VAL KILMER [Val Edward Kilmer]
December 31, 1959
Los Angeles, California
Val Kilmer was born on the edge of Los Angeles in Chatsworth. His parents, Gladys, a housewife,
and Eugene, a real estate developer, were divorced when Val was nine. After the divorce, Val
divided his time between his mother in Santa Fe, New Mexico and his father in Los Angeles. His
mother remarried, but is now a widow and lives in Arizona. Sadly, Val's father died in 1993
during the filming of "Tombstone".
Val grew up with his older brother, Mark, and his younger brother, Wesley. The brothers
lived on a ranch once owned by Roy Rogers. Val attended Chatsworth High School, where he
studied drama and dated actress Mare Winningham. In 1977, while on his way to The Juilliard
School in New York, where he was the youngest student ever admitted to the drama division,
Val received the devastating news that Wesley had drowned.
During his time at Juilliard, Val appeared in many plays including "How It All Began", a
play he co-authored. And in 1983 he appeared Off Broadway in "The Slab Boys" with Kevin Bacon
and Sean Penn.
In 1983, he starred in the After School Special "One Too Many", a special focusing on
teenage drinking and the tragedy it entails. In the same year, Val, who is a distant
cousin of poet Joyce Kilmer, self-published a collection of his own poetry entitled "My Edens
After Burns". At the age of 24, he starred in his first film, "Top Secret!", a spoof of spy
movies and Elvis Presley films. After this role, he was offered the role in "Dirty Dancing",
which he turned down because he didn't want to be perceived as a 'hunk'.
In 1988, while starring in George Lucas' "Willow", he met his future bride to be, actress
Joanne Whalley. They married in 1988 and celebrated the birth of their daughter, Mercedes,
in 1990. As with many Hollywood couples, the two of them went on to co-star in "Kill Me Again".
Val's critically acclaimed role of legendary rocker Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone's "The Doors"
boosted him to a position where filmmakers and audiences alike took note of his abilities.
Not surprising, a long string of films followed. Some were hits. Some were misses. It was
his part in "Tombstone" that caught the attention of director Joel Schumacher, who went on
to cast him in the role of the caped crusader in the blockbuster hit, "Batman Forever".
In June of 1995, Joanne gave birth to their second child, Jack. Approximately six weeks after
the joyous occasion, the two separated, then divorced eight months later.
Aside from acting, Val lends a hand in many areas. On April 24, 1998, Val departed New York
as a volunteer to accompany and assist the meriCares (the international disaster relief
organization) mission to Baghdad. The mission carried nearly 90,000 pounds of medicines
and medical supplies for the Iraqi people.
Photo from "Thunderheart"
Bio by Planet Kilmer. [Please let us know of any errors]
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