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Kelly McGillis Biography
- Kelly McGillis was born in Newport Beach, California, to Joan, a homemaker, and Donald McGillis, a general practitioner of medicine. She decided to drop out of high school to pursue a career as an actress and eventually attended Juilliard in Manhattan and Pacific Conservatory of Performing Art in Santa Monica, CA. She held a variety of jobs while pursuing her career, such as waitressing, and snagged a few stage roles before landing a supporting part in the Academy Award-nominated Reuben, Reuben (1983). This led to a lot of TV work and a lead role opposite Harrison Ford in the highly acclaimed thriller Witness (1985). This box office hit, directed by Peter Weir , got her noticed around Hollywood and producers took note of her. One of them was Jerry Bruckheimer, who cast her as Charlie Blackwood in the mega-hit Top Gun (1986) which became the highest-grossing film of the year and gave her some major name recognition. Ironically, that breakthrough role didnt help her career in terms of high-profile work. She played prosecutor Kathryn Murphy in The Accused (1988) with Jodie Foster who won an Academy Award for her role, but unfortunately for McGillis she was overlooked for any major nomination. Never interested in being box-office gold, she remained loyal to the theater, even after being established as a major star during the mid to late 1980s, taking such various stage roles in such William Shakespeare plays as "The Merchant of Venice", "Don Juan", "Twelfth Night", "The Merry Wives of Windsor", "Mourning Becomes Electra" and "A Midsummer Nights Dream". In 1994 she scored the title role in the Broadway production of "Hedda Gabler" but unfortunately it only played for 33 performances before closing. She had two daughters in the early 1990s, and worked more sporadically on TV and film so she could spend time with her family and owned her business, a restaurant in Florida. She worked on Winter People (1989), Cat Chaser (1989), The Babe (1992), North (1994), At First Sight (1999) and The Monkeys Mask (2000) as well as a string of made-for-TV films. She has completed a national stage tour of "The Graduate", playing the infamous Mrs. Robinson, and continues to act as she begins study on Addiction Studies and raising her children in Pennsylvania.
Kelly McGillis Filmography
- (2013) Grand Street as Isabelle
- (2013) Tio Papi as Elizabeth Warden
- (2013) We Are What We Are as Marge
- (2012) The Innkeepers: Behind the Scenes as Herself
- (2011) The Innkeepers as Leanne Rease-Jones
- (2011) What Could Have Been as Margaret
- (2010) 1 a Minute as Herself - Narrated by (voice)
- (2010) Stake Land as Sister
- (2007) Supergator as Kim Taft
- (2006) Black Widower as Nancy Westveld
- (2006) Cold Shoulder as
- (2005) Between Two Worlds: The Making of 'Witness' as Herself
- (2004) Retrosexual: The 80's as (archive footage)
- (2004) The L Word as Colonel Gillian Davis
- (2003) Journey to Planet Earth as Narrator
- (2002) Gylne tider as Herself / Charlie Blackwood (also archive footage)
- (2001) Morgan's Ferry as Vonnie Carpenter
- (2001) No One Can Hear You as Trish Burchall
- (2000) Breakfast as Herself - Actress
- (2000) Buzz Lightyear of Star Command as Gorgeous Woman (voice)
- (2000) The Monkey's Mask as Professor Diana Maitland
- (1999) At First Sight as Jennie Adamson
- (1999) The Settlement as Fake Barbara/Ellie
- (1999) VH-1 Behind the Movie as Herself
- (1998) Donny & Marie as Herself
- (1998) Ground Control as Susan Stratton
- (1998) Kate Chopin: A Re-Awakening as Narrator
- (1998) Painted Angels as Nettie
- (1998) Perfect Prey as Audrey Macleah
- (1998) Storm Chasers: Revenge of the Twister as Jamie Marshall
- (1998) The Wild Thornberrys as Winema (voice)
- (1997) The Third Twin as Dr. Jean 'Jeannie' Ferrami
- (1996) The Rosie O'Donnell Show as Herself
- (1996) We the Jury as Alyce Bell
- (1995) Dark Eyes as Mila McGann
- (1995) Out of Ireland as Narrator (voice)
- (1995) Remember Me as Menly Nichols
- (1995) The Outer Limits as Nicole Whitley
- (1994) In the Best of Families: Marriage, Pride & Madness as Susie Lynch
- (1994) North as Amish Mom
- (1993) Bonds of Love as Rose Parks
- (1993) Canceled Lives: Letters from the Inside as Herself (voice)
- (1992) Perry Mason: The Case of the Fatal Framing as Mrs. Winston Hope (uncredited)
- (1992) The Babe as Claire Hodgson Ruth
