McGillis at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival
|Born||Kelly Ann McGillis
July 9, 1957
Newport Beach, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, producer, teacher, restaurateur|
|Employer||The Meisner Acting Conservatory for the Southeast|
|Notable work||Witness (1985 film)
Made in Heaven (1987 film)
The Accused (1988 film)
|Spouse(s)||Boyd Black (m. 1979; div. 1981)
Fred Tillman (m. 1989; div. 2002)
|Partner(s)||Melanie Leis (2010–2011) civil union|
|Website||Kelly's Caribbean Bar, Grill and Brewery|
Kelly Ann McGillis (born July 9, 1957) is an American actress. She has found fame for her acting roles in several films since the 1980s including: her role as Rachel Lapp in Witness (1985) with Harrison Ford, for which she received Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations, the role of Charlie in the huge blockbuster hit Top Gun (1986) with Tom Cruise, and the role of attorney Kathryn Murphy in The Accused (1988), with Jodie Foster.
McGillis was raised in Los Angeles, and attended the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Santa Maria, California. After graduating from high school in 1975, she moved to New York City to study acting at the Juilliard School, where she graduated in 1983. While at Juilliard she performed in William Congreve's Love for Love, directed by John Bletchley.
Her breakout role was that of an Amish mother in the 1985 film Witness with Harrison Ford, for which she received Golden Globe and BAFTA award nominations. Her next high-profile role was that of flight instructor Charlie in the 1986 fighter-pilot film Top Gun with Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer. After 1988's The Accused, she appeared in Cat Chaser with Peter Weller, a film she despised and which discouraged her from pursuing an acting career. McGillis appeared in dozens of television and film roles throughout the 1990s before taking a break from acting for a few years.
In 1992's The Babe, Ms. McGillis plays a Ziegfeld Follies showgirl who becomes Babe Ruth's (played by John Goodman) second wife. She prepared for the role by reading Billie Burke's autobiography about her career with the Follies, "With a Feather on My Nose".
Since her graduation, McGillis has performed live theatre, including classics by Chekov, Shaw, Ibsen, Shakespeare and O’Neill. She has often appeared in starring roles with the Shakespeare Theatre Company of Washington, DC.
In 2004, she appeared in the stage play The Graduate as Mrs. Robinson, touring the United States. She began working in television again in 2006, then in 2007, she joined the cast of Showtime's The L Word for its fifth season. McGillis starred in a Pasadena Playhouse stage production of Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman in May 2009, co-starring with Julia Duffy.
She had a role in the 2010 vampire film Stake Land, directed by Jim Mickle. She stars alongside Nick Damici, Connor Paolo and Danielle Harris. McGillis was featured in a breast cancer docu-drama titled 1 a Minute, released in 2010.
She also appeared in a production of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune by Terrence McNally, which toured the United Kingdom in 2010. She starred in Ti West's 2011 thriller The Innkeepers.
In February 1982, McGillis and her live-in girlfriend were assaulted, verbally abused, and raped at knifepoint by two men who broke into their New York apartment. This experience encouraged the actress to pursue her film role as the lawyer who supports Jodie Foster's character in The Accused.
McGillis married Fred Tillman in 1989, and they have two daughters. The couple divorced in 2002.
McGillis came out as a lesbian in April 2009 during an interview with SheWired. McGillis said that coming to terms with her sexual orientation has been an ongoing process since age 12, and she was long convinced that God was punishing her for being homosexual with the aforementioned rape incident. In 2010, McGillis entered into a civil union with Melanie Leis, a Philadelphia-based sales executive; she and McGillis met in 2000 when Leis was a bartender at the "Kellys' Caribbean Bar Grill & Brewery" in Key West, Florida, which McGillis owned with her then-husband Fred Tillman. Leis and McGillis broke up in 2011.
McGillis worked full-time with drug addicts and alcoholics at Seabrook House Drug Alcohol Rehab Center, a rehabilitation center in Bridgeton, New Jersey, when she and Leis shared a home in Collingswood.
