Press Releases

Val Kilmer Joins Distinguished Group of Hero Awards Initiative Judges




Nine celebrities will judge fourth annual Volvo for life Awards, nation’s largest search for hometown heroes


View hero stories at


(NEW YORK) Feb. 14, 2006 – Volvo Cars of North America today announced that actor Val Kilmer will join eight other celebrities in helping select the nation’s greatest hometown heroes in the fourth annual Volvo for life Awards, the nation’s largest search for and celebration of unsung heroes. Visit to read hundreds of hero stories.


Volvo for life Awards judges include Senator Bill Bradley, Hank Aaron, Caroline Kennedy, Sir Richard Branson, Paul Newman, Maya Lin, Dr. Sally Ride, Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Hope Bevilhymer, last year’s grand Volvo for life Awards winner.


Led by Volvo Cars of North America, the fourth annual initiative was launched in July 2005 and it celebrates and rewards local heroes with $1 million in financial contributions. Volvo calls on people nationwide to visit and nominate an unsung hero they know in the categories of safety, quality of life or environment.


In March, Volvo will announce the names of 100 semi-finalists and honor their individual accomplishments with a Certificate of Merit. Three finalists in each nomination category will then be selected.


Then, Kilmer and other judges will name one winner from each of the three categories. The category winners each will receive $50,000 to be donated to the charities of their choice. The remaining six finalists each will receive a $25,000 charitable donation.


On April 12, Kilmer is scheduled to join other judges in honoring the three category winners at the Volvo for life Awards Ceremony in New York City at the Rainbow Room, which will be hosted by Benjamin Bratt and feature a music performance by Avril Lavigne. At the event, the grand award winner will be unveiled as “America’s Greatest Hometown Hero” and be presented with a new Volvo car every three years for the rest of his or her life.


Kilmer’s career began on the New York theater stages and it was a role in the comedy spoof “Top Secret!” that launched his film career in 1984. A mix of feature films and TV specials followed and with much attention coming for “Top Gun” and “Willow.” Kilmer’s portrayal as doomed rock star Jim Morrison in “The Doors” and Doc Holliday in “Tombstone” solidified his place on Hollywood's A-list.


Other film performances include “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,” “The Saint,” “Real Genius,” “The Man Who Broke 1,000 Chains,” “Batman Forever,” “The Ghost and The Darkness,” “The Prince of Egypt,” “The Salton Sea” and “Wonderland.”


“We’re delighted to have Val Kilmer join our Volvo for life Awards judging team,” said Anne Bélec, president and chief executive officer of Volvo Cars of North America. “His genuine interest in honoring our nation’s heroes makes him a wonderful addition to the initiative.”


To learn more about Kilmer’s work, visit


To learn more about the Volvo for life Awards or to nominate a hero, visit A Spanish version of the site can also be accessed at this address.


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Kim McMartin,

Haberman & Associates,



Sören Johansson,

Volvo Cars of North America,




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