After playing Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in "Top Gun," Tom Cruise's career skyrocketed, but things were utterly different for Kelly McGillis, Mitchell's love interest in the film.
"Top Gun" hit theaters in 1986 and catapulted Tom Cruise into stardom. The sequel, "Top Gun: Maverick," will premiere on May 27, 2022, with Cruise coming back as Maverick.
However, Kelly McGillis' character, Charlie, is not returning. Director Joseph Kosinski said he didn't want every storyline in the sequel to be focused on the past. What has McGillis been up to?
Kelly McGillis on May 15, 1985, in London, UK | Source: Getty Images
WHAT HAPPENED TO KELLY MCGILLIS AFTER "TOP GUN"?
The original "Top Gun" film made such a splash in Hollywood that most people believed it would make a star out of Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. The former became one of the most successful actors in American history, and the latter disappeared.
McGillis kept herself busy during the 1990s, but she reduced her workload in the 2000s. She stayed away from the spotlight and moved to North Carolina to focus on raising her two daughters, Sonora and Kelsey.
Kelly McGillis filming "Top Gun" in 1986 | Source: Getty Images
Leaving Hollywood was part of her journey to get sober and learn who she was. McGillis admitted that her acting career made it hard to have a sense of self-identity and self-worth.
After a while, acting stopped being a priority, but it didn't happen overnight. McGillis slowly noticed that other things in her life became more important, including raising her daughters and being a sober parent.
McGillis still loves acting – she has worked in theaters and appeared in 2017's "An Uncommon Grace" and 2018's "Maternal Secrets." Still, her relationship with herself and others is more important than her career.
About "Top Gun," McGillis said she had not kept in touch with anybody from the original film and was glad that Jennifer Connelly joined the sequel's star-studded cast.
It is essential to point out that Kelly McGillis was diagnosed with alpha one antitrypsin disorder in 2014, a condition that increments her risk for lung and liver disease.
Such a horrific experience left Kelly McGillis scared and depressed.
Kelly McGillis on September 17, 2010 in Toronto, Canada | Source: Getty Images
WHO WAS KELLY MCGILLIS MARRIED TO?
McGillis' love life has also been challenging. After her parents kicked her out of their home at 17, she was determined to win their love back and thought that getting married would help, so she and Boyd Black tied the knot in 1979.
Their marriage ended in 1981 because of their busy schedules as Juilliard students. In 1989, Kelly McGillis and Fred Tillman married and had two daughters.
Kelly McGillis on January 19, 2013 in Park City, Utah | Source: Getty Images
After their youngest daughter was born, Tillman was arrested for solicitation of prostitution. Tillman and McGillis divorced in 2002.
Kelly McGillis embraced her sexuality when she left Tillman and began dating Melanie Leis, the bartender of her Florida bar. McGillis and Leis married in 2010 and parted ways the following year.
Kelly McGillis on January 18, 2013 in Park City, Utah | Source: Getty Images
THE INCIDENT THAT CHANGED KELLY MCGILLIS' LIFE
Failed marriages and addiction were not the only challenges in McGillis' life. In 1982, two men broke into her New York apartment and sexually assaulted her.
The criminals left the scene after the police arrived, and they were arrested within a month of the incident. One of them was 15 years old and spent just over three years in jail, while the other was 20 and got all charges dropped.
Such a horrific experience left Kelly McGillis scared and depressed. She gained 30 pounds and used alcohol to cope, which led to her addiction. By the late 2000s, she had already found peace in being a sober mother of two.
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