Val Kilmer

Kilmer in 2005, Denis Makarenko /

Birth Name: Val Edward Kilmer

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: December 31, 1959

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

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, and was a gold miner in New Mexico. 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 “Sallie” Webb). Nora was born in Tennessee. Stephen was the son of Raybie Jones and Sallie. Val’s great-grandmother Sarah was the daughter of Armistead/Armsted/Armstead 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 –


Curious about ethnicity

74 Responses

  1. jonasbttencourt says:

    So sad to know about his current helth, guess drinking and smoking really does no good after all…

  2. andrew says:

    Stephen T. Jones was the son of Raybie Jones and Sallie

    Raybie -> Rabbi? Source of Jewish roots maybe.

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