Kelly McGillis

Kelly McGillis

Birth name: Kelly Ann McGillis
Born: July 9, 1957
Age: 67
Birthplace: Newport Beach, California, U.S.
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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.



Kelly 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 general practitioner of medicine.

McGillis was raised in Los Angeles, and attended the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Santa Maria, California. After graduating high school in 1979, 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, 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".

The featured actor has always, however, had a love of the stage, which was nurtured by her years at Juilliard. Since her graduation, McGillis has found time on a regular basis to perform live theatre - classics by Chekov, Shaw, Ibsen, Shakespeare and O’Neill. She has often appeared in starring roles with the prestigious Shakespeare Theatre 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 Innkeepers.

Personal life

McGillis married Boyd Black in 1979. They divorced in 1981.

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. One of the rapists was 15-year-old Leroy Johnson, who was on the run from juvenile detention. This experience encouraged the actress to pursue her film role as the lawyer who supports Jodie Foster's character in The Accused.

She married Fred Tillman in 1989, and they have two daughters: Kelsey and Sonora. The couple divorced in 2002. She also has four grandchildren.

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 currently lives in Hendersonville, North Carolina. She teaches acting at The New York Studio for Stage and Screen: NYS3 in Asheville, North Carolina.



Year Title Role Notes
1983 Reuben, Reuben Geneva Spofford
1985 Witness Rachel
1986 Top Gun Charlotte Blackwood
1987 Unsettled Land Anda
1987 Made in Heaven Annie Packert / Ally Chandler
1988 House on Carroll Street, TheThe House on Carroll Street Emily
1988 Accused, TheThe Accused Kathryn Murphy
1989 Rabbit Ears: Thumbelina Storyteller Video short
1989 Winter People Collie Wright
1989 Cat Chaser Mary DeBoya
1991 Grand Isle Edna Pontellier
1992 Babe, TheThe Babe Claire Hodgson Ruth
1994 North Amish Mom
1998 Painted Angels Nettie
1998 Ground Control Susan Stratton
1999 At First Sight Jennie Adamson
1999 Settlement, TheThe Settlement Ellie / Fake Barbara
2000 Monkey's Mask, TheThe Monkey's Mask Prof. Diana Maitland
2001 No One Can Hear You Trish Burchall
2001 Morgan's Ferry Vonnie Carpenter
2007 Supergator Kim Taft Video
2010 Stake Land Sister
2011 What Could Have Been Margaret
2011 Innkeepers, TheThe Innkeepers Leanne Rease-Jones
2013 We Are What We Are Marge
2013 Tio Papi Elizabeth Warden
2013 Grand Street Isabelle Post-production
2015 Blue Ms. Hutcherson


Year Title Role Notes
1984 Sweet Revenge Katherine Dennison Breen TV film
1984 One Life to Live Glenda Livingston TV series
1985 Live from the Lincoln Center Host Episode: "Juilliard at 80"
1985 Private Sessions Jennifer Clles TV film
1986 Santabear's First Christmas Narrator (voice) TV film
1987 Santabear's High Flying Adventure Missy Bear (voice) TV short
1992 Perry Mason: The Case of the Fatal Framing Mrs. Winston Hope TV film
1993 Bonds of Love Rose Parks TV film
1994 In the Best of Families: Marriage, Pride & Madness Susie Lynch TV film
1995 Dark Eyes Mila McGann Episode: "Pilot"
1995 Remember Me Menly Nichols TV film
1996 We the Jury Alyce Bell TV film
1997 Third Twin, TheThe Third Twin Dr. Jean "Jeannie" Ferrami TV film
1998 Storm Chasers: Revenge of the Twister Jamie Marshall TV film
1998 Perfect Prey Audrey Macleah TV film
2000 Wild Thornberrys, TheThe Wild Thornberrys Winema (voice) Episode: "Pack of Thornberrys"
2000 Outer Limits, TheThe 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
2006 Black Widower Nancy Westveld TV film
2008 L Word, TheThe L Word Col. Gillian Davis Episodes: "Lesbians Gone Wild", "Lay Down the Law"
2014 Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio Bertha Troyler TV film
2014 Z Nation Helen Episode: "Sisters of Mercy"

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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