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Val Kilmer Val Edward Kilmer was born on December 31, 1959 in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, California, the second of the three sons of Eugene Kilmer and his wife. When Kilmer was nine years old, his parents divorced, and his mother moved to Arizona. Kilmer stayed behind in town of Chatsworth, California with his father.

Val attended Chatsworth High School where he wasn't much better than an average student. Val managed to become accepted to the Julliard School in New York, where he became the youngest person ever accepted to the drama department. Sadly, Val's younger brother, Wesley, drowned in 1977 on the day before Val left Chatsworth for New York City

During his time at Juilliard, Val appeared as Orestes, Macbeth, and Richard III, Greek tragedy and Shakespearean roles, as well as Henry IV and As You Like It. In 1981, while still at Juilliard, he starred in How It All Began, a play he co-authored. In 1983 he appeared Off Broadway in The Slab Boys with Kevin Bacon and Sean Penn. Val's other stage roles include: Hamlet, in Hamlet, at the 1988 Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and the 1992 Jacobean play about incest and murder 'Tis Pity She's a Whore performed at Joseph Papp's Public Theater.

In 1984 he made his film debut in "Top Secret", a parody espionage movies.

In the following year, Kilmer made his first foray into television, as Eric in the ABC special One Too Many, a story about teenage. Among the other made-for-television movies in which he appeared were The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1986), The Man Who Broke 1,000 Chains (1987), and Gore Vidal's "Billy the Kid" (1989).

Kilmer's next film role was that of the prankish student physicist Chris Knight in Martha Coolidge's Real Genius (1985), in which Knight and his roommate, both of whom are students at an academy for the gifted, foil the plot of a professor who is trying to use them to develop a deadly laser weapon for the CIA. . The movie elicited widely varying reviews, as did Kilmer's performance.

Fortunately for Kilmer's career, his next film role was that of fighter pilot Tom "Iceman" Kasanzky in Tony Scott's slick box-office smash Top Gun (1986), which starred Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis.

Kilmer's next film, Ron Howard's fantasy-adventure Willow (1988) provided the actor with the opportunity to meet his future wife, the British actress Joanne Whalley, who also appeared in the film. After marrying in March 1988, the couple costarred in John Dahl's directorial debut, Kill Me Again (1989), a film noir set in the Nevada desert.

Joanne and Val married in 1988 and celebrated the birth of their daughter, Mercedes, in 1990

Val KilmerIn 1989 Kilmer auditioned for the role of the self-destructive rock star Jim Morrison, the legendary lead singer and lyricist of the Doors, in Oliver Stone's proposed film biography sending the director an unsolicited video of himself singing Doors songs that had been recorded at different stages of Morrison's brief career. Upon seeing Kilmer's video and hearing his baritone voice, Stone was hooked. Once he had been given the role, Kilmer prepared for it by reading a biography about Morrison, attending concerts by Doors tribute bands, listening to the Door's music, and wearing Morrison's trademark leather pants and reading his poetry. Kilmer learned 50 Doors songs, 15 of which he actually performed on-screen. All the live musical numbers in the film were done by Kilmer except for five lines, including a scream.

Kilmer's next cinematic role was in the acclaimed documentary filmmaker Michael Apted's Thunderheart (1992), Kilmer who is part Cherokee, portrayed a part-Sioux FBI agent assigned to investigate a murder on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in the 1970s. Inspired by real events surrounding the occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973 by members of the American Indian Movement, the film ranks as one of Kilmer's best.

1993 saw Kilmer appearing in three films. He supplied the disembodied voice of Elvis Presley in True Romance, written by Quentin Tarantino.

In Russell Mulcahy's The Real McCoy he Co-starred with Kim Basinger and played a bank robber.

His most substantial role that year was that of the consumptive gunslinger Doc Holliday in George P. Cosmatos's Tombstone, starring Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp. Most critics faulted Tombstone for being too long and uneven in tone. Sadly, Val's father died during the filming of Tombstone.

Joel Schumacher noticed Kilmer's "dark edge" and good looks in Tombstone and though he would be perfect to replace Michael Keaton, the a Caped Crusader in Batman Forever. Batman Forever raked in a record $53 million at the box office its opening weekend.

In 1995 Kilmer played Jean Mermoz, a daredevil pilot and charismatic, French cultural icon in Jean-Jacques Annaud'' Wings of Courage.

In June of 1995, Joanne gave birth to their second child, Jack. Approximately six weeks after the joyous occasion, the two Val Kilmerseparated, then divorced eight months later.

In the autumn of that year, he portrayed Chris Shiherlis, a safecracker, in Michael Mann's Heat, starring Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino.

Also in '95, Val did an obscure independent film called Dead Girl with a notable cast that included Famke Janssen, Amanda Plummer and Teri Hatcher. Val plays the role of Dr. Dark, a reluctant psychiatrist treating a rather troubled aspiring actor played by Adam Coleman Howard (also the film's writer/director). The film is a dark parody of the Hollywood machine and centers around a disturbing story of necrophilia.

