Val Kilmer

by ethnic on December 27, 2007

Birth Name: Val Edward Kilmer

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: December 31, 1959

*German, English, Welsh, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, French Huguenot (father)
*Swedish (mother)

Val Kilmer is an American actor. He is the son of Gladys (Ekstadt) and Eugene Kilmer. Val’s father was of German, English, Welsh, Scots-Irish (Northern Irish), and French Huguenot, ancestry. Val’s mother was born in Indiana, of entirely Swedish descent.

Val has two children, including actor Jack Kilmer, with his former wife, English actress Joanne Whalley.

Val’s paternal grandfather was Thomas/Tom Walker Kilmer (the son of Jeremiah Early Kilmer and Nancy Williams). Thomas was born in Texas. Jeremiah was the son of James/John Kilmer, who was said to be German, and of Mary Polly Meadows/Meadors/Meador Heard. Nancy was the daughter of Wright Williams and Lucinda Pigg.

Val’s paternal grandmother was Nora/Norah Elizabeth Jones (the daughter of Stephen T. Jones and Sarah Elizabeth Webb). Nora was born in Tennessee. Sarah was the daughter of Armistead/Armsted Webb and Elizabeth C. Morrison.

Val’s maternal grandfather was John Edward Ekstadt (the son of John August Ekstadt and Anna Elizabeth Wester). Val’s grandfather John was born in Martin, Minnesota, to Swedish parents.

Val’s maternal grandmother was Hilma Charlotte Swanson (the daughter of Bror Swanson and Karna Elizabeth Nilsdotter). Hilma was born in Sweden. Bror was the son of Sven Brorsson and Johanna Nilsdotter. Karna was the daughter of Nils Nilsson and Ingar Pehrsdotter.

During Val’s interview on Inside the Actors Studio (2000), Val stated that he has Sephardi Jewish, Cherokee Native American, and Mongolian, ancestry, perhaps jokingly, perhaps not. He has often referenced having Cherokee ancestry, usually from a paternal great-grandmother. However, no Sephardi Jewish, Cherokee Native American, or Mongolian ancestry has been documented in publicly available family trees of Val Kilmer. Both of Val’s paternal great-grandmothers, Nancy Williams and Sarah Elizabeth Webb were born to non-Cherokee families with fairly well-documented recent ancestors.

Sources: Genealogies of Val Kilmer –

History of the Kilmer family –

Val’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Genealogy of Val’s paternal grandfather, Thomas/Tom Walker Kilmer (focusing on his own father’s side) –

Information about Val’s paternal great-grandfather, Jeremiah Early Kilmer –

Val’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Birth record of Val’s maternal grandfather, John Edward Ekstadt –

Val’s maternal grandfather, John Edward Ekstadt, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

andrew November 27, 2017 at 12:38 pm
andrew January 28, 2017 at 6:58 pm

remove this:

according to this record from Wikitree, Nora Elizabeth Jones was the daughter of Ira Jones and Mariah:

Information about Val’s paternal great-grandfather and about “Kilmer” family:

Val’s paternal grandparents on the 1930 U.S. Census:

andrew July 12, 2016 at 4:39 pm
andrew October 14, 2015 at 4:37 pm

another Mongolian lol. I didnt know he claimed to be Sephardi

follers October 14, 2015 at 5:03 pm

Sephardi Jews did come to the United States in the 1700s, so it’s not impossible.

Check7t March 29, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Is he another of those Hollywood actors to claim Native ancestry?


andrew October 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm

in “Thunderheart” he played an FBI agent with Sioux heritage investigating a murder on a Native American reservation

Liljaoch October 22, 2013 at 10:15 am

Cherokees Seattled in Sweden 14 th century? I am swedish and as far as I know that is a load of crap. No indians were in Sweden!! We have sami people in the north. Indigenious people inhabit Sweden Norway Finland russia. JUST CUZ U WANT HIM TO BE AN INDIAN. SRY, BUT NO CHEROKEE ROOTS IN SWEDEN. WHY MADE UP A SHIT LIKE THAT WTF SWEDEN? No, swear. Typical americans think they know stuff. NO GOOD AT GEOAGRAFI NOR HISTORY PLZ

follers October 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm

It was a joke. Yes, I know about the Sami.

guurl October 23, 2013 at 3:00 pm

I giggled.

leslie2 October 18, 2013 at 5:26 pm

I always thought he looked Germanic-Swedish ( although i’m not sure how much is in his blood regarding this)

I laughed alot when I read he said was Cherokee. He doesn’t look anything Cherokee, and his family name and ancestry does not point to it atall. Disappointed VAL! no proof, and ,lots of lies :(

follers October 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm

A lot of Cherokees settled in Sweden (around the 1300s or so), so he could have Cherokee ancestry from his Swedish side.

