Val Kilmer is an American actor best known for his work in films, although he has also appeared in multiple television series. He is most often associated with comedy and action movies, although he has appeared in films of various genres. Kilmer began his acting career in 1981, and his success has grown throughout his career. It has led to him accruing a net worth of $25 million. Here is how Val Kilmer became so wealthy.
His Early Life
Val Edward Kilmer was born in Los Angeles on December 31, 1959. Until the 9th grade, he attended Berkeley Hall School in Los Angeles. He then attended Chatsworth High School, which was also attended by actors Mare Winningham and Kevin Spacey. Kilmer also attended the Hollywood Professional School, and he was the youngest person to receive acceptance at the Drama Division of The Juilliard School.
Val Kilmer’s Acting Career Between 1981 and 2000
Kilmer’s acting career began on the stage while he was a student at the Juilliard School. In 1981, he co-wrote and starred in the play ‘How It All Began.’ Due to his desire to uphold his commitments to his stage work, Kilmer turned down a role in the 1983 Francis Ford Coppola film ‘The Outsiders.’ In the same year, he appeared alongside Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon in the off-Broadway’ The Slab Boys.’
Later that year, Kilmer got his first television acting job when he appeared in an episode of ‘ABC Afterschool Special.’ His big break did not come until a year later when he appeared in the comedy ‘Top Secret!’. He played a rock star and showed his talents by singing all the film’s songs. Kilmer then released an album of these songs under the name of his character. In 1985, he landed a role in the comedy film ‘Real Genius.’ A year later, he played one of his most famous roles of ‘Iceman’ in ‘Top Gun’. As the film was a commercial and critical success, grossing $344.7 million at the worldwide box office, it launched Kilmer into major stardom. Kilmer then had roles in several television films before playing Madmartigan in the 1988 fantasy film ‘Willow.’ He also returned to the stage in the late 1980s before appearing in films such as ‘Billy the Kid’ and ‘Kill Me Again.’
Val Kilmer had already proven his singing talents in the film ‘Top Secret!’, so it was no surprise when he landed the lead role of Jim Morrison in the 1991 biographical film ‘The Door,’ which was directed by Oliver Stone. Kilmer’s other major role in the 1990s was playing Batman in the 1995 film ‘Batman Forever.’ Although the film was a commercial success, there was a lot of debate about Kilmer’s performance and whether he was a good successor to the role played by Michael Keaton in the first two Batman films. Other films in which Kilmer appeared in the 1990s included ‘Thunderheart,’ ‘The Real McCoy,’ ‘True Romance,’ ‘Tombstone,’ ‘Wings of Courage,’ ‘Dead Girl,’ ‘The Saint,’ The Ghost and the Darkness,’ and ‘At First Sight.’ He also provided the voice of Moses in the animated film ‘The Prince of Egypt.’ In 2000, he starred in his first box office disaster when he appeared in ‘Red Planet.’ Later that year, he also had a supporting role in ‘Pollock.’
His Acting Career from 2001 Onwards
In the early 2000s, Kilmer had roles in films including ‘The Salton Sea,’ ‘Hard Cash,’ ‘Wonderland,’ ‘The Missing,’ ‘Spartan,’ ‘Stateside,” Mindhunters,’ and ‘Alexander.’ Kilmer also spent some time back on the stage. Kilmer’s performance in the 2005 film ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ was highly praised, then he had a supporting role in the box office hit ‘Déjà vu’ the following year. Two years later, Kilmer starred alongside Stephen Dorff in ‘Felon,’ and he provided the voice of the car KITT in the television version of ‘Knight Rider’ in the same year. From 2010 onwards, Kilmer has had roles in films including ‘The Traveler,’ ‘Twixt,’ ‘MacGruber,’ ‘Song to Song’, and ‘The Snowman’. He also provided a voice for the animation ‘Planes.’ Currently, Kilmer is working on a film about the life of Mary Baker Eddy and Mark Twain, which is a project he has been working on since 2002, and it will be his directorial debut. In 2018, it was announced that Kilmer would reprise the role of ‘Iceman’ in the upcoming Top Gun sequel ‘Top Gun: Maverick’.
In addition to his roles in films and television series, Val Kilmer has also been involved in several other ventures. For example, he has appeared as himself in two music videos. The first music video in which he appeared was the video for Tenacious D’s 2012 single ‘To Be the Best’. He then appeared in the video for Oneohtrix Point Never’s 2016 single ‘Animals’. Another venture was providing the voice of Walker Sloan for the 2011 video game ‘Spider-Man: Edge of Time’. Kilmer also veered briefly away from his acting career to write a book. ‘I’m Your Huckleberry: A Memoir’ was published in 2020. Previously, he had published a series of his own poetry called ‘My Edens After Burns’ in 1983.
Val Kilmer’s Net Worth
According to The Sun, Val Kilmer’s net worth is $25 million. He has predominantly made this money from his acting career in both the film and television industries. However, he has also made money from his other ventures, such as writing a book.
His Personal Life
In his personal life, Val Kilmer was married to actress Joanne Whalley. They married in March 1988, but their relationship did not last, and they divorced in 1996. During their marriage, the couple had two children together. Their daughter Mercedes was born in 1991, followed by their son Jack in 1995. Jack Kilmer has followed in his parents’ footsteps, as he is also an actor.