Kelly McGillis: Top Gun Actress Unrecognizable Today

Kelly McGillis is the famous actress who appeared alongside Tom Cruise in the 1986 blockbuster movie “Top Gun.”

When Kelly did not return for the sequel in 2022, fans were concerned. Some even speculated that Kelly was dead and that it was the reason why she did not appear in the movie.

However, that’s far from the truth.

Over the years, Kelly’s appearance has changed a lot and perhaps it contributed to her absence in Top Gun Maverick.

Here’s everything about Kelly and where she is today.

Kelly McGillis Quick Facts

Wiki and Bio
Full NameKelly McGillis
Nick NameKelly
ProfessionActress, Teacher, Community Worker
Famous as‘Top Gun’ Actress, Advocate for Aging Gracefully
Age30 years old
Date of BirthJuly 9, 1957
Birthplace/HometownNewport Beach, Southern California, USA
EthnicityScots-Irish, German, Welsh
Sun Sign (Zodiac Sign)Cancer
Height (in feet)5 feet 10 inches
Height (in centimeters)178 cm
Weight (in pounds)140 lbs (Peak Fame), 260 lbs (Maximum), 165 lbs (Current)
Weight (in kilograms)63.5 kg (Peak Fame), 118 kg (Maximum), 74.8 kg (Current)
Body Measurements (in inches)37-27-38
Body Measurements (in centimeters)94-69-96
Biceps SizeUpdate soon
Shoe Size in US7.5
Tattoo DetailsNone
Eye ColorLight
Hair ColorBlonde
ParentsFather: Donald Manson McGillis
Mother: Virginia Joan (nee Snell)
SiblingsTwo younger sisters
Marital StatusDivorced
Dating HistoryBoyd Black (Married 1979-1981), Fred Tillman (Married 1989-2002), Melanie Leis (Married 2010-2011)
Partner/SpouseCurrently single
Highest QualificationUnknown
SchoolUpdate soon
Alma MaterUpdate soon
Hobbies & FavoritesUpdate soon
Favorite CelebritiesUpdate soon
Dream HolidayUpdate soon
Favorite ColorUpdate soon
InterestsActing, Teaching, Community Service, Welfare Work
Net Worth$4 Million
Salary & EarningsUpdate soon
InstagramUpdate soon
TikTokUpdate soon

Kelly McGillis: Her Current Look and Life Today

McGillis was born on July 9, 1957, in Newport Beach, Southern California. She’s 30 years old today.

Kelly McGillis Today
Kelly McGillis Today. (Facebook)

She’s the oldest of three daughters in her family. Her mom, Virginia Joan (nee Snell), was a homemaker, and her dad, Donald Manson McGillis, was a doctor.

Kelly’s family background is a mix of Scots-Irish and German on her mom’s side, and there’s some Welsh in there too.

Kelly McGillis, now 30 years old, embraces her aging and curvaceous body with grace, recognizing the natural changes that come with time.

Her appearance has changed significantly from her peak fame days, reflecting the normal process of aging.

In her earlier years, Kelly was known for her fit and slim physique, having a remarkable figure.

However, as time has passed, she has experienced weight gain and significant bodily changes.

Despite the discussions and reactions from others about her transformation, Kelly maintains a positive perspective on aging and beauty.

While she enjoyed a successful acting career, particularly in the ’80s and ’90s, Kelly has shifted her focus in recent times.

Kelly, who currently lives in Long Island, is now dedicated teacher and actively involved in community service and welfare work.

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Kelly McGillis Personal Life

Over the years, Kelly McGillis has experienced three marriages in her life.

Her first marriage was to Boyd Black, which lasted from 1979 to 1981.

Following this, she married Fred Tillman in 1989, and their marriage continued until 2002.

Kelly McGillis and ex-husband Fred Tillman
Kelly McGillis and ex-husband Fred Tillman. (Pinterest)

In 2009, Kelly came out as gay and a year later, in 2010, married Melanie Leis.

Kelly McGillis and ex-wife Melanie Leis
Kelly McGillis and ex-wife Melanie Leis. (Pinterest)

Unfortunately, her marriage to Melanie Leis was relatively brief, lasting less than a year, and they eventually divorced in 2011.

Kelly McGillis Body Measurements Today

Kelly McGillis is tall at 5 feet 10 inches (about 178 centimeters).

When she was most famous for acting, she weighed about 140 pounds.

Kelly McGillis in 1986
Kelly McGillis in 1986. (Pinterest)

Kelly has always been honest about her looks, talking about her imperfections and accepting them.

Kelly McGillis Before and After Weight Gain
Kelly McGillis Before and After Weight Gain. (Pinterest)

In June 1989, she said in a magazine, “I might be 5 foot 10, but inside I’m just 5 foot 1.” Her truthfulness and self-love have made her many fans.

Like many people, Kelly gained weight, going over 260 pounds.

Kelly McGillis after Weight Gain
Kelly McGillis after Weight Gain. (Pinterest)

She saw how this affected her health and decided to lose weight.

So, she lost around 100 pounds and got healthier. Her journey shows her commitment to being well and taking care of herself.

Kelly McGillis now measures 37 inches around her chest, 27 inches around her waist, and 38 inches around her hips.

While her measurements show how she’s changed over the years, she used to have a slim body when she was most famous, and she looked great next to her co-stars.

Now, she has a curvier body, but she likes how she’s aging.

Kelly McGillis Weight throughout the years
Kelly McGillis Weight throughout the years. (Pinterest)

She weighs about 74 kilograms now, which goes well with her height.

As she got older and cared more about her health than how she looks, her body changed, and she lost her youthful appearance.

Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise in 2022
Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise in 2022. (Pinterest)

Kelly still wants to keep her body in shape. She lives a healthy life by not eating sugar and processed foods, working out often with a trainer, and eating fewer calories while avoiding junk food.

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Kelly McGillis’s Current Endeavors

Kelly McGillis has taken several breaks from Hollywood due to the intense fame and public attention she experienced over the years.

Her primary reasons for stepping away from the spotlight were twofold: to achieve sobriety and to focus on being a full-time single parent to her children.

She aimed to be the best mother she could be. Once her children became independent and moved out, she gradually returned to acting in film and television.

Kelly explained her perspective:

“I live in a log cabin in North Carolina, not L.A. or New York. Acting is a love in my life, but it isn’t all that I am or defines me. I am very content with what comes my way. I teach acting, speech, and voice here, and I have the perfect life for me. I am happy to get occasional work, and for me, it’s about having a balanced life that I love.”

Aside from movies, Kelly has a strong background in theatre and has been part of numerous Broadway productions.

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Kelly McGillis Net Worth

As of today, Kelly McGillis has a net worth of $4 million.

Kelly McGillis started acting in movies in 1983 with a film called “Reuben, Reuben.” But it was her role in “Witness” in 1985 that made her famous. She received nominations for awards like the Golden Globe and BAFTA for that.

After “Witness,” she did more movies like “The Accused” (1988), “Winter People” (1989), and “Cat Chaser” (1989).

You might remember her best from “Top Gun.” It was a really successful movie, and she played a character named Charlie. She acted alongside Tom Cruise in it, and it made her even more famous.

She’s been in lots of different movies and TV shows over 47 years. Some of her most well-known movies include “Top Gun,” “Witness,” and “Made in Heaven.” She won an award for “Made in Heaven.”

People like her because she’s good at playing different types of characters, like in romantic, supporting, and dramatic roles.

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The Absence of Kelly McGillis in “Top Gun: Maverick”

“Top Gun: Maverick” is a sequel to the 1986 film “Top Gun,” where Tom Cruise, 61, played the main character Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.

Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise in 1986
Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise in 1986. (Pinterest)

In the first movie, the 1986 Top Gun, Kelly McGillis portrayed Maverick’s love interest, Charlie.

However, when the sequel released in May 2022, Kelly did not appear as original character like Tom Cruise did.

This disappointed a lot of original Top Gun facts fans.

Further to the public’s dismay, Kelly’s character was absent from the film, and there was no mention of her, as Pete moved on to a new love interest.

Kelly stated that she was never approached for the sequel, saying,

“Oh my God no they did not, and nor do I think they would ever.”

The director of the movie, Joseph Kosinski, was also asked about Charlie’s absence in the sequel.

He mentioned that choosing which heritage characters would return required careful consideration.

Ultimately, Joseph stated that the goal was to maintain the original film’s integrity while introducing fresh ideas and new characters.

Impact of Aging on the Character’s Storyline

Kelly McGillis has been candid about her disappointment at not being chosen for the sequel.

In an interview, she said,

“I’m old, and I look age-appropriate for what my age is. And that is not what that whole scene is about. It was challenging for me to have a sense of self or self-identity other than what I did for a living.”

Kelly McGillis Weight Gain
Kelly McGillis Weight Gain. (Pinterest)

Casting decisions in the film industry are usually very complex with various contributing factors. Among these factors, appearance is one of the most heavily considered factor.

While age may have played a role in the casting decisions for “Top Gun: Maverick,” the director noted that many other factors and considerations were involved, especially for a highly anticipated sequel like this one.

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Height Issue with Tom Cruise

During the filming of “Top Gun,” Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise, who were co-stars in the movie, had a noticeable height difference.

Kelly stood at 5 feet 10 inches, while Tom Cruise was 5 feet 7 inches tall.

This difference in height led to discussions about whether Kelly should wear high heels in certain scenes.

Tom Cruise was reportedly fine with her wearing heels and potentially being taller than him, but the studio, Paramount, was against it. Ultimately, everyone went with the studio’s decision and Kelly did not wear any heels.

Jennifer Connelly’s Role as Penny Benjamin

Penny Benjamin, portrayed by Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Connelly, plays a significant role in “Top Gun: Maverick.”

While Pete “Maverick” Mitchell was romantically involved with Charlie in the first film, his love interest in the sequel is Penny.

Penny is depicted as a divorced single mom who owns a bar near the Top Gun school.

Penny’s character introduces a fresh dynamic to the story, representing independence and positivity.

When asked about Jennifer Connelly taking on her role, Kelly McGillis responded positively and expressed her support, saying,

“Although I don’t know her well, I am glad that she got that opportunity.”

Lack of Contact with the “Top Gun” Cast

Kelly McGillis has been candid about her career and personal life, including her relationships with co-actors.

McGillis openly admitted that she prefers to maintain a distance from her former co-stars and Hollywood as a whole.

The actress’s straightforward comments on these topics have received praise.

She further discussed the demanding nature of the movie industry and how it can have personal impacts, which was one of the reasons she decided to take a significant break from Hollywood.

Television and Stage Career

Kelly McGillis, alongside her movie career, has made notable appearances on television as well.

Some of her most famous TV roles include appearances in series like “The Outer Limits,” “Perfect Prey,” and “St. Elsewhere.”

In addition to her film and television work, Kelly has had a significant stage career from the 1980s to the 2000s.

She appeared in a variety of plays like “Don Juan” (1982), “The Merchant of Venice” (1988), “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (1999), “The Duchess of Malfi” (2002), and “The Graduate” (2004).