The youngest student ever admitted to the drama department at Juilliard, Kilmer made his feature debut in the comedy Top Secret! (1984), which he followed up with the cult classic comedy Real Genius (1985) and his breakout role as the Iceman in Tony Scott’s Top Gun (1986), opposite Tom Cruise.
In 1988, Val Kilmer took on the role of Madmartigan, a boastful mercenary swordsman in the fantasy film Willow, which starred Warwick Davis as the title character and was produced by George Lucas and directed by Ron Howard. His next big feature was playing Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s The Doors (1991), in which he received much praise for his performance. Some of his other notable film roles include Doc Holliday in Tombstone (1993), armed robber Chris Shiherlis in Heat (1995), Bruce Wayne / Batman in Batman Forever (1995), Simon Templar in The Saint (1997), and the voice of Moses in the animated feature Prince of Egypt (1998).
In the last two decades, Val Kilmer has continued to impress with a diverse array of releases, including Red Planet (2000), The Salton Sea (2002), Wonderland (2003), The Missing (2003), Spartan (2004), Alexander (2004), Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005), Déjà Vu (2006), MacGruber (2010) and The Snowman (2017).
It was recently announced that Kilmer and Tom Cruise would return to the roles that made them household names, in director Joseph Kosinski’s Top Gun: Maverick.