- Actor Val Kilmer starred as Batman in 1995’s Batman Forever, which was released 26 years ago today, and still remains a fan favorite.
- The throat cancer survivor expressed his continuous intrigue with Bruce Wayne’s dark alter ego in an Instagram post honoring the Joel Schumacher-directed film.
- Doctors believe that there are a few different causes of throat cancer: Smoking, drinking, and the human papillomavirus (HPV) virus can all be risk factors.
The cult idol and throat cancer survivor, 61, reminisced on Instagram about his Gotham City gig.Read More
“Has it really been 26 years since Batman Forever?” Kilmer wrote to his dedicated fans alongside a photo featuring some Kilmer-covered magazines. “I always love learning more about this character. So complex and nuanced. Here’s one you might find fun, especially if you’re a fan of Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One. Bruce Wayne becomes Batman at age 26. Forever yours.”
Miller, 64, is the comic book writer who made the superhero a bit grittier, with more of a dark side.
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The original Batman was played by Lewis Wilson for the 1943 TV series.
Actor Michael Keaton played the role in 1989’s Batman and in 1992’s Batman Returns. Then George Clooney suited up for 1997’s Batman & Robin. Adam West, Christian Bale, Ben Affleck and Robert Pattinson have also graced the big screen with their own versions of the Dark Knight.
The films are known for featuring “brainy and beautiful” love interests as well. Oscar winner Nicole Kidman starred opposite Kilmer as the smitten psychologist Dr. Chase Meridian.
Kilmer went on to star in other fan favorites like The Saint and The Salton Sea, and has also been immortalized playing Jim Morrison in The Doors.
Kilmer’s Upcoming Documentary
Much to the delight of fans around the globe, Kilmer recently announced that a personal documentary of his illustrious life and career, Val, will finally be released later this year. The Los Angeles native admitted that he didn’t think the behind-the-scenes project would ever see the light of day.
“At least once a day for years I looked around and got this bittersweet feeling that there are a thousand reasons that this project could’ve been shipwrecked,” Kilmer said in an announcement. “I mean, what could a film look like of a man filming himself, sometimes daily, years at a time?”
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Directors Leo Scott and Ting Poo helped bring this special project—which includes intimate footage from the eccentric actor’s 16mm home movies—to life.
“It is unimaginable that this movie actually could’ve ever come to light without the partnership of my dear friends, Leo and Ting, and my producing partners,” Kilmer expressed. “Tireless hours of editing and endless emotions with each new cut! I couldn’t be more proud to share this with the world!”
Kilmer’s Throat Cancer
Kilmer privately battled throat cancer after getting diagnosed in 2014, as media and fans constantly questioned his health. The Los Angeles native confirmed his diagnosis in 2017. Actor and fellow cancer survivor Michael Douglas had initially mentioned to press that Kilmer wasn’t doing too well, but then later apologized, according to a post on Kilmer’s Facebook page at the time.
Kilmer spoke with Good Morning America last year. “I feel a lot better than I sound, but I feel wonderful,” Kilmer said.
The actor’s speech was affected by a tracheostomy, which is a surgical procedure that creates an opening through the neck into the windpipe to allow access to a breathing tube.
Kilmer didn’t initially plan to explore conventional treatment, believing his Christian Science faith would heal the tumors, but for the sake of his kids, he agreed to undergo chemotherapy. Kilmer has two kids, Mercedes, 29, and Jack, 25, with his ex-wife, English actress Joanne Whalley.
In his 2020 memoir I’m Your Huckleberry, the author wrote, “I have been healed of cancer for over four years now, and there has never been any recurrence. I am so grateful.” Kilmer hasn’t given an update since, but hopefully we will be hearing from the man himself very soon.
Causes of Throat Cancer
Although it is unknown what specifically caused Kilmer’s throat cancer, as with any cancer, experts say it’s important to stay educated on the risk factors.
Throat cancer can sometimes be caused by tobacco and alcohol use, and also by the human papilloma virus, or HPV, which can also be a cause of cervical cancer in women.
Dr. Jessica Geiger of the Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center tells SurvivorNet that both men and women can get cancer from HPV.
“The strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer are the same strains of HPV that cause throat cancer,” she explains. “The average patient with HPV-related throat cancer tends to be males in their 40s or 50s, who were never a smoker, or just a very light tobacco user.”
The important thing to know about HPV is that there are many different strains, and only a couple of them tend to cause cancer.
“The vast majority of humans in the US, both men and woman, will eventually get infected with human papillomavirus,” Dr. Allen Ho from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center tells SurvivorNet. “Probably less than 1% of the population who get infected happen to have the cancer-causing virus that, somehow, their immune system fails to clear.”