While Tom Cruise triumphantly walks the steps and the red carpet of the Cannes festival presenting Top Gun: Maverickthe sequel to the 1986 film that launched him to stardom, his counterpart, Val Kilmer, decided not to travel, because he still feels too fragile to make long journeys. The thing is the actor lived an intense and strong fight against throat cancer for which he lost much of his voice. The one who accompanied him and was with him in the worst moments was his ex-girlfriend, cher.
“If he calls me, I don’t care where I am or what I’m doing, I drop everything and go with him”, expressed the actress and singer last year in an interview. And, in a way, that’s what happened when the actor was diagnosed with throat cancer.
The relationship between the two stars is longstanding. In the early eighties, they were considered the most important couple in Hollywood. It was not for less. Both were at high points in their careers. During those years, Cher had transferred her talent to the cinema, and the big screen welcomed her with open arms. Thus, there were successes such as The Silkwood Affair – Nuclear Scandal, Mask, The Eastwick Witches, Moon spell Y my mother is a mermaid. Kilmer, meanwhile, had just starred in the comedy Top-Secret and he was one of the most coveted gallants.
When they met, in 1981, he was 22 years old and she was 36. When they proposed to introduce him to the interpreter of “I Got You Babe”, the actor did not want to know anything. He “saw Cher as a less-than-fascinating character out of gossip magazines. He was not motivated to meet her because he was just sure that we had nothing in common, “he acknowledged much later. The meeting, however, occurred during a diva’s birthday, and the chemistry between them was as unexpected as it was powerful. “I thought my head would shoot off my body. I had to catch my breath”, the actress would recall, recalling the first kiss between the two.
He added: “We became friends because we constantly laughed at the same things. He stayed over and it was just a friendship… That date as something more than friends took a long time. Well, I guess not so much!”
“Our sense of humor, and what we put up with each other, was more than I think I’ve ever had with any other man. And he was so beautiful!”, he expressed. The actress also recalled on more than one occasion that it was he who helped her prepare for the audition for Mask and considered Kilmer as the best actor in the world, along with his friend Meryl Streep.
Cher told People that the relationship didn’t work out because they were both “alpha males.” “We had some incredible times and then we endured some moments that weren’t,” she said, adding that the two were independent “individuals” and neither was willing to give up their freedom.
However, Cher acknowledged that it is not very clear how they managed to stay so close, after forty years of having separated as a couple. “He is different from everyone. He is infuriating and hysterical. Exciting and fun. And he doesn’t do what the others do.” In addition, she indicated that Kilmer was very “good” with his two sons, Chaz and Elijah, the fruit of his marriage to Sonny Bono and Gregg Allman, in addition to listing his countless virtues. She recalled, for example, that She spent one of the best New Year’s Eves of her life with him and described him as a “free spirit” with whom she fell “madly” in love.
Long after their happy moments together, Kilmer passed out in a pool of vomit and blood. He was running in 2015 and after he was rushed to the hospital, he had a tracheotomy. “I thought that was the last day of my life,” he would say later. But it wasn’t, it would only be the first in a series of tough episodes that he had to deal with for two years.
He was diagnosed with throat cancer. And as she faced treatment and watched her bank accounts skyrocket, her old flame reappeared. “Cher stepped in and stepped forward. Once she makes her way into your head and your heart, she never leaves.”, reported the actor in his biography I’m Your Huckleberry.
“Val was at my house most of the time he was sick. He was brave at all times”, recognized the actress, who did not hesitate to help him pack and take him to live with her to take care of him. The task was not easy at all and the recovery was very slow and full of complications. However, the humor that always united them would rescue them once again.
“In the middle of a relapse, he would not stop coughing up blood and we called the paramedics. When they appeared, he looked at me and we both knew what we were thinking … ”, recounted the star of Mama Mia! Let’s go again. And the actor added: “Even in my serious condition, I saw her scanning the paramedic, who was like Gregory Peck, incredibly handsome. Even though he was covered in blood, I caught his gaze and wiggled my eyebrows like Groucho Marx. Cher was embarrassed to be found out, but then she couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the audacity.”.
The actress had Kilmer treated at the prestigious David Geffen School of Medicine. In 2021, the actor reappeared on the scene and shocked the world. The interpreter of batmanforever (1995) returned to the big screen to tell his own life experience in Vala documentary produced by his children and Amazon in which he shows his intimacy. The material includes testimonials about his film career, but it is mainly based on his personal files and the way he communicates with his family through a mechanical voice that distorts his words.
Currently the actor is free of cancer and his participation in the continuation of top gunthe film that in 1986 helped catapult him to stardom, put him back in the big leagues.