Real name: Val Edward Kilmer
Birthdate: December 31, 1959
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Kilmer, the second of three sons, was born in Los Angeles, California to Gladys (Ekstadt) and Eugene Kilmer, an aerospace equipment distributor and real estate developer. Kilmer has Scottish, Irish, Sephardic Jewish, Cherokee Native American (from a paternal great-grandmother), Swedish, German and distant Mongolian ancestry. Kilmer's paternal grandfather was a gold miner in New Mexico; the poet Joyce Kilmer is a second cousin of Kilmer's. Kilmer grew up in the San Fernando Valley with his two siblings, older brother Mark and younger brother Wesley, but says that even as a child growing up in California he did not like it there.
Kilmer, who was raised a Christian Scientist, attended Chatsworth High School, where he attended with Kevin Spacey, and Mare Winningham as well as Hollywood's Professional's School. He also attended Berkeley Hall School, a Christian Science school, from elementary school up until 9th grade. At the age of seventeen, he was at the time the youngest person to be accepted into Juilliard's drama program.
Kilmer's first role in 2000 was in the big budget Warner Bros. box office failure Red Planet. That same year, he had a supporting role in the film Pollock and hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time. In 2002, he starred in the thriller The Salton Sea, which was generally well-reviewed, but received only a limited release. The same year, he teamed with his True Romance co-star, Christian Slater, and the two starred in the low budget film, Hard Cash, also known as Run for the Money.Kilmer with Robert Downey Jr. in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, 2005
Kilmer was in negotiations with Richard Dutcher (a leading director of Mormon-related films) to play the lead role in a film entitled Prophet: The Story of Joseph Smith, although the project never materialized. Kilmer performed in The Postman Always Rings Twice on the London stage from June to September of 2005. In 2005, he starred in the action-comedy film Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. His performance was praised and the film was well reviewed, but the film received only a limited release. It later won the award as "Overlooked Film of the Year" from the Phoenix Film Critics Society. In 2006 he reunited with director Tony Scott a third time for a supporting role opposite Denzel Washington in the box-office hit Deja Vu. He will also star in the Lewis and Clark film opposite Bill Pullman.
Kilmer was married to Joanne Whalley, an actress and former lead singer of Cindy & the Saffrons, from March 1988 to February 1996. The two met while working together on the film Willow. They share two children, daughter Mercedes, born in 1991, and son Jack, born in 1995, Jack was born without a name for 2 months.
Warwick Davis, Kilmer's co-star from the 1988 fantasy Willow, defended Kilmer in his audio commentary for the film, describing Kilmer as a very funny man and a hard working, dedicated actor. He has now been cast in Davis' new movie, Agent One-Half. Kilmer is also an avid musician, and will be releasing a CD in the fall of 2007, proceeds of which will go to his charity interests.
Kilmer owns a ranch in New Mexico where he hunts, hikes, fishes, and fly-fishes. Kilmer is also involved with The Wildlife Center of New Mexico and assists in rescuing animals and releasing them on his ranch.