Kelly McGillis Biography, Height, Weight, Career, Networth, And More

Kelly McGillis is an American actress who is well known for her role as Charlie in the movie Top Gun with Tom Cruise. At the beginning of her career, she was famous for her stunning figure, but the actress’s appearance has changed quite a bit over time.

Her weight gain adversely affected her acting career, and she no longer resembles the glamorous screen beauty she used to be in the 80s. Despite all these things, her quick body transformation made headlines and left people curious about Kelly McGillis’s weight loss workout routine and diet plan.

Kelly McGills Weight Loss Journey, Career,Personal Life & More

In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about your favorite actress, including her diet plan, workout routine, career, and more.

Quick Facts

Full Name Kelly Ann McGillis
Known as  Kelly McGillis 
Date of Birth July 9, 1957
Age As of 2023 66 Years 
Zodiac Sign Cancer
Religion  Not known 
Birth Place  Newport Beach, California, United States
Nationality  American 
Ethnicity  Mixed
School/High School The Juilliard School/Newport Harbor High School
College  Allan Hancock Colege
Educational Qualification Bachelor of Fine Arts(BFA)
Material Status Divorced
Spouses  Body Black ( Married 1979, Divorced 1981)

Fred Tilman 1989, Divorced 2002)

Partner (Melanie Leis 2010-2011)
Children Sonora Tilman, Kelsery Tilman
Height  5 Feet 10 Inches
Weight  64 Kg
Hair Color  Turning White 
Eye Color Blue
Profession  Actress
Networth  $6 Million
Famous For Witness movie 
Year Active  1979-present
Notable work Filmography 

Kelly Mcgillis Family

Kelly McGillis was born on July 9, 1957, in Newport Beach, California, where she grew up with her parents. Her mother, Virginia Joan, was a homemaker, and her father, Donald Manson McGillis, was a physician. She has mixed ethnicity because her paternal ancestry is Scots-Irish, and her maternal ancestry is German.

Kelly McGills Weight Loss Journey, Career,Personal Life & More

Kelly has two younger sisters named Karen McGillis and Kathleen McGillis. However, there is no information available about their professional lives.

She revealed many times about her supportive family and the close bond she shares with her sisters, and how they have supported her throughout her career and personal life. She considers her family, especially her sister, the real power behind her successful career.

Early Life & Education

Kelly spent her childhood with her family, and being an elder daughter, she fulfihlls all her responsibilities with great love and care. Since childhood, she has been a hard worker, responsible and sharp-minded.

She attended Newport Harbor High School, where she was involved in various school activities, including drama. After high school, Kelly enrolled in the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California, to pursue her passion for acting. She later moved to New York City to study at the prestigious Juilliard School, where she graduated in 1983 with a degree in acting.

Kelly’s early years are marked by personal struggles, including issues with her weight and health. However, her talent and determination helped her overcome these obstacles and succeed in her career.


Kelly McGillis has made an indelible mark in the entertainment world through her exceptional talent and heart-winning performances. With a decades-long career, McGillis has gained praise for her versatility and dedication in the field of acting.

From her first moments on screen in “Reuben, Reuben,” it was evident that McGillis possessed a natural aptitude for acting. Her breakthrough role as an Amish mother in the critically acclaimed film “Witness” turned her life into the spotlight. Audiences were captivated by her ability to convey genuine emotions with conviction and depth.

Kelly McGills Weight Loss Journey, Career, Personal Life & More

One of McGillis’ most iconic performances came in the 1986 blockbuster “Top Gun,” where she portrayed the fiercely independent flight instructor Charlotte Blackwood, also known as “Charlie.” Her on-screen chemistry with co-star Tom Cruise was admirable. The audience still loves her performance of Top Gun, in which she portrays a strong and intelligent woman.

Throughout her career, she fearlessly took on diverse roles, exploring various genres and characters. From romantic dramas like “Made in Heaven” to intense thrillers like “The House on Carroll Street” and “The Accused,” she showcased her remarkable ability to immerse herself in the essence of each character, bringing them to life with her unique and natural acting skills.

McGillis’ commitment and dedication to her acting profession extended beyond the silver screen. She graced both off-Broadway and Broadway stages. She captivated audiences with her performances in plays such as “Hedda Gabler,” “Mourning Becomes Electra,” and “The Merchant of Venice.” Her stage presence and command of the dramatic arts set her reputation as a formidable talent in live performances.

Despite personal challenges and a temporary break from acting, McGillis’s passion for her artistry never waned. Her return to film and television in the 2000s showcased her long-lasting talent as she continued to deliver powerful and memorable performances in projects like “The Innkeepers,” “Stake Land,” and “The L Word.”

Kelly McGillis remains an influential figure in the industry, as she left an unforgetful impact on the entertainment world. She has enjoyed a diverse and successful career in film, television, and stage. Her dedication, versatility, and hard work have made her a true icon.

