Pop Culture

Sorting the Stars: Kiefer Sutherland and Val Kilmer

This week’s edition of Sorting the Stars comes courtesy of my recent discovery of 24 on Netflix. In 1989, I knew Kiefer and Val like any Generation Xer should. But it’s been more than 20 years, and I no longer read Tiger Beat. So these two get muddled like everyone else. As I was watching Mr. Sutherland in his role as Jack Bauer, I kept thinking, “He’s really changed since he was Iceman.” Then it hit me. He wasn’t Iceman. My 1989 self was a little ashamed of my blunder. 

Kiefer Sutherland, who I’ll always remember as David from the Lost Boys. Photo from IMDB.

Kiefer Sutherland

Born in 1966, Kiefer was everywhere in the ’80s and ’90s. He was the bully Ace in Stand By Me, the vampire leader in The Lost Boys, Billy the Kid’s sidekick Doc in Young Guns, and Nelson in Flatliners. One of my favorite, lesser know movies starring Kiefer is 1987’s Crazy Moon. Most recently, he’s been the star of 24 as agent Jack Bauer. Until I started watching it on Netflix, I had no idea there were eight seasons of 24.

Val Kilmer

Val Kilmer, who will always be Iceman in my heart. Photo from IMDB

Born in 1959, Val was also everywhere in the ’80s and ’90s. And sometimes, he takes his shirt off. If you are not familiar with the beach volleyball scene from 1985’s Top Gun, I recommend becoming acquainted. Put the sound on mute if you aren’t down with Kenny Loggins’ “Playing with the Boys” and enjoy some Navy beach volleyball. After playing Iceman, Val went on to star as Jim Morrison in The Doors, Doc Holliday in Tombstone and Batman in Batman Forever (that Batman movie has the best soundtrack by far). He’s continued to make films in this millennia – did anyone catch him in MacGruber?



Telling these two apart isn’t really hard. If you find yourself getting confused, remember Kiefer is in a lot of ensemble casts, and Val is more often in the starring/title role. Did you prefer one blonde star over the other back in the day? What are your favorite roles for each of these superstars?

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