Val Kilmer’s Lookalike Kids Followed In His Acting Footsteps & Love His ‘Crazy Energy’

Val Kilmer is one of Hollywood’s most recognizable leading men. From his turn as Lieutenant Tom “Iceman” Kazansky in the classic ’80s film “Top Gun” and the fantasy film “Willow,” to playing the Caped Crusader himself in 1995’s “Batman Forever,” Kilmer has had a long and varied career.

Spanning decades, other notable roles of his include rock star Jim Morrison in “The Doors,” as well as roles in “True Romance,” “Tombstone,” “Heat,” and “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” And while he’s continued to work in Hollywood over the years, he hasn’t been in the spotlight like he once used to be.

Sadly, after lying low for a period in the mid-2010s, it was revealed that the actor was battling throat cancer. Kilmer initially denied reports that he was ill, trying to keep his personal life separate from his public life and career but in 2017, he decided to reveal his diagnosis to the public. This was while he was already well into his treatment but suffice to say, fans gave him their full support. 

While battling the disease, Kilmer underwent chemotherapy and two tracheostomies, which ultimately left him with a rasp in his voice, changing the way he speaks. But while his voice is no longer like it once was, Kilmer is still acting and doing interviews and showing that he hasn’t lost his sense of humor. 

These days, he’s making somewhat of a comeback after being cancer-free for the last few years. In 2020, he published “I’m Your Huckleberry: A Memoir,” while a year later, a documentary about his life was released. Titled “Val,” the film features never-before-seen archive footage that Kilmer filmed himself. His appearance in “Top Gun: Maverick” released in 2022 was also welcomed by fans.

Kilmer was born on Dec. 31, 1959, in Los Angeles, California. He is the second of three sons. When he was just 8 years old, Kilmer’s parents divorced, and his mother remarried two years later. Sadly, Kilmer had to adjust to much more difficult moments in his personal life in the following years, as his younger brother died at the age of 15. In 1993, Kilmer’s father passed away.

The aspiring star needed an outlet and it was clear that acting was what he was destined to do. He attended high school with other actors and even dated Mare Winningham – who is now a TV and film actress – during this time. It was clear from an early age that Kilmer had plenty of talent and he began taking his passion more seriously.

Kilmer began acting by being accepted into the prestigious Juilliard School, where at the time he was the youngest person ever to be accepted. He got his start in the theater and at the same time was showing off his other creative talents by writing plays and publishing poetry.

He broke through in Hollywood with the 1984 film “Top Secret!,” which was followed by a lead role in “Real Genius” and soon after, “Top Gun.” The rest, as they say, is history, and Kilmer’s filmography from the 1980s through to the 2000s speaks for itself.

The actor went on to play many real-life figures in movies, such as Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley and Doc Holliday. He has also portrayed plenty of fictional characters, and even the iconic role of Bruce Wayne and Batman in 1995’s “Batman Forever.”

Considering he was a real Hollywood heartthrob, it’s no surprise to learn that Kilmer had quite the bevy of famous girlfriends during his career, including Cher, Ellen Barkin, Cindy Crawford and Michelle Pfeiffer.

When asked in 2020 what made him so appealing to these charismatic women, he had a very mature answer:

“I’m committed. You have to be committed with a woman that’s as dynamic and as committed to their work. As someone like Cindy Crawford, who was the number one model on the planet at the time.”

It’s evident that Kilmer left a great impression on many of the people he dated. Speaking with People in August 2021, Cher opened up about her past relationship with the actor. She revealed that she called him Sid and he called her Ethel, names that they have since kept for each other. They first met at a birthday party Cher’s friend held for her. “We became friends because we laughed at the same things constantly,” she said. Kilmer would platonically spend the night at her place and tell the singer about his dreams.

They spent time with each other’s children and their bond continued to grow, but they stayed determined to remain independent. That didn’t mean that they weren’t there for each other, though, as Cher revealed that Kilmer helped her with the screen test for the film “Mask” and she later returned the favor by helping him with “Desire Under the Elms.” They shared a similar sense of humor and had an amazing amount of fun together.

Recalling her relationship with Kilmer, Cher said, “It went from madly in love and laughing hysterically to respecting each other’s ability.” The two were with each other during difficult moments.

In fact, one of Kilmer’s ex-girlfriends, who he’s still close with, was even there to help him through his battle with cancer. As reported by People, Kilmer writes in “I’m Your Huckleberry: A Memoir” about an incident that happened when he was at Cher’s home:

“One night I suddenly awoke vomiting blood that covered the bed like a scene out of ‘The Godfather.’ I prayed immediately, then called 911. Then alerted my hostess. Cher stepped in and stepped up.”

After being hospitalized for throat cancer in January 2015 and undergoing multiple surgeries, Kilmer underwent a two-year battle with the disease and began slowly making his recovery. Now, he is cancer-free, which he told Good Morning America in an interview in 2020. However, he revealed that he still had to use a feeding tube as he could no longer eat normally.

Despite having lost the ability to speak how he once did, the actor certainly hadn’t lost his sense of humor. In the same interview with GMA, after being asked what he missed most about his old voice, he proclaimed: “That I had one! And that I didn’t laugh like a pirate.” That hasn’t stopped Kilmer from continuing to act, and in 2021, movie studios were even able to recreate his voice through AI technology by using archival audio of him speaking.