McGillis was reportedly assaulted by a stranger who broke into her North Carolina home on June 17, 2016. She said the attack, as well as others she has experienced in the past, has led her to decide to apply for a concealed carry gun permit to protect herself.
|1983||Reuben, Reuben||Geneva Spofford||Starring Tom Conti|
|1985||Witness||Rachel Lapp||Starring Harrison Ford, Lukas Haas, Alexander Godunov, Danny Glover, Patti LuPone, Viggo Mortensen
|1986||Top Gun||Charlotte Blackwood||Starring Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, Michael Ironside, John Stockwell (actor)
|1987||Made in Heaven||Annie Packert / Ally Chandler||Starring Timothy Hutton, Debra Winger
|1988||The House on Carroll Street||Emily||Starring Jeff Daniels|
|1988||The Accused||Kathryn Murphy||Starring Jodie Foster
|1989||Rabbit Ears: Thumbelina||Storyteller||Video short, starring Dennis Hopper|
|1989||Winter People||Collie Wright||Starring Kurt Russell|
|1989||Cat Chaser||Mary DeBoya||Starring Peter Weller|
|1991||Grand Isle||Edna Pontellier, and film producer||Starring Julian Sands, Ellen Burstyn|
|1992||The Babe||Claire Hodgson Ruth||Starring John Goodman|
|1994||North||Amish Mom||Starring Bruce Willis, Kathy Bates, Elijah Wood and Dan Aykroyd|
|1998||Painted Angels||Nettie||Starring Brenda Fricker, Meret Becker, Bronagh Gallagher|
|1998||Ground Control||Susan Stratton||Starring Kiefer Sutherland, Bruce McGill, Kristy Swanson, Robert Sean Leonard|
|1999||At First Sight||Jennie Adamson||Starring Val Kilmer, Mira Sorvino|
|1999||The Settlement||Ellie / Fake Barbara||Starring John C. Reilly, William Fichtner|
|2000||The Monkey's Mask||Prof. Diana Maitland||Starring Susie Porter, Abbie Cornish|
|2001||No One Can Hear You||Trish Burchall||Starring Kate Elliott|
|2001||Morgan's Ferry||Vonnie Carpenter||Starring Billy Zane|
|2007||Supergator||Kim Taft||Video, Starring Brad Johnson|
|2010||Stake Land||Sister||Starring Nick Damici, Connor Paolo, Michael Cerveris, Sean Nelson|
|2011||What Could Have Been||Margaret||Starring Matthew Harrison, Joely Collins|
|2011||The Innkeepers||Leanne Rease-Jones||Starring Sara Paxton, Pat Healy|
|2013||We Are What We Are||Marge||Starring Bill Sage, Julia Garner, Ambyr Childers|
|2013||Tio Papi||Elizabeth Warden||Starring Joey Dedio|
|2013||Grand Street||Isabelle||Starring Sophie Auster, Byrdie Bell|
|2015||Blue||Ms. Hutcherson||Starring Kenny Johnson|
|1984||Sweet Revenge||Katherine Dennison Breen||TV film, co-star Alec Baldwin|
|1984||One Life to Live||Glenda Livingston|
|1985||Live from the Lincoln Center||Host||Episode: "Juilliard at 80"|
|1985||Private Sessions||Jennifer Cles||TV film, co-starring Mike Farrell, Tom Bosley|
|1986||Santabear's First Christmas||Narrator (voice)||TV film|
|1987||Santabear's High Flying Adventure||Missy Bear (voice)||TV short, co-starring Bobby McFerrin, John Malkovich, and Dennis Hopper|
|1992||Perry Mason: The Case of the Fatal Framing||Mrs. Winston Hope||TV film|
|1993||Bonds of Love||Rose Parks||TV film, co-star Treat Williams|
|1994||In the Best of Families: Marriage, Pride & Madness||Susie Lynch||TV film, co-starring Harry Hamlin, Keith Carradine|
|1995||Dark Eyes||Mila McGann||Episode: "Pilot"|
|1995||Remember Me||Menly Nichols||TV film, co-starring Cotter Smith, Shanna Reed|
|1995||Out of Ireland||Narrator (voice)||PBS, co-starring Gabriel Byrne, Brenda Fricker, Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn|
|1996||We the Jury||Alyce Bell||TV film, co-star Lauren Hutton|
|1997||The Third Twin||Dr. Jean "Jeannie" Ferrami||TV film, co-star Jason Gedrick|
|1998||Storm Chasers: Revenge of the Twister||Jamie Marshall||TV film, co-starring Wolf Larson, Liz Torres|
|1998||Perfect Prey||Audrey Macleah||TV film, co-starring Bruce Dern, D.W. Moffett|
|2000||The Wild Thornberrys||Winema (voice)||Episode: "Pack of Thornberrys," co-starring Lacey Chabert, Tom Kane, Flea, Danielle Harris, Jodi Carlisle,Tim Curry|
|2000||The Outer Limits||Nicole Whitley||Episode: "Final Appeal"|
|2000||Buzz Lightyear of Star Command||Gorgeous Woman (voice)||Episode: "Planet of the Lost"|
|2006||Cold Shoulder||TV film, co-starring Cat Noel, Robert Patrick|
|2006||Black Widower||Nancy Westveld||TV film|
|2008||The L Word||Col. Gillian Davis||Episodes: "Lesbians Gone Wild", "Lay Down the Law," co-starring Jennifer Beals, Laurel Holloman, Mia Kirshner, Katherine Moennig, Leisha Hailey, Pam Grier, Daniela Sea, Marlee Matlin, Rose Rollins|
|2014||Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio||Bertha Troyler||TV film, co-starring Tom Everett Scott, Sarah Lancaster|
|2014||Z Nation||Helen||Episode: "Sisters of Mercy," co-starring Kellita Smith, DJ Qualls, Keith Allan, Anastasia Baranova, Michael Welch|
Awards and nominations
|1985||British Academy Film Awards||Best Actress in a Leading Role||Witness||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture||Witness||Nominated|
|1986||Bravo Otto||Best Actress||Top Gun||Gold|
|1987||Bravo Otto||Best Actress||Made in Heaven||Gold|
|Ciak d'oro||Best Actress||Made in Heaven||Won|
|1988||Bravo Otto||Best Actress||The Accused||Bronze|
- According to the State of California. California Birth Index, 1905-1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. At Ancestry.com
- "Kelly McGillis Biography (1957-)". filmreference.com.