Through her exceptional acting prowess, she has touched the hearts of audiences and inspired aspiring actors and actresses worldwide.

Awards & Achievements 

Throughout her illustrious career, Kelly has garnered numerous awards and has received recognition and accolades for her outstanding performances. Here are list of Kelly McGills notable awards and achievements:

  • Golden Globe Awards:

McGillis received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture  Drama for her breakthrough role in “Witness” (1985).

  • BAFTA Awards

She earned a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in i “Witness” (1985).

  • Saturn Awards:

McGillis was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Actress for her role in the blockbuster film “Top Gun” (1986).

  • Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards:

She won the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in “The Accused” (1988).

  • Theatre World Awards:

McGillis received a Theatre World Award for her role in the play “The Sea Gull” (1985).

  • Shakespeare Theatre Will Award:

In 2009, she was honored with the Shakespeare Theatre Will Award for her contributions to classical theater.

  • Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame:

In recognition of her achievements in the entertainment industry, she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010.

Kelly McGills Weight Loss Journey, Career, Personal Life & More

These awards and acknowledgments are evidence of  Kelly McGillis’ talent, versatility, and contribution to the acting world.

Personal Life

In her personal life, Kelly McGillis has experienced significant turning points that have shaped her journey as both an individual and a public figure. She has been married and divorced twice. Her first marriage was to Boyd Black, whom she married in 1979 during their time at Juilliard. Unfortunately, due to some personal reasons, their marriage ended in divorce in 1981.

Later on, McGillis married Fred Tillman in 1989. They had two daughters together, and the marriage ended in divorce in 2002. Tragically, in April 1996, a schooner owned by McGillis and Tillman, called “The Centurion,” was destroyed by fire at a marina in Dania, Florida. The fire originated from a neighboring boat and spread to their schooner. At that time the estimated lost was $1.5 million.

After getting her second divorce, she decided to leave Hollywood and moved to rural Pennsylvania to raise her girls as a single parent. Later in 2008, she made her comeback to the entertainment industry.

When she came back, she acted as a lesbian for a TV drama, “The L Word.” After doing this project, she publicly came out as a lesbian, sharing her sexual orientation with the world.

In an interview with, she clearly claimed that she is no more interested in marriage anymore she said by explaining. 

Kelly McGills Weight Loss Journey, Career, Personal Life & More

“I’m done with man things”;

She further explained that as her children have grown up and become more independent, she no longer feels the need to take care of them as a parent. So, she may have more time and freedom to pursue other interests or activities that she enjoys.

The following year, she entered into a civil union with Melanie Leis, a Philadelphia sales executive.After meeting with him they fell in love with each other. They first met in 2000 when Leis worked as a bartender at the Caribbean Bar Grill & Brewery in Key West, Florida. It is worth noting that the bar was co-owned by McGillis and her then-husband. Unfortunately, their civil union was dissolved in the subsequent year.

While living in Collingswood, New Jersey, Kelly  worked as a full-time staff member at the Seabrook House Drug Alcohol Rehab Center. She dedicated her efforts to helping individuals struggling with drug addiction and alcoholism. 

Still,  Kelly is living her life to the fullest. However, she is getting old now, and being a granny; she balances her personal life and acting career admirably. Now she is teaching acting at the New York Studio for Stage and Screen (NYS3) located in Asheville, North Carolina.


Kelly McGillis’s weight loss journey has inspired many struggling with weight gain. Overcoming body acceptance issues and the pressure of Hollywood standards, Kelly embarked on a significant transformation. Her success is proof of the fact that age is just a number.


Through a combination of balanced and nutritious meals, high protein intake, and regular exercise Kelly achieved her desired results. Her dedication and positive mindset have not only transformed her physique but also boosted her confidence and overall well-being. In short, her weight loss journey is a shining example of determination and the power of self-care.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the networth of Kelly McGills?

As of 2023, Kelly McGillis has maintained a net worth of $6 million. Her collected wealth primarily comes from her successful career in acting, including film, TV appearances, and stage performances.

Why was Kelly McGills not asked to return to Top Gun 2?

Kelly McGillis was not asked to return to Top Gun 2. In a 2019 interview, Kelly revealed that her age and appearance affected her presence in Top Gun 2. She stated:

"I'm old, and I'm fat, and I look age-appropriate for what my age is, and that is not what that whole scene is about."

What is the current relationship status of Kelly McGills?

As of 2023, the relationship status of Kelly McGills is single. However, she is getting old now, but still, she is an evergreen personality and living her life fullest. Being single, she is beautifully enjoying her independence.

How many children does Kelly McGills have?

Kelly McGillis has two daughters. Her first daughter, Kelsey Tilman, was born in 1990, while her second daughter, Sonora Tilman, was born in 1994.

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