Eugene D. Kilmer; Industrialist, Developer

Eugene D. Kilmer--industrialist, Valley real estate developer and father of actor Val Kilmer--has died at his Chatsworth home. He was 71.

A Valley resident since the 1950s, Kilmer died Monday of cancer, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.

Born in Caddo, Tex., and raised in New Mexico, Kilmer was graduated from USC in 1951. He also attended UCLA and UC Berkeley.

According to a family representative, Kilmer founded Liberty Engineering, which produced rivets and other parts for the aircraft and aerospace industries.


In 1976, Kilmer purchased the Open Diamond Bar Ranch, former home of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, in the mountainous Chatsworth area north of the Simi Valley Freeway. With an eye toward creating an enclave of more than 100 luxury homes nearby, Kilmer formed Indian Wells Estates Inc. to build what real estate agents described as the “Bel-Air of the San Fernando Valley.”

Kilmer’s vision suffered a setback when the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1991, leaving two adjacent developments of mansions off Iverson Road--Indian Springs Estates and Indian Falls Estates--partially completed.

According to Allan L. Levine, an attorney who represents Indian Wells Estates, a “consensual plan” between the company’s trustees and creditors is currently being formulated to bring it out of bankruptcy.

Survivors include his wife, Senga, and his sons, Mark Kilmer and Val Kilmer, and a granddaughter.

Services will be private. Donations can be made in Kilmer’s name to the Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children in Los Angeles or to the Santa Fe Indian School in Santa Fe, N.M.