Kelly Ann McGillis (born July 9, 1957) is an American actress widely known for her film role as Rachel Lapp in Witness (1985) with Harrison Ford, for which she received Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations; her role as Charlie in Top Gun (1986) with Tom Cruise, and her role as Kathryn Murphy in The Accused (1988) with Jodie Foster.
McGillis at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival
Kelly Ann McGillis
July 9, 1957
|Residence||Hendersonville, North Carolina|
|Education||Allan Hancock College|
Juilliard School (BFA)
(m. 1979; div. 1981)
(m. 1989; div. 2002)
|Partner(s)||Melanie Leis (2010–2011) civil union, annulled|
McGillis was born July 9, 1957, in Newport Beach, California, the daughter of Virginia Joan (née Snell), a homemaker, and Dr. Donald Manson McGillis, a doctor. McGillis is of Scots-Irish descent from her father's side, and German from her mother, and Welsh also. She attended Newport Harbor High School.
McGillis was raised in Los Angeles, and attended the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts at Allan Hancock College 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, Group 12.
After making her film debut in Reuben, Reuben in 1983, McGillis' 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 Charlotte Blackwood (call sign "Charlie") in the 1986 fighter-pilot film Top Gun with Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer.
McGillis played the part of caretaker for Miss Venable (Jessica Tandy) in 1988's The House on Carroll Street, which also starred Jeff Daniels. She overhears a suspicious conversation in the house next door and suspects that she's stumbled on a conspiracy to smuggle Nazi war criminals into the United States.
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.
McGillis played the part of Babe Ruth's second wife, Claire Merritt Ruth, in The Babe (1992). From the late 1980s to the mid 1990s, McGillis appeared in Winter People (1989), and North (1994), her 2nd Amish part in television or film, as well as several made-for-TV films.
She played the suspect in the disappearance of a young woman starring Susie Porter in The Monkey's Mask, an international lesbian cult film from 2000. The film is based on the verse novel of the same name by Australian poet Dorothy Porter.
She also starred in television movies with Alec Baldwin in 1984's Sweet Revenge, which was re-titled at some point.
While at Juilliard she performed in William Congreve's Love for Love, directed by John Bletchley. She appeared in a couple of off-broadway and Broadway theater productions during the 1980s in New York City.
During the late 1980s and through the mid 2000s, McGillis was a featured actress at the prestigious Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington DC. Appeared in production of John Webber's play "The Duchess of Malfi" at the Shakespeare Theatre, Washington, DC. (2002)
In 2004, she appeared in the stage play The Graduate as Mrs. Robinson, touring the United States. McGillis starred in a Pasadena Playhouse stage production of The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman in May 2009, co-starring with Julia Duffy.
Her stage work includes: Don Juan (1982), The Sea Gull (1985), Peccadillo (1985), The Merchant Of Venice (1988), Twelfth Night (1989), Mary Stuart (1990), The Merry Wives of Windsor (1990), Hedda Gabler (1994), Mourning Becomes Electra (1997), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999), Measure for Measure (1999) and The Graduate (2004). Additional roles in Love for Love, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Three Sisters and The Winter's Tale.
Return to film and TVEdit
- 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.
- 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 starred in Ti West's 2011 thriller The Innkeepers.
- We Are What We Are and Tio Papi in 2013
- Grand Street in 2014
- Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio in 2014, TV, (McGillis' 3rd Amish themed film)
- Z Nation in 2014, Sisters of Mercy, Season 1, Episode 11
- Blue in 2015
- An Uncommon Grace, on Hallmark Channel, (McGillis' 4th Amish themed film)
- Lead role in Mother of All Secrets in 2017 as Rose Lewis
In 1982, McGillis was raped by two African American men in her New York apartment. The pair took turns to assault and stab her, as well as spit on her. Leroy Johnson, who was 15 years old at the time, was sentenced to three years in prison. The other man had all charges dropped through lack of corroborative evidence.
McGillis came out as a lesbian in April 2009 during an interview with SheWired. In 2010, McGillis entered into a civil union with Melanie Leis, a Philadelphia sales executive; she and McGillis met in 2000 when Leis was a bartender at Kelly's Caribbean Bar Grill & Brewery in Key West, Florida, which McGillis owned with her then-husband Fred Tillman. They sold the restaurant in June 2017. 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.
June 2016 home invasionEdit
McGillis was left scratched and bruised after being reportedly assaulted by a woman 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, led her to apply for a concealed carry gun permit to protect herself. Following the incident, a 38-year-old woman, Laurence Marie Dorn, was charged with second-degree burglary, misdemeanor larceny, misdemeanor stalking, assault and battery, and interfering with emergency communication. Dorn was later convicted of misdemeanor breaking and entering.
