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Val Kilmer

Val Edward Kilmer (December 31, 1959 -) is an American actor considered by some to be one of the most talented and underappreciated actors currently working in film and television. He is known for roles as diverse as the Elvis-like teen idol Nick Rivers in Top Secret! to real-life legends Billy the Kid, cultural hero Robert Elliot Burns[?], and rock idol Jim Morrison, to larger-than-life characters Bruce Wayne/Batman and Simon Templar, the Saint. In a 2002 film, he plays Danny Parker, a jazz trumpeter who infiltrates a group of crystal meth addicts and becomes one himself in an attempt to avenge the senseless death of his wife which they caused.

Born in Los Angeles, California, and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Kilmer is one of three sons born to Gladys and Eugene Kilmer, the others being older brother Mark and younger brother Wesley. When Val was 17 and just about to start study as the youngest student ever admitted to the Juillard School of Fine Arts in New York, Wesley tragically drowned in the family's own swimming pool. Recently, Kilmer and director D. J. Carus[?] explored the theme of loss together in their film release The Salton Sea. Caruso also lost a brother in a tragic accident.

Kilmer's ex-wife is Joanne Whalley-Kilmer[?]. The two met while working together on Willow. They have two children, daughter Mercedes and son Jack. It was during the Kilmers' divorce proceedings that rumours of Kilmer's "difficulty" began to surface in the media. For example, Ron Howard (Willow) and other directors have spoken out that they considered him hard to work with, though many others who have worked with him consider him a gifted, dedicated artist whom they would be happy to work with again. Many comment on his great enthusiasm, high intelligence, and dedication to both the roles he plays and the projects he is involved with in general, although the adjective "eccentric" continues to surface in descriptions of the actor.

Kilmer's professional film, television, and theatre credits are as follows (unless otherwise noted, these are theatrically-released films):

  • Top Secret! (1984)
  • Real Genius (1985)
  • One Too Many (TV) (1985)
  • Top Gun (1986)
  • The Murder in the Rue Morgue (TV) (1986)
  • The Man Who Broke 1000 Chains (TV) (1987)
  • Willow (1988)
  • Hamlet (Colorado Shakespeare Festival) (1988)
  • Kill Me Again (1989)
  • Gore Vidal's Billy the Kid (TV) (1989)
  • The Doors (1991)
  • Thunderheart (1992)
  • Tis Pity She's A Whore (Joseph Papp Public Theatre, New York) (1992)
  • The Real McCoy (1993)
  • True Romance (1993)
  • Tombstone (1993)
  • Wings of Courage (IMAX) (1995)
  • Dead Girl (1995)
  • Batman Forever (1995)
  • Heat (1995)
  • The Island of Doctor Moreau (1996)
  • The Ghost & the Darkness (1996)
  • The Saint (1997)
  • Africa Unbottled (TV documentary) (1998)
  • The Prince of Egypt (1998)
  • At First Sight (1999)
  • Joe the King (1999)
  • Red Planet (2000)
  • Pollock (2000)
  • Run For the Money (TV) (2002)
  • The Salton Sea (2002)

Kilmer's Upcoming Projects:

  • Mindhunters (2003)
  • The Night Job (????)
  • Nine Miles Down (????)

For further information, the following websites are highly recommended:

Kilmer's Official website: http://www.valkilmer.org/

The Val Kilmer Newsletter: http://www.vkn.com/

The Internet Movie Database: Val Kilmer: http://us.imdb.com/Name?Kilmer,+Val

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