- "Miss Snell Picks Date". Los Angeles Times. December 10, 1955.
- Stark, John (February 18, 1985). "Kelly McGillis Plays the Amish Love of Harrison Ford in Witness—and Kisses Waitressing Goodbye". People.
- McGillis, Kelly (November 14, 1988). "Memoir of a Brief Time in Hell". People.
- Cruz, Alicia (May 23, 2011). "'Top Gun' actress Kelly McGillis working for N.J. rehab, enjoying life". NewJerseyNewsRoom.com.
- Stotsky 2000, p. 262.
- Hasted, Nick (March 29, 2001). "Kelly McGillis: The star who threw herself to earth". The Independent. Archived from the original on October 24, 2011.
- Davis, Steven Paul (2001). The A-Z of Cult Films and Film-makers. Batsford. ISBN 978-0-7134-8704-6.
- Gerstel, Judy (April 26, 1992). "Kelly McGillis takes 'vacation' with 'The Babe'".
- Shana Honig Journalism Student, Syracuse University (2012-07-09). "What Does This 'Top Gun' Bombshell Look Like Now?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
- Greg Archer Author, Journalist (2014-05-29). "Kelly McGillis: 'I Have to Be True to Myself'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
- "McGillis, Duffy, Lee, Pierson Are Greedy Brood in Pasadena Little Foxes, Opening May 29 | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
- Kelly McGillis a Top Gun in Stake Land
- Massive Set Visit Report: A Trip to 'Stake Land'
- Badass Stake Land Teaser
- "Mcg - Indian Star Rallies Celebrity Support For Cancer Movie", Oct 2009
- "Kelly McGillis Net Worth".
- First Images from Ti West's The Innkeepers
- Mottram, James (February 21, 2014). "Kelly McGillis: 'I would cameo in Top Gun 2'". The Independent. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
McGillis moved to New York in 1979 to study acting at the prestigious Julliard [sic] drama school, the same year she married fellow student Boyd Black. It was short-lived, the couple divorcing in 1981
- Scott, Paul (October 2, 2010). "Revealed: How rape made Top Gun star Kelly McGillis walk away from Hollywood". Daily Mail. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
- Cable, Simon (May 1, 2009). "'I'm a lesbian,' declares Top Gun siren Kelly McGillis". Daily Mail. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
Her second husband was California millionaire Fred Tillian, by whom she has daughters (...). The couple split in 2002 after 13 years together.
- Jarchow, Boo (April 30, 2009). "Kelly McGillis Says She's Gay on SheWired's 'Girl Rock'". SheWired. Here Media.
- Broverman, Neal (April 30, 2009). "Top Gun Star Comes Out: Not Tom". The Advocate. Archived from the original on May 2, 2009.
- Schwartz, Paula (September 15, 2010). "Kelly McGillis, Melanie Leis". The New York Times.
- Nutt, Amy Ellis (April 18, 2011). "Kelly McGillis traded Hollywood for Collingswood - and a contented existence". The Star-Ledger. pp. 23, 25. Retrieved April 19, 2011.
- Doty, Meriah (February 9, 2013). "Kelly McGillis recalls 'Top Gun' love scene and 'a lot of partying' while filming". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
- Puente, Maria (June 24, 2016). "'Top Gun' actress Kelly McGillis attacked at her North Carolina home". USA Today.
- "Top Gun actress Kelly McGillis reveals she was gang-raped". Christian News Today. Retrieved 2016-06-27.
- Stotsky, Sandra (2000). What's at Stake in the K-12 Standards Wars. Peter Lang International Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-0-82044-490-1.