Kelly McGillis: A Look at the ‘Top Gun’ Icon Then and Now

Kelly McGillis: Timeless Talent Beyond the Bounds of Age

Renowned for her roles in iconic films, Kelly McGillis stands out as a celebrated American actress and producer. She rose to fame with her performances in acclaimed movies like ‘Top Gun’, ‘The Accused, and ‘Witness’. However, since 2014, McGillis has stepped back from the public eye, sparking curiosity among her followers. This article offers an in-depth look at the ‘Top Gun’ star, exploring her journey and the changes she has undergone over the years. Discover more about Kelly McGillis and her remarkable transformation through time.

Did you know Kelly McGillis left high school to chase her acting aspirations? As she navigated her way through the acting world, McGillis took on jobs as a waitress and participated in several theater productions. Her persistence paid off when she landed a supporting role in the 1983 Oscar-nominated movie ‘Reuben, Reuben. This early stage of her career marked the beginning of her journey in the film industry.

Here is a detailed summary of Kelly McGillis’s profile:

Full NameKelly Ann McGillis
Famous AsKelly McGillis
Date of Birth9 July 1957
Age (as of 2023)66
Zodiac SignCancer
Place of BirthNewport Beach, California, United States
Current ResidenceHendersonville, North Carolina, United States
Height (Feet)5’10”
Height (Centimeters)178
Weight (Pounds)139
Weight (Kilograms)63
Body Measurements (Inches)37-27-38
Body Measurements (Centimeters)93-68-96
Hair ColorBlonde
Eye ColorBlue
FatherDonald Manson McGillis
MotherVirginia Joan McGillis
SiblingsKaren, Kathleen McGillis
Marital StatusDivorced
Ex-HusbandsBoyd Black, Fred Tillman
ChildrenSonora Tillman, Kelsey Tillman
EducationThe Juilliard School, Allan Hancock College, Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, Newport Harbor High School
Net Worth$4 million


Kelly McGillis, the acclaimed actress, originated from Newport Beach, California, USA, born to parents Donald Manson McGillis and Virginia Joan McGillis. Her father, Donald, worked as a general practitioner, while her mother, Virginia, dedicated her life to homemaking.

Growing up, Kelly shared her childhood with two siblings, Karen and Kathleen McGillis. She possesses American nationality and comes from a white ethnic background. On her paternal side, Kelly’s heritage traces back to Scots-Irish roots, while on her maternal side, she has German ancestry, along with Welsh lineage.

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Initially, Kelly McGillis was a student at Newport Harbour High School. She furthered her education at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, part of Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California. In pursuit of her passion for acting, Kelly made her way to New York City, where she attended the prestigious Juilliard School. This decision came after she chose to leave high school in 1975, marking a significant turning point in her journey towards a career in acting.

Now, How old is Kelly McGillis?

Kelly McGillis is 66 years old. Her birthdate is July 9, 1957, aligning her astrological sign with Cancer. This information presents her current age, birth date, and zodiac sign.

Kelly McGillis’s Career

Beginning her acting career in 1968, Kelly McGillis first appeared as Glenda Livingston #1 in the 1984 TV series “One Life to Live,” marking her entry into the American acting scene. Following this role, she went on to be featured in a variety of other films and television shows.

Filmography of Kelly McGillis

Based on her IMDb profile, Kelly McGillis boasts 54 acting credits to date. Her extensive career in the entertainment industry includes roles in a variety of films and TV shows:

Here’s showcasing a selection of Kelly McGillis’ filmography, highlighting some of her roles in TV shows and movies:

YearTV Shows/MoviesRoles
2018Maternal SecretsRose
2017An Uncommon GraceElizabeth Conner
2015BlueMs Hutcherson
2014Love Finds You in SugarcreekBertha
2014Grand StreetIsabelle
2013Tio PapiElizabeth Warden
2011What Could Have BeenMargaret
2011The InnkeepersLeanne Rease-Jones
2008The L WordColonel Gillian Davis
2007SupergatorKim Taft

Kelly McGillis’ Financial Worth

Kelly McGillis, the American actress, holds an estimated net worth of $4 million. Her wealth primarily stems from her successful acting career.

Reason for Kelly McGillis’ Absence in the Latest ‘Top Gun’

Regarding the new ‘Top Gun’ movie, ‘Maverick,’ Kelly McGillis revealed that she wasn’t approached for a role in the film. She attributed her non-involvement to factors like her age and appearance. In an interview with ET, McGillis shared that she had stepped away from the Hollywood scene to focus on sobriety and family life. She also expressed a lack of keen interest in watching the sequel.

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Kelly McGillis’ Experiences Post ‘Top Gun’

After her role in ‘Top Gun’, Kelly McGillis faced a distressing situation on June 17, 2016, when a woman broke into her home, resulting in McGillis sustaining injuries and scratches. This incident, along with other experiences, led her to seek a concealed weapon license for personal protection. The Telegraph reported that in 1982, McGillis was the victim of an assault at her home by two men, an event that led her to testify in court against them.

Kelly McGillis Then and Now

Over the years, Kelly McGillis has significantly transformed, having lost a considerable amount of weight and achieved a healthier physique. For a long period, she grappled with issues related to weight and body image, which led to an increase in her weight. Determined to change this, McGillis embarked on a journey of lifestyle modifications, focusing on regular exercise and a well-balanced diet. This commitment to her health enabled her to lose nearly 100 pounds, bringing her weight down from 263 to 163 pounds.

Kelly McGillis’ Personal Relationships

Currently single, Kelly McGillis has experienced a few significant relationships in her past. She first married Boyd Black, a fellow Juilliard student, in 1979, but they parted ways in 1981. Her second marriage was to Fred Tillman in 1989, with whom she has two daughters, Sonora and Kelsey Tillman. However, this marriage ended in 2002. In 2009, during an interview with SheWired, McGillis came out as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. A year later, in 2010, she entered into a civil partnership with Melanie Leis, a sales executive from Philadelphia, but they separated in 2011.

Regarding her relationship with Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis starred opposite him in ‘Top Gun’ as his love interest. However, outside of their on-screen roles, the two never engaged in a romantic relationship.

FAQs About Kelly McGillis

Q: Who is Kelly McGillis?

A: Kelly McGillis is a renowned American actress known for her roles in various films.

Q: What is Kelly McGillis’ age?

A: As of 2023, Kelly McGillis is 66 years old. She was born on July 9, 1957.

Q: Where was Kelly McGillis born?

A: She hails from Newport Beach, California, United States.

Q: How many children does Kelly McGillis have?

A: Kelly McGillis is a mother to two children, Sonora and Kelsey Tillman.

Q: How many times has Kelly McGillis been married?

A: Kelly McGillis has been married three times, with Boyd Black, Fred Tillman, and Melanie Leis being her former partners.

Q: What is Kelly McGillis’ net worth?

A: Kelly McGillis has an estimated net worth of $4 million.

Q: What is Kelly McGillis’ height?

A: Kelly McGillis stands at a height of 5 feet 10 inches, or 178 centimetres.

Kelly McGillis is a skilled American actress with a career starting in 1968. She boasts 54 acting credits and has appeared as herself in 27 TV series and movies. Having been married thrice, Kelly shares two children with her second husband, Fred Tillman.


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