Val Kilmer voice box: Did the actor smoke?


VAL Kilmer opened up about his battle with throat cancer in a new Amazon documentary.

The Top Gun star produced Val, a film set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, before hitting theatres on July 23, 2021.

Val Kilmer in 2016


Val Kilmer in 2016Credit: Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Why does Val Kilmer use a voice box?

Val had to undergo a tracheostomy in order to treat his throat cancer.

Although he survived his battle with cancer, the effects of the procedure are permanent.

As a result of the tracheostomy, he has lost the ability to speak without assistance.

Kilmer now relies on a voice box to communicate.

In the trailer for Val, released on July 7, he is seen using the device, straining his voice in order to get words out.

Kilmer says: “I was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. I’m still struggling.

“It is difficult to talk and be understood, but I want to tell my story more than ever.”

The upcoming documentary, which includes years of personal home movies and images, will be the first time that Val has appeared with a voice box.

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Val was diagnosed with throat cancer


Val was diagnosed with throat cancerCredit: Getty

Did Val Kilmer smoke?

While cancer can affect anybody, smoker or not, the 61-year-old has admitted he was once addicted to smoking.

According to The Daily Mail, the actor began smoking as a child.

When he was eight years old, as he has admitted, Val would take his uncle’s cigarettes before sneaking away to a treehouse to smoke them.

A habit he reportedly regrets.

Val Kilmer began smoking at the age of eight


Val Kilmer began smoking at the age of eightCredit: Getty

When was he diagnosed with throat cancer?

Val was first diagnosed with throat cancer back in 2014, but waited a while before revealing his condition.

He spoke publicly of his illness in 2017, after fellow actor Michael Douglas dropped a hint that Val was battling cancer.

Michael, who is no stranger to cancer himself, told journalists that Val was “dealing with exactly what [he] had” during a May 2016 event.

Val first denied his health was in danger before coming clean during a Reddit AMA Session promoting the movie Cinema Twain.

In a 2017 Hollywood Reporter interview, Val opened up some more about his condition, adding that he underwent a procedure, a tracheostomy, which radically changed his voice.

A tracheotomy to treat his cancer left Kilmer's voice permanently hoarse


A tracheotomy to treat his cancer left Kilmer’s voice permanently hoarseCredit: Splash

What is a ­tracheostomy?

According to the NHS, a tracheostomy or tracheotomy “is an opening created at the front of the neck so a tube can be inserted into the windpipe”.

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The procedure is usually carried out under general anaesthetic to deliver oxygen to the lungs if the usual route for breathing is obstructed or reduced.

A tracheostomy does not come without complications and side-effects, as Val has learned.

It is usually difficult to speak and swallow food following the procedure.

During recovery after a tracheostomy, patients are first encouraged to drink plenty of water before moving on to soft foods, followed by regular foods.

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