Most Swedish people have straight hair and high cheekbones. Do the math.

leslie2 October 18, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Lmao what is this, sarcasm follers? I hope you’re not serious. Nice jokes pal.

follers October 18, 2013 at 5:38 pm

The Cherokee settled everywhere in Europe, and most Cherokee kings liked marrying off their daughters to the locals when they got there. It is an old Cherokee tradition for the king’s first-born daughter to marry a white man.

leslie2 October 18, 2013 at 5:49 pm

lmao yep/ they sure travel and impregnated every European and African in site! :D

Just kidding.

Liljaoch October 22, 2013 at 10:22 am

Boulshit it depends on were in Sweden your from Some have sami. And u probably isnt good in math if u seriously,seriously,seriously think any fkn indian Seattled Sweden about 700 years ago. Noo. I guess u are an american. Move your fat ASS to a book and out of your imaginary world. In that case african people on the 12 th century Seattled down in England.

ethnic October 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Settle down it was just a joke!

fuzzybear44 October 23, 2013 at 4:21 am


(In that case african people on the 12 th century Seattled down in England.)

Although I know you were just trying to be sarcastic,that part of your statement is actually true.Africans indeed were settled down in England in the 12th century.

andrew October 23, 2013 at 5:31 am

yes fuzzybear,as you said blacks were alwais going to Europe over the centuries, but maybe u missed the recent news where hundreds of emigrants (thousands in the last years) die every day in the attempt to reach the European coasts. Crossing the Mediterranean sea isnt easy at all even now, imagine in the past with less advanced sailing skills

fuzzybear44 October 23, 2013 at 7:35 am


(maybe u missed the recent news where hundreds of emigrants (thousands in the last years) die every day in the attempt to reach the European coasts. Crossing the Mediterranean sea isnt easy at all even now, imagine in the past with less advanced sailing skills)

I don’t know why you even brought that up.It’s no different than all the Cuban’s and Haitians etc,who risks their lives coming to the U.S.Besides,I don’t have to imagine anything,I’m simply stating a proven fact .If you don’t like the facts,there’s nothing I can do about that

andrew October 23, 2013 at 3:03 pm

ah really “you don’t know why I even brought that up”?
I was waiting for you back in the site to reply to the afrocentric stuff you wrote in ronda rousey comments section. You Americans have no clue about History if you feed yourself with that bullshit. Stfu!

follers October 23, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Why is everyone so wound up about this? Everyone knows that Richard the Lionheart was half Mi’kmaq.

fuzzybear44 October 26, 2013 at 8:28 am


(Why is everyone so wound up)

I wasn’t worked up about anything.I was simply letting that person know,that although he was trying to joke around,he actually made a correct statement.They have lots of articles about the stuff.As I mention before,about all the skeletal remains,that they have been digging up since 1901,and keeping quiet about;however,they’re now disclosing.They’re also finding new ones:–So-doing-Ipswich-year-1190.html
They even have an interactive website to teach this to the kids:

andrew October 26, 2013 at 10:11 am

@ fuzzybear

no big deal. (North) “African” (then part of known “Old World”) slaves brought in Britain by Romans. Again here is a mistake about “African” emperors like Severus, actually of Roman/Phoenician (modern Lebanon) stock.

This DM article is more interesting

fuzzybear44 October 27, 2013 at 6:16 am


Well you’re right about one thing,it should not have been a big deal.It was just correct historical information.You were the one trying to get all nasty about it.Now as for Severus,whether he was white or black,I seriously doubt he looked anything like the (modern Lebanon) stock.However he was not what I was pointing out in the article,it was the paid black soldiers,I was referring to.

(slaves brought in )

Well you believing all the blacks were slaves,is your prerogative.However slavery back then was not always a life sentence.Many of those earned or brought their freedom.However whether they were slaves or not,they( lived there and died there);They had children etc.Skeletal remains show the diverse DNA

and even today,some of you:

This is not a big deal,so don’t get all upset about it

Now as for your article,if this:
C. Thomas Howell×368.jpg
didn’t mess with me,what she did want.