In 1996, Val played Montgomery in the H.G. Wells classic, The Island Of Dr. Moreau. Val was quoted as saying, "I couldn't resist the chance to be in a movie with Brando. It was a privileged acting experience". Originally slated to play the lead role of Douglas, Val opted instead to play Montgomery, Dr. Moreau's assistant. The movie was not well received by the critics, and was, apparently, a nightmare behind the scenes as well. Its first director, Richard Stanley, was fired three days into production, Rob Morrow (who was to play Douglas) quit, and the movie's second director, John Frankenheimer, was left frustrated with his inherited and troubled production.

Later that same year, Val co-starred with Michael Douglas in The Ghost And The Darkness. Set in 1898, the movie was based on the true story of two lions in Africa that killed 130 people over a nine month period.

In April of 1997, Val put on a multitude of disguises in The Saint. The Saint allowed Val to co-create the wide array of characters impersonated by gentleman-thief Simon Templar. The chemistry between Val and his co-star, Elisabeth Shue, sizzled in the film. Val, apparently, had some very good ideas for the movie. The directors and producers were receptive to collaborating with him. Working with makeup artists, Val invented 12 characters for Simon Templar to impersonate. Eight of his creations made it into the final film. The movie grossed $16.3 million its first weekend out. To date, The Saint has grossed over $170 million world wide.

In January of 1998, Val began shooting MGM's romantic drama At First Sight, the Irwin Winkler-helmed picture based on an article by physician-author Oliver Sacks called To See And Not See in his book An Anthropologist On Mars. In the movie Val portrays Virgil, a man blind since early childhood, who is encouraged by his fiancé (Mira Sorvino) to undergo an experimental and dangerous operation to restore his sight. The surgery is a success, but overwhelmed by his newly acquired sense, Virgil becomes depressed and withdrawn and unable to integrate sight into his sensory repertoire. Released in January of 1999 the movie received mixed reviews. Some felt the chemistry between Val and Mira was lacking. Others blamed the direction as feeling forced, slow-paced and predictable.

On April 19, 1998, Val and playwright Nicholas Ellenbogen explored nature's delicate balance in TBS Superstation's Africa Unbottled. Once again, Val demonstrated his love of Africa as the narrator of this ecologically concerned documentary which explored six different African countries to show how the residents have taken a holistic and somewhat controversial approach to managed wildlife care.

Val KilmerIn mid-1998, Val finished filming the low-budget, independent film, Joe the King, in which he portrayed the abusive, drunken father of the title character, Joe, a 14-year old boy played by Noah Fleiss

In December of 1998 Val provided the voice of Moses as well as the resonant, inspiring voice of God speaking to Moses in Dreamworks' first animated feature, The Prince of Egypt,

Even though 1999 was short on feature film releases for Val, he took a very small cameo role in a film called Three Days, a raucous docudrama about the on-and-off-tour lives of rock group, Jane's Addiction. He also took another bit part as artist Willem de Kooning in Pollock, a biopic about the life and times of breakthrough artist, Jackson Pollock.

November, 2000, marked the release of Val's first science fiction film, Red Planet. Val took the lead and co-starred with Carrie-Anne Moss, of Matrix fame and a supporting cast, which included Tom Sizemore (who also worked with Val in Heat and True Romance), Benjamin Bratt, Terence Stamp and Simon Baker. The film tells the story of the first manned mission to Mars.

In the spring of 2001, Val went to Hungary to film a movie originally entitled In God We Trust. The title was subsequently changed to Hard Cash and has since premiered on the USA Television Network as Run For The Money. The film also stars Christian Slater and Darryl Hanna.

2002 saw the Val in The Salton Sea which tells the story of a man who goes under cover to avenge the death of his wife. Although the film was initially on limited release, Val won the 2003 Prism Award for Best Performance in a Theatrical Film.

In 2003 Val portrayed legendary porn star John Holmes, who died of AIDS at the age of 43 in 1988,
in the true-crime drama Wonderland.

2003 also sees Kilmer in Masked and Anonymous, a film allegedly written by and starring Bob Dylan. The film sees Val as an animal wrangler with a cast including Penelope Cruz, Jessica Lange, Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Angela Bassett, Mickey Rourke, Ed Harris, and Christian Slater.

2004 will also see him as King Philip II of Macedonia in Oliver Stone's epic movie "Alexander". Kilmer will play the part of Alexander's father, played by Colin Farrell and husband of Olympias, played by Angelina Jolie.

Val Kilmer presently resides in New Mexico. Val loves animals and has horses, dogs, cats, chickens and 3 buffaloes at his New Mexico ranch.

Filmography:

Masked and Anonymous (2003)
Wonderland (2003)
George and the Dragon (2003)
Mindhunters (2003)
Run For The Money (2002)
The Salton Sea (2002)
Pollock (2000)
Red Planet (2000)
At First Sight (1999)
Joe The King (1999)
The Prince of Egypt (1998)
The Saint (1997)
Dead Girl (1996)
The Ghost and The Darkness (1996)
Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)
Wings of Courage (1995)
Batman Forever (1995)
Heat (1995)
The Real McCoy (1993)
True Romance (1993)
Tombstone (1993)
Thunderheart (1992)
The Doors (1991)
Gore Vidal's Billy the Kid (1989)
Kill Me Again (1989)
Willow (1988)
Man Who Broke 1,000 Chains (1987)
Top Gun (1986)
Murders in the Rue Morgue (1986)
Real Genius (1985)
Top Secret! (1984)

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