Kelly McGillis Biography 2024 - Top Gun Actress

Kelly McGillis Biography - Top Gun Actress

Kelly McGillis is a strong actress who has faced many ups and downs. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Kelly McGillis may not have appeared on our screens much recently, but few of us are likely to be familiar with her work, given her prominent parts in timeless films like Witness (1985), The Accused (1988), and Top Gun (1986). While Witness proved to be her breakthrough, her performance as Charlotte Blackwood in Top Gun propelled her to household star status. 

It comes as a surprise that she was neither approached to appear in the sequel of the film nor had any real interest in seeing it when it was released. Still, let's get to know what Kelly has been involved in lately and many more details. 

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Passionate About Acting Since An Early Age 

The prolific actress was born on July 9, 1957, in Newport Beach, California, United States. She was welcomed into this world by her mother, Virginia Joan McGillis, and her father, Donald Manson McGillis. Kelly McGillis' dad was a doctor, while her mom was a homemaker. Not just a loving daughter, but Kelly is also a caring and supportive elder sister to Karen McGillis and Kathleen McGillis.

Moreover, when Kelly was still young, her entire family moved to Los Angeles due to her dad's job. Growing up at the center of the American entertainment industry, she also became interested in the prospect of becoming an actress early on. 

Kelly McGillis Childhood

Kelly McGillis aspired to become an actress from an early age. Image Source: Social Media.

Speaking of her educational background, the actress attended the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Santa Maria, California, at Allan Hancock College. Later, the actress dropped out of high school in 1975 after getting her GED and proceeded to New York City to study acting at the Juilliard School. She did many theatrical plays while at college and graduated in 1983.

Kelly McGillis Net Worth And Career 

The Newport Beach native made her television debut with the TV film Sweet Revenge in 1984. In the same year, the actress also appeared on the TV series One Life to Live. Likewise, she made her film debut with Reuben, Reuben, in 1983. 

The actress had a massive career breakthrough in 1985 by appearing in the movie Witness. Similarly, her apperance in Top Gun, along with Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, granted her universal success. 

Given that the actress has appeared in some successful films and series, Kelly McGillis' earnings must be substantial. So, now, let's look at some of the movies and their box-office collections.

Movies Box Office Collections 
Top Gun $357,288,178
Stake Land $405,380
North $7,182,747
Witness $68,706,993

Table Source: Box Office Mojo 

Moreover, according to Celebrity Net Worth, Kelly McGillis' net worth is $4 million, which she amassed from her career as an actor. Hopefully, she is leading a life that is comfortable and beautiful. 

READ MORE: Vanessa Evigan Biography - LA-Born Actress

Has A Tumultuous Personal Life

Kelly has seen a lot in her life and is still standing tall and firm. Although McGillis's professional career is flourishing and established, surely her personal life isn't the same. 

Initially, the Top Gun actress was married to fellow Juilliard student Boyd Black in 1979; however, in 1981, they divorced. A few years later, in 1989, the Newport Beach native married for the second time with Fred Tillman. Kelly McGillis' ex-husband was a wealthy yacht salesman, and the duo together owned a $1.5 million, 110-foot schooner, which was destroyed in a blaze in Florida at a marina in 1996. Eventually, the former duo divorced as well in 2002. 

Furthermore, Kelly came out as a lesbian in 2009. With two marriages behind her, very few expected to hear her particular announcement. But this is who she is, embracing her identity with pride. In 2010, the Witness actress came into a civil union with her partner Melanie Leis after being together for ten years. Sadly, their romance didn't last long, and by 2013, the former lovebirds parted ways. 

Additionally, the actress has also faced some traumas in her personal life. Kelly was raped by two men in her New York apartment in 1982. She was also gang-raped by three men when she was 12.

What's worse is that a few years later, on June 17, 2016, a woman broke into her North Carolina home and was left bruised and scratched after being assaulted by her. The series of unfortunate activities led the actress to intense alcohol addiction as well.

Kelly Is A Mother Of Two 

With her ex-husband, Fred Tillman, the former pair welcomed two daughters during their marriage. Their first child, Kelsey Laurel Tillman, was born on May 24, 1990, and Sonora Ashley, the former couple's second child, was born on April 10, 1993. 

The performer is a wonderful mother to her kids, who are incredibly close to her. Fortunately, Kelly McGillis' daughters are already grown-up individuals, and they are leading their lives happily.

To conclude, a lot has happened in Kelly McGilli's life, including three unsuccessful marriages. No matter what happened in her life, the actress has peacefully moved on, outgrowing her fears, and she currently lives an ordinary life far from the spotlight in North Carolina. She is definitely one heck of a strong woman, and we send her our best wishes.

Trivia And Facts 

  • Kelly is not active on social media sites.
  • McGillis is struggling with Alpha 1 Antitrypsin disorder, leading to her weight loss. 

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