andrew October 27, 2013 at 8:08 am

The article by newscientist is interesting, basically it says this ancestry comes from mid-16th century slaves and not through Roman times. Again there are comments where confusion reigns, a guy wrote about “indigenous black tribes such as the silures” who actually were of Mediterranenan appareance (as some Welsh people are)

fuzzybear44 October 27, 2013 at 8:43 am

@ andrew

No that’s not what it says.It says that very rare type(hgA1 variant ),that’s only in a few people,maybe be as old as a few thousand yrs,or from the roman times,or came in the 16th century.It gives a lot dates in that article.You have a tendency to see only what you want.However it has nothing to do with the other site.Anyway,I have to get back to my re-evaluation,so continue to believe how you want.As for the silures,I don’t know that much about them.I’ll do some looking,but not this week.

andrew October 27, 2013 at 2:13 pm

“You have a tendency to see only what you want”, what about you??

guurl October 23, 2013 at 3:01 pm

It’s not a “fkn indian”-it’s Native American. And it was obviously a joke out of sarcasm due to some American’s falsely claiming native heritage. Calm down.

andrew September 26, 2013 at 2:58 pm

no Wasp/Cherokee/Mongolian mix..I am shocked :)))

follers September 26, 2013 at 3:09 pm

He is half Swedish, just like fellow Batman, Adam West.

I wonder what that Sephardi Jewish claim was all about, although some Americans do have Sephardi roots from the 1700s or so.

APS October 27, 2012 at 2:43 am

Anyway he said about his heritage: some Mongolian, Cherokee, Scottish…

sadie March 21, 2012 at 2:55 am

Too bad he is not in any movies lately. He is so handsome!

nnnnn September 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm

He was handsome. He’s fat now

Linda February 7, 2012 at 7:40 am

I wanted to also say that he was sooooooooo good in the movie Heat. That is an old movie which I have.

Linda February 7, 2012 at 7:38 am

I think Val Kilmer is awsome. wish he would make more movies. I was also wondering if he is related to Sen. Derek Kilmer of WA. state. thank you.

erik June 1, 2011 at 4:47 am

Agreed! His face looks German for sure,strong jaw line etc.

roms June 1, 2011 at 4:25 am

He gets his looks from German. His face looks German no doubt about that, just look at photos of German men.

barbara barnhill April 23, 2011 at 1:46 am

my son is often compared to val kilmer. my son is of german, irish, scottish and english descent. the funny thing is – kilmer was married to joanne whalley and my son’s grandmother’s maiden name is whalley. also, my son was born on december 31 only in 1970. personally, i think my son looks like a cross between matt damon and val kilmer. the old ladies call him “the Hunk”. we all should be so lucky as to resemble these two guys. i love them all!

Adriana April 1, 2011 at 2:19 am

I agree with Robert!
Best regards to everyone!

anonymous January 19, 2011 at 11:39 pm

He is obviously not biracial and is clearly of European descent. I think most of the celebs who claim to be part Cherokee aren’t really. He almost didn’t get the role of Ray LeVoi in Thunderheart because he couldn’t prove his Native American ancestry, he has no one listed on the Dawes rolls. Also I highly doubt that he is Mongolian descent because we weren’t getting heavy Mongolian immigration in the 1800’s and early 1900’s , there was Chinese and Japanese immigration. There were also anti miscegenation laws in place to keep white people from marrying people of other races. Maybe his Swedish ancestors mixed with some Lapps and he is mistaken .

Also Native Americans are closely related to Yupik and Chukchi of Russia and the Lapps. I saw someone wrote that they are closely related to the Mongolians.

Jimenéz January 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Not a big deal, but now you mention those peoples.

Yupik are Native Americans, they’re Alaskan Natives. Chukchi are actually several peoples, and the coastal Chukchis have assimilated a number of Yupik as well, which is why they’re especially closely related to the Yupik. Asian Yupik are actually called Yuit.

Inuit and Yupik are more closely related with other Native Americans than they are with Asians. Native Americans, however, are NOT closely related with Chukchi – although the Chukchi are closer related with Native Americans than other Asians are, they’re still much closer related with other Asians than they are with Native Americans.

If you go just by random DNA result and completely ignore historical fact, you may think – oh, native Americans comes from Chukchi, or they have a close shared origin. However, in reality it’s partially due to inter-mixture, because Yuit people have travelled FROM the Americas TO Asia, where some of them still lives as Yupik/Yuit.

And the “Lapps” you mention have nothing to do with those peoples, and even the Mongols aren’t particularly related with those peoples.

Oh, and “Lapp” is a slur, by the way.

danaeSUCKS January 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm

of all those he mostly looks german to me

charles September 15, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Feel me?

