By Ale Russian
June 03, 2019 03:58 PM

 

Val Kilmer had all eyes on him during a rare public appearance for his foundation.

The Top Gun actor, who has stepped away from the spotlight in the last few years, attended a fundraiser for his TwainMania Foundation, created to educated children on author Mark Twain’s legacy.

Kilmer, 59, had binoculars around his neck while he happily posed on the carpet and later gave a speech inside the Los Angeles event. His 23-year-old son Jack was also in attendance Sunday night.

The appearance comes as Kilmer is set to hit the big screen again in Top Gun: Maverick, a sequel to the 1986 classic. Last summer, Tom Cruise gave an update on his friend and costar, saying it was “special” getting to work with Kilmer again. “He’s doing really well,” Cruise told Extra.

Val KilmerRochelle Brodin/Getty

 

Kilmer’s comeback role in the film comes after what has been a mysterious Hollywood hiatus for the actor. After years of rumored health problems, he finally opened up about his battle with throat cancer during a December 2017 interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

His health issues first became apparent in January 2015, when a spokesperson told PEOPLE that he was rushed to the hospital “for a possible tumor.” Soon after, he took to Facebook to deny having a tumor, saying only that he “had a complication.”

Further rumors were repeatedly shut down by Kilmer, who was spotted out with a tracheostomy tube in October 2015 and then without it the next February.

Kilmer finally opened up about his cancer recovery to The Hollywood Reporter in December in an interview alongside his children with his ex-wife Joanne Whalley: Mercedes and Jack, 22.

The article revealed that the actor’s two-year fight with throat cancer had “taken its toll” on the family and noted that Kilmer had undergone a procedure on his trachea which made his voice raspy and left him short of breath.

Top Gun: Maverick opens June 26, 2020.

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