmer's return all that more special.

"Playing his daughter was so trippy and perfect," Mercedes, who joined her dad on Good Morning America, said on the show. "I'm so proud to have been in this film and to have worked on this film like not just because my dad is my actual dad, but because I know you don't really lead with this but you do have now a disability with your voice, and it really meant a lot to me to be able to be involved in this film that centers a disabled actor, or an actor with a disability."

Watch Val Kilmer Share a Sweet Moment with Real-Life Daughter Mercedes in Her Film Debut “Paydirt”
Octane Entertainment

Back in April, Kilmer appeared on GMA to promote his memoir I’m Your Huckleberry. The actor gave a similar update on his voice in that appearance as well.

“I feel a lot better than I sound, but I feel wonderful,” Kilmer 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.

Related Articles