On top of releasing his memoir in 2020 and the documentary “Val” in 2021, Kilmer has even embarked on working with his two children — Mercedes Kilmer and Jack Kilmer. Mercedes, 31, made her feature film debut alongside her father in 2020’s “Paydirt,” while Jack, 27, was the narrator of his father’s self-titled documentary.

Both of Kilmer’s children have already shown that they are very talented in the entertainment industry. Jack has worked on a handful of movies over the years, including “Palo Alto” and “Lords of Chaos.” He also played Ozzy Osbourne in the singer’s music video for “Under the Graveyard.” On top of that, Jack has found work as a model.

Jack first found his passion for the arts at a young age, and met Gia Coppola when he was in first grade and she was in sixth grade. Later on, Coppola asked Jack to review her script for “Palo Alto” – a film based on James Franco’s book of the same name – thus jumpstarting the project that helped Jack make a name for himself.

After his bout with throat cancer, Kilmer’s voice was left raspier than it once was. For his 2021 documentary titled “Val,” he chose his son to narrate the story, detailing the highs and lows of his personal life. It was screened at the Cannes Film Festival before premiering on Amazon Prime in August that year. While Kilmer’s children have shown that they are talented on their own, seeing the Kilmer family come together is even more meaningful.

According to Entertainment Weekly, using Jack as the narrator helped provide the documentary with a “poignant and spot-on soundalike narrator,” helping viewers fully immerse themselves into the film. Working on the documentary was something that meant a lot to Jack, as he has continued to be inspired by his father’s dedication and passion for work and life.

The film has since touched the hearts of many viewers, including one of Kilmer’s former partners, Cher. The iconic singer described the film as “an extension of his art and his life,” as it showed not only the great moments in Kilmer’s life, but also the tough times from when he was sick.

She wrote to Kilmer explaining just how much she loved the documentary and how it truly encompassed all the wonderful traits Kilmer possesses. “You are brave and beyond brilliant,” she wrote to him. It’s clear that the two still share a beautiful bond with one another.

Speaking about Kilmer with People, Kilmer’s kids talked about how much their dad has overcome in his life and what an inspirational person he truly is. “My dad’s been crazy profile since he was diagnosed with cancer, sometimes against his better judgment,” Jack said.

With Kilmer finally finding his footing in the entertainment industry again with full force, both Jack and Mercedes explained that they hope audiences will get to witness all of the sides of their father they have been able to see their whole lives. While the world has witnessed Kilmer as a tough man who has overcome a great deal of hardships, Jack and Mercedes hope everyone can see his softer and funnier side.

Speaking with People, Mercedes said:

“When he was first diagnosed, the prognosis did not look very good. But he’s always been very physically resilient. The way he’s related to his illness has definitely been very inspiring. He has such a sense of humor. Even in the hospital he’d be cracking jokes and making all of the doctors laugh. But, of course, it’s really difficult to go through that with a parent and also to go through it with someone in the public eye.”

Jack said, “He’s a guy who wants to go out there and just be the best that he can be and he doesn’t have time to think about how vulnerable he is because he’s thinking about the next smash-box-office hit. He has crazy energy. He can’t be stopped.”

Kilmer’s children certainly think the world of him. In a 2017 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mercedes touched on the fact that, while they had an atypical childhood, it was all about learning to embrace the situation. She said she couldn’t “remember not being aware” of her father’s fame and that “it was about navigating how other people perceived us rather than any kind of reckoning.”

Meanwhile, Jack said he was happy he had followed in his famous dad’s footsteps. He said acting allowed him to try “a little bit of everything, like an experiential dilettante.”

The two devoted kids also opened up about which of Kilmer’s performances were their favorite. Mercedes chose “Heat.” She said, “I’m very proud that we have our family contribution to LA noire.” Jack, meanwhile, chose “Tombstone” because “I just love a good Western.”

Although Kilmer had to take some time away from Hollywood to focus on himself and his health, he is finally in a good enough place that he is ready to share his talent with the world once again. Recently in 2022, Kilmer made his return as Ice Man in the the “Top Gun” sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick.” Starring alongside Tom Cruise once again, Kilmer told GMA, “It was absolutely moving.”

He added: “In between takes, Tom and I just laughed like we were in high school.”

Mercedes told UInterview it was fun to see her dad back on the big screen with his friends of years past. She added, “It was trippy and very special for my dad to be on set with all of his friends who made this movie when they were my age.”

As for his kids, they are continuing to carry on the acting legacy their father began. Jack lent his voice to the role of Madmartigan to the Disney+ television series sequel to his dad’s own film, “Willow” and stars as Dezi on 2023’s “Detective Knight: Independence” alongside Bruce Willis. As for Mercedes, she is frequently seen running with the avant-garde theater crowd in Los Angeles. On Dec. 31, 2021, she posted a carousel of photos of Kilmer on Instagram in honor of his birthday. One of the photos was an adorable snap of Kilmer with Mercedes and Jack when they were kids, while another one photo showed Kilmer wearing a fake pregnant belly suit. The last photo appeared to be the most recent one of the star, and showed him smiling sweetly while resting comfortably on a lush sofa with a dog.

It’s clear Kilmer is back and better than ever. We can’t wait to see what else the future holds for him!

How adorable is it that Val Kilmer’s kids have followed in his footsteps? Are you keen to see more of the star back on the silver screen? Let us know, and be sure to pass this along to your family and friends.