Val Kilmer's daughter recalls terrifying day Top Gun star's cancer tumour burst

Hollywood idol Val Kilmer’s daughter has told of her terror after her dad was rushed to ­hospital with throat cancer.

Mercedes said her Top Gun star dad spent months ­brushing aside pleas to get ­treatment for a growing lump in his throat.

The 60-year-old believed his Christian Scientist faith and the power of prayer would help heal him.

But then came the day Mercedes – now making a film with her dad – thought he was going to die.

Val collapsed at his Los Angeles home in 2015 as his tumour finally burst.

Val Kilmer starred in the 1986 hit film Top Gun

The 28-year-old actress said: “He was rushed to hospital. It got so big, it caused a blood vessel to pop. He was bleeding out of his mouth. I remember almost fainting in the hospital.

“They gave me juice and I had to sit on the floor. Then the doctor said he had stage 4 cancer – he hadn’t been formally ­diagnosed until then.

“It was devastating. I thought that was it. Because it was in such an advanced state, I didn’t think he’d ­survive long.

“People had really wanted him to get it attended to but he had faith in his body’s ability to fight it off. It was ­obvious he was sick but he didn’t want to go to the doctor, which I respect. He wanted to do things his way.”

Val needed a tracheotomy as part of his recovery after the tumour was removed, leaving him hardly able to talk.

Mercedes opened up about her dad’s ­cancer battle as she spoke about working with him on new crime thriller, Paydirt.

She is in a role she is used to – playing his character’s daughter.

Val stars as a disgraced drugs bust sheriff given a chance to redeem himself by stopping another heist.

Mercedes – whose mum is British star Joanne Whalley – plays a district attorney.

And she reckons Val is taking his second chance at life – even though his voice box is so damaged by surgery he croaks through most of his lines.

Speaking from her home in New ­Mexico, she said: “I’m so proud of being in this film because it’s so rare we see an actor with a disability that is so central to ­acting.

“It shows it’s possible and I hope this is going to open the door to even more people. Even though my dad’s speech is compromised, he is such a good actor he is able to ­communicate physically and circumvent that.

“He actually never stops talking. For someone with such compromised speech he doesn’t shut up ever, which is incredible.”


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