Actors

15 Famous Truths Revealed About Val Kilmer

1. Originally a stage actor, Kilmer became popular in the mid-1980s after a string of appearances in comedy films, starting with Top Secret! .

2. Some of his other notable film roles include Jim Morrison in The Doors .

3. Kilmer was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Gladys , who died at 15 due to an epileptic seizure in a swimming pool.

4. Kilmer attended Berkeley Hall School, a Christian Science school in Los Angeles, until 9th grade.

5. On May 5, 2012, Kilmer was awarded an honorary doctorate of Fine Arts from William Woods University.

6. In 1981, while at Juilliard, Kilmer co-authored and starred in the play How It All Began, which was performed at the Public Theater at the New York Shakespeare Festival.

7. That same year, his first off-stage acting role came in the form of an episode of ABC Afterschool Special called One Too Many, which was an educational drama on drinking and driving; it also starred a young Michelle Pfeiffer.

8. Also in 1983, Kilmer self-published a collection of his own poetry entitled “My Edens After Burns,” that included poems inspired by his time with Pfeiffer.

9. The book of poems is difficult to obtain, expensive and even second-hand copies fetch $300 and up.

10. His big break came when he received top billing in the comedy spoof of spy movies Top Secret!, where he played an American rock and roll star.

11. During a brief hiatus, he backpacked throughout Europe before going on to play the lead character in the 1985 comedy Real Genius.

12. Kilmer starred in the Colorado Shakespeare Festival production of Hamlet in 1988.

13. After several delays, director Oliver Stone finally started production on the film The Doors, based on the band of the same name.

14. Kilmer spoke with Oliver Stone early on, concerned about what he might want to do with the story because Kilmer didn’t believe in or want to promote substance abuse.

15. Kilmer saw Morrison as having picked the wrong heroes, who had different issues, that were not part of the creativity or inspiration.

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