When Val Kilmer was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2015, he said he was glad to have his good friend Cher by his side.
In Kilmer’s new memoir, I’m Your Huckleberry, the 60-year-old actor opened up for the first time ever about his cancer and wrote about how Cher, whom he dated in the early ’80s, helped him get through some of his darkest days.
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Cher, 73, invited Kilmer to stay in her guest house when his health was declining and he recalled one particular terrifying evening at her home.
“One night I suddenly awoke vomiting blood that covered the bed like a scene out of The Godfather. I prayed immediately, then called 911. Then alerted my hostess. Cher stepped in and stepped up,” he wrote, adding that even in all the chaos, she was able to make him laugh.
Kilmer continued: “And yet even in my grave condition, I saw her scanning the paramedic, who was Gregory Peck drop-dead handsome. Only in Hollywood, right? Despite the fact that I was covered in blood, I caught her eye and bounced my brows like Groucho Marx. Hubba hubba. Cher was bashful to be busted but then couldn’t help laughing out loud at the audacity. Here we were, joking about beauty and desire, while I looked like a stunt man from Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and, yes, while my life seemed to be in mortal danger. We laughed out loud before they finished with my vitals and shut me up with an oxygen mask.”
The actor underwent a tracheotomy, chemotherapy and radiation and also turned to faith and prayed for healing. Today, Kilmer is thankful to be cancer-free.
“I have been healed of cancer for over four years now, and there has never been any reoccurrence. I am so grateful,” he said.
Although his speech has been affected by the cancer, the actor says he hasn’t let it slow him down and has been doing vocal exercises every day.
“The fact that my impeded speech could spell the end of my career only served to motivate me,” Kilmer wrote.