McGillis attended the Juilliard School's Drama Division, where she performed in William Congreve's Love for Love, directed by John Blatchley. She graduated in 1983 and began landing acting roles shortly thereafter. Her breakout role was that of an Amish mother in the movie Witness with Harrison Ford, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe award.
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 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 will next be featured in UniGlobe Entertainment's breast cancer docu-drama titled 1 a Minute scheduled for release in 2010. The docu-drama is being made by actress Namrata Singh Gujral and will feature Olivia Newton-John, Melissa Etheridge, Namrata Singh Gujral, Mumtaz and Jaclyn Smith, Diahann Carroll as well as William Baldwin, Daniel Baldwin and Priya Dutt. The film will also star Barbara Mori, Lisa Ray, Deepak Chopra and Morgan Brittany.
McGillis will also be appearing in a production of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune by Terrence McNally, touring the United Kingdom in 2010. She stars in the upcoming Ti West thriller film The Innkeepers.
McGillis was born in Newport Beach, California, the daughter of Joan (née Snell), a homemaker, and Donald McGillis, a general practitioner of medicine. She married Boyd Black in 1979, divorcing in 1981. She married Fred Tillman in 1989, and they had two daughters: Kelsey and Sonora. The couple divorced in 2002. She lives in Collingswood, New Jersey.
McGillis once owned Kelly's, a restaurant in Key West, Florida, that she and her ex-husband founded. Although the restaurant is still open, she says she is "no longer a part of that restaurant at all" since her second divorce, according to a 2006 TV interview on Good Day Sacramento.
McGillis came out as a lesbian in April 2009 during an interview with SheWired.com, an LGBT-oriented web site. She 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 gay. In 2010, Kelly McGillis entered into a civil union at a ceremony in Collingswood, New Jersey with Melanie Leis, a sales executive; she and McGillis met in 2000 when Ms. Leis was a bartender at a restaurant in Key West, Fla., that Ms. McGillis owned with her second husband, Fred Tillman.
- Reuben, Reuben (1983) .... Geneva Spofford
- Sweet Revenge (1984) (TV) .... Katherine Dennison Breen
- One Life to Live (1968) (TV series) .... Glenda Livingston #1 (1984)
- Witness (1985) .... Rachel Lapp
- Private Sessions (1985) (TV) .... Jennifer Coles
- Top Gun (1986) .... Charlotte 'Charlie' Blackwood
- Made in Heaven 1987) .... Annie Packert/Ally Chandler
- Ha-Holmim (1987) .... Anda
- The House on Carroll Street .... (1988) .... Emily
- Cat Chaser .... (1988) .... Mary DeBoya
- The Accused (1988) .... Kathryn Murphy
- Winter People (1989) .... Collie Wright
- The Babe (1992) .... Claire Hodgson Ruth
- North (1994) .... Amish Mom
- Storm Chasers: Revenge of the Twister (1998) .... Jamie Marshall
- Painted Angels (1998) .... Nettie
- At First Sight (1999) .... Jennie Adamson
- The Monkey's Mask (2000) .... Professor Diana Maitland
- Black Widower (2006) (TV) .... Nancy Westveld
- Supergator (2007) .... Kim Taft
- ↑ 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
- ↑ Hasted, Nick (2001) "Kelly McGillis: The star who threw herself to earth", The Independent, 29 March 2001
- ↑ Davis, Steven Paul (2001) The A-Z of Cult Films and Film-makers, Batsford, ISBN 978-0713487046
- ↑ McGillis at IMDB
- ↑ 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
- ↑ First Images from Ti West's The Innkeepers
- ↑ Kelly McGillis Biography (1957-)
- ↑ "Collingswood resident Kelly McGillis joined in civil union with girlfriend", www.nj.com, September 20, 2010.
- ↑ Sex Offender Apologizes for McGillis Rape.
- ↑ "Revealed: How rape made Top Gun star Kelly McGillis walk away from Hollywood" Paul Scott
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 SheWired.com: Kelly McGillis Says She's Gay on SheWired's 'Girl Rock'
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 The Advocate: Top Gun Star Comes Out: Not Tom
- ↑ http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/fashion/weddings/15MCGILLIS.html?_r=2 New York Times, "Kelly McGillis, Melanie Leis" by PAULA SCHWARTZ, September 15, 2010]
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