Awards and nominationsEdit
|1986||Golden Globe||Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture||Witness||Nominated|
|1986||BAFTA Award||Best Actress||Witness||Nominated|
|1986||Bravo Otto||Best Actress||Top Gun||Won|
|1987||Bravo Otto||Best Actress||Made in Heaven||Won|
|1987||Golden Ciak||Best Actress||Made in Heaven||Won|
|1988||Bravo Otto||Best Actress||The Accused||Bronze|
- "Cover Story: Memoir of a Brief Time in Hell – Vol. 30 No. 20". PEOPLE.com. November 14, 1988. Archived from the original on September 6, 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
- "Kelly McGillis Biography (1957-)". filmreference.com. Archived from the original on May 14, 2008. Retrieved January 27, 2008.
- "Miss Snell Picks Date". Los Angeles Times. December 10, 1955. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
- Kelly McGillis 'Out Of Ireland' - PBS
- Stark, John (February 18, 1985). "Kelly McGillis Plays the Amish Love of Harrison Ford in Witness—and Kisses Waitressing Goodbye". People. Archived from the original on November 20, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- McGillis, Kelly (November 14, 1988). "Memoir of a Brief Time in Hell". People. Archived from the original on April 23, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
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- Stotsky 2000, p. 262.
- Rich, Frank; Times, Special to The New York (October 4, 1989). "Review/Theater; Kelly McGillis Stars In 'Twelfth Night'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on October 23, 2017. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- "Patrick Page and Kelly McGillis Are Mr. and Mrs. Macbeth at DC's Shakespeare Theatre Aug. 31 | Playbill". Playbill. Archived from the original on October 23, 2017. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- Shana Honig Journalism Student, Syracuse University (July 9, 2012). "What Does This 'Top Gun' Bombshell Look Like Now?". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on July 1, 2016. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
- "McGillis, Duffy, Lee, Pierson Are Greedy Brood in Pasadena Little Foxes, Opening May 29". Playbill. Archived from the original on August 20, 2016. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
- "Kelly McGillis Net Worth". Archived from the original on August 23, 2016.
- Greg Archer Author, Journalist (May 29, 2014). "Kelly McGillis: 'I Have to Be True to Myself'". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on September 11, 2016. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
- "Kelly McGillis a Top Gun in Stake Land". Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
- "Massive Set Visit Report: A Trip to 'Stake Land' - Bloody Disgusting!". April 14, 2010. Archived from the original on April 17, 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2010.
- "IFC Infected by Cronenberg's Antiviral - Dread Central". June 6, 2012. Archived from the original on November 8, 2009. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
- "Indian Star Rallies Celebrity Support For Cancer Movie". October 8, 2009. Archived from the original on October 30, 2009. Retrieved November 25, 2009.
- "Awaken to Another American Horror Story: Asylum Promo Teaser - Dread Central". September 14, 2012. Archived from the original on May 14, 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
- "An Uncommon Grace | Hallmark Movies and Mysteries". Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. Archived from the original on June 7, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
- "McGillis in Mother Of All Secrets". royalgazette.com. Archived from the original on May 26, 2017. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
- Mitchell, Robert (May 12, 2017). "Cannes: 'Top Gun' Star Kelly McGillis to Play Midwest Crime Queen in 'Annie Cook' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on May 17, 2017. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- "Mother Of All Secrets Trailer". Archived from the original on June 2, 2017. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
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- Mottram, James (February 21, 2014). "Kelly McGillis: 'I would cameo in Top Gun 2'". The Independent. Archived from the original on July 27, 2016. 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
- "McGillis leaves Hollywood for Key West". DeseretNews.com. May 4, 1993. Archived from the original on September 22, 2017. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- "How Top Gun Star Kelly McGillis Survived Sexual Assaults and Emotional Struggles to Live a 'Quiet, Normal Life'". PEOPLE.com.
- Wolf, Mr (October 12, 2011). "Violent Crimes: Black On White & White On Black: Black Children Who Rape & Murder - White Victims".
- Jarchow, Boo (April 30, 2009). "Kelly McGillis Says She's Gay on SheWired's 'Girl Rock'". SheWired. Here Media. Archived from the original on May 1, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2009.
- Broverman, Neal (April 30, 2009). "Top Gun Star Comes Out: Not Tom". The Advocate. Archived from the original on May 2, 2009.
- "Pan Am's First Office". Atlas Obscura. Archived from the original on July 10, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
- "Kelly's Caribbean Bar, Grill and Brewery (Key West, FL): Top Tips Before You Go - TripAdvisor". www.tripadvisor.com. Archived from the original on October 6, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- Schwartz, Paula (September 15, 2010). "Kelly McGillis, Melanie Leis". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 6, 2017. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
- Nutt, Amy Ellis (April 18, 2011). "Kelly McGillis traded Hollywood for Collingswood - and a contented existence". The Star-Ledger. pp. 23, 25. Archived from the original on May 21, 2011. 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. Archived from the original on October 9, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
- Puente, Maria (June 24, 2016). "'Top Gun' actress Kelly McGillis attacked at her North Carolina home". USA Today. Archived from the original on June 21, 2018. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
- LaVorgna, Brandon (May 17, 2017). "Jury convicts woman for breaking into Top Gun actress's home". Fox Carolina. Archived from the original on June 20, 2018. Retrieved September 29, 2018.