Sunday 4 December 2016

Val Kilmer on Michael Douglas' throat cancer 'revelation': 'News of my demise has been greatly exaggerated'

Harriet Alexander

Published 01/11/2016 | 07:55

Actor Val Kilmer poses at the
Actor Val Kilmer poses at the "Felon" photo call at the Regency Hotel on July 8, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Loud/Getty Images)
American actors Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer on the set of The God and the Darkness, directed by Stephen Hopkins. (Photo by Constellation Entertainment/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Actor Val Kilmer arrives at the 23rd Annual Simply Shakespeare Benefit reading of "The Two Gentleman of Verona" at The Broad Stage on September 25, 2013 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Val Kilmer arrives at the Staples Center for the 54th Grammy Awards
Actor Val Kilmer arrives at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Michael Douglas on stage in London for a conversation with Jonathan Ross

Val Kilmer has laughed off reports that he is in the late stages of throat cancer after his friend Michael Douglas told an audience in London "things don't look too good".

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Kilmer (56) has consistently denied reports that he is unwell after pictures showed him with a tracheotomy tube and his health was back in the headlines after Douglas opened up about his friend's condition last week.

The Top Gun actor is a follower of the Christian Scientist religion, which spurns medical treatment and believes that prayer can overcome sickness.

"Val was a wonderful guy who is dealing with exactly what I had, and things don't look too good for him," Douglas told Jonathan Ross for a television special.

American actors Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer on the set of The God and the Darkness, directed by Stephen Hopkins. (Photo by Constellation Entertainment/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actors Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer on the set of The God and the Darkness, directed by Stephen Hopkins. (Photo by Constellation Entertainment/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

"My prayers are with him. That's why you haven't heard too much from Val lately."

Kilmer's spokesman is yet to comment, but last night the actor denied he was incapacitated.

In a Facebook post promoting his new film about Mark Twain he wrote: "I'm having so much fun sharing the role that I created for my stage play, Citizen Twain.

"'The recent news of my demise has been greatly exaggerated. Mark Twain and his values and spirit live on even now! And I'm sure still standing! Yippee!"

Actor Val Kilmer arrives at the 23rd Annual Simply Shakespeare Benefit reading of
Actor Val Kilmer arrives at the 23rd Annual Simply Shakespeare Benefit reading of "The Two Gentleman of Verona" at The Broad Stage on September 25, 2013 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

In January, Batman Forever star Kilmer posted a message on Facebook denying the rumours that he had been battling throat cancer and confirming that he was being supported by people who "know my spiritual convictions".

At the time, the US gossip website TMZ quoted unnamed family members as saying they were concerned that Kilmer's faith was preventing him seeking treatment.

"Val Kilmer's family believes that the actor is killing himself by not dealing with a serious tumour because of his religious beliefs," the site claimed.

Douglas was discussing working with Kilmer on the 1996 movie The Ghost And The Darkness when he said that "things don't look too good for him".

Actor Val Kilmer arrives at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actor Val Kilmer arrives at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Douglas, who was diagnosed with tongue cancer in 2010 and was given the all-clear the following year, said his friend is "dealing with exactly what I had".

The 72-year-old film star made his claims during an evening in conversation with Jonathan Ross and an assembled audience at London's Drury Lane Theatre.

He said: "The picture didn't necessarily turn out as well as I hoped but I had a wonderful time.

"Val was a wonderful guy who is dealing with exactly what I have - what I had - and things don't look too good for him."

He added: "My prayers are with him. That's why you haven't heard too much from Val lately."

Earlier this year, Kilmer, 56, denied several times while replying to fans on his official Facebook page that he was battling cancer after numerous reports claimed otherwise.

The Batman Forever star said he was "healed of a tumour in a matter of days" last year, adding that he has "no cancer".

A representative for Kilmer has not responded to Douglas' comments.

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