Anonymous September 4, 2010 at 10:35 pm

His facial structure does look indian

Nighwayto1971 January 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm

“His facial structure does look indian…” mmmhhhh when you have like him no more than 12,5 % of indian origin (or less) you can’t say that the structure of his face came really from that influence…

satnaam August 22, 2010 at 2:58 am

Mongolian is not very surprising…..most peoople with native american blood who take DNA tests also test as Mongolian….and it is widely believed and borderline confirmed by archaeologists that Native Americans came from Mongolia via a bridge that used to exist connecting Alaska and Siberia.

ethnic August 23, 2010 at 6:33 am

that is very possible as Native American share similar DNA with Asian people due to a common origin and relatively recent migration.

jjy June 11, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Mongolian, really? Thats odd.

Robert March 10, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Many white people (especially those of Eastern European descent) have distant traces of Mongolian ancestry dating back to the 13th Century invasion of Europe. The Mongols may have penetrated Europe as far west as Germany, and if not, then their genes did during later migrations.

dolphin March 10, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Robert, take a look at a young Janice Dickinson. She is Polish and Belarusian (Eastern European). She looks quite Asian-esque. So does Olga Kurylenko who is Ukrainian (Eastern European).

Robert March 10, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Therein lies two likely examples of what I was referring to.

Thank you Dolphin.

nnnnn August 29, 2012 at 11:40 am

How is she “Belarusian”? Is the name DickenSON a
slavic name? Chazars have some asian look

Adriana April 1, 2011 at 2:18 am

Hello Robert!
I totally agree with you. I also would like to ask Mr.Kilmer about his sources of informations about his mongolian ancestors.But I think you`re right.It is interesting,isn`t it?
Best regards!

duineilomo June 5, 2010 at 12:04 am

he looks part native, more so than jani depp.

Hermy April 6, 2010 at 6:28 am

I was watching Willow again yesterday, and it suddenly stroke me that Val Kilmer had to have amerindian origins. So I searched the web, found this website, and now I see that I was right! ^^ The Cherokee origins really show on his face I think (not color, but rather the form of his nose, mouth, etc.)!

ethnic March 26, 2010 at 5:33 pm

well said Joe

Joe March 26, 2010 at 5:19 pm

really asdf? talk about being narrow minded. and not thinking it out to much either. I’ve got a little cherokee and chokotaw in me, and i have dark hair and eyes. My cousin also does, but he has blonde hair and blue eyes, so by you logic he must be bsing about his ethnicity. Did you ever think that Val is white becuase a majority of his ancestors were of a lighter complection? Mongolian would be on the lighter side to a little dark, german and swedish i mean hello you dont get whiter than that, scot and irish also white, sephardic jews are relativily light skinned but with some color. Do you really think that because he is at MOST 1/7 cherokee he should be dark skinned? come on its a head not a hat rack, use it.

asdf March 26, 2010 at 2:55 pm

“Scottish, Irish, Sephardic Jewish, Cherokee Native American, Swedish, German and Mongolian”

That has got to be total TOTAL bullshit. How is it that every fucking famous actor has like 15 different ethnicities? Probably because it’s a lie. Famous actors get famous by being narcissistic, exaggerating, and making stuff up to make themselves seem more interesting, being actors, lots of them probably start to believe that the bullshit is true. Look at him, he is white, solid white with blond hair, unbelievable that people would believe this.

Anonymiss September 23, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Not everyone’s ancestors stayed in the same village and never moved about, probably like yours. Some people’s heritage goes back hundreds of years in North America. Not everyone’s ancestors immigrated during the last 100 years and came by way of Ellis Island. That’s why you can’t wrap your head around the concept.

ethnic February 13, 2010 at 9:03 pm

He does have almond shaped eyes do you think?

Mike February 13, 2010 at 4:41 pm

I do see the Swede and German

anonymous February 13, 2010 at 2:18 pm

where did the mongolian come from? wow! thats interesting.

Robert March 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm

See my above response to jjy.

The 13th century Mongol invasions of Europe live on in the DNA (however minuscule those amounts may be) of many white people, particularly those of Eastern European Descent. Look at a map of the Mongol Empire and consider the sort of activities that took place whenever a kingdom was conquered.

kira February 3, 2010 at 9:27 am

holy friggin cow hes everything almost!

ethnic January 5, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Hey William. Yeh it said German in there. But I agree he could easily pass as just German.


Franco August 23, 2010 at 7:30 am

He could easily pass as Swedish, German, Scottish or Irish.

William January 5, 2010 at 5:11 pm

He looks German, has a German last name, yet no mention of German ancestry… Seems simple to me.

lis October 31, 2009 at 4:18 am

funny he’s mix wit every else except for black

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