- (1991) Grand Isle as Edna Pontellier
- (1989) Cat Chaser as Mary DeBoya
- (1989) Rabbit Ears: Thumbelina as Storyteller
- (1989) The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts as Herself
- (1989) Winter People as Collie Wright
- (1988) The Accused as Kathryn Murphy
- (1988) The House on Carroll Street as Emily
- (1987) Biography as Herself
- (1987) Ha-Holmim as Anda
- (1987) Made in Heaven as Annie Packert/Ally Chandler
- (1987) Santabear's High Flying Adventure as Missy Bear (voice)
- (1987) The 59th Annual Academy Awards as Charlie (archive footage) (uncredited)
- (1986) Santabear's First Christmas as Narrator (voice)
- (1986) The 43rd Annual Golden Globe Awards as Herself - Nominee: Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
- (1986) The 58th Annual Academy Awards as Rachel Lapp (archive footage) (uncredited)
- (1986) Top Gun as Charlie
- (1985) Drôle de festival as Elle-même
- (1985) Private Sessions as Jennifer Coles
- (1985) Witness as Rachel
- (1984) Sweet Revenge as Katherine Dennison Breen
- (1983) Reuben, Reuben as Geneva Spofford
- (1976) Live from Lincoln Center as Host
- (1968) One Life to Live as Glenda Livingston #1 (1984)
Kelly McGillis Trivia and Facts
- Owner of restaurant "Kellys" in Key West, Florida.
- Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1984" in John Willis Screen World, Vol. 36.
- Wanted to play the role of "Kathryn Murphy", the district attorney in The Accused (1988) , because she and her roommate were assaulted and raped by two men in their apartment in 1982.
- Claimed that she was a lonely, overweight adolescent.
- Studied at Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts and Julliard.
- Daughter of Joan, a homemaker, and Donald, a general practitioner of medicine.
- Sisters: Karen (b. July 1959) and Kathleen (b. August 1961).
- Was fired from the film Bachelor Party (1984) allegedly because the producers thought she wasnt pretty or sexy enough.
- Kelly McGillis actually had to return to employment waiting tables after having been a prominent character in an Oscar nominated film (her first movie, Reuben Reuben).
- Auditioned for the role of Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct (1992).
- In April, 2009 Kelly McGillis confirmed long-held rumors that shes a lesbian, according to an interview on the website shewired.
- Is also a professional counselor, primarily concerning substance abuse.
- The New York Times reported that on September 15, 2010, Kelly McGillis and Melanie Leis had a civil union performed in Collingswood, New Jersey, by Judge Robert T. Zane III. Melanie Leis is a sales executive.
- Met wife Melanie Leis in 2000, while McGillis was still married to her second husband Fred Tillman.
- Gave birth to her 1st child at age 32, a daughter Kelsey Lauren Tillman on May 24, 1990. Childs father is her 2nd husband, Fred Tillman.
- Gave birth to her 2nd child at age 35, a daughter Sonora Ashley on April 10, 1993. Childs father is her 2nd husband, Fred Tillman.
Kelly McGillis Quotes
- Love isnt intellectual - its visceral.
- I think its sad that movies and television have caused the theatre to fade as a popular art form. I hope to get young people into the theatre and expose them to Shakespeare.
- For a long time I thought I could deal with my anger and hostility on my own. But I couldnt. I denied that it had affected me, and yet I was so frantic on the inside with other people: I needed to be constantly reassured. It wasnt until I started seeing myself self-destructing that I realized I needed help. To realize how angry I was and to ask for help -- those were the stepping stones. Theres a part of me that wants to be stoic and very strong. I had to realize that the attack wasnt directed at me, as Kelly. It was random. I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. That was the first step toward getting rid of all those hostile feelings I had about it. Still, when youre a victim of a violent crime -- when somebody has taken control over your life, if only for a moment -- I dont think you ever fully recover. - Speaking about her reactions to being raped.
Kelly McGillis Photoshoots
- "Celebrity Sleuth" (USA), 2009, Iss. 61, pg. 4-7, by: n/a, "Just Out: Kelly McGillis"
- "High Society" (USA), February 1999, Vol. 24, Iss. 2, pg. 31, by: staff, "Celebrity Exclusive: "At First Sight""
- "Celebrity Sleuth" (USA), 1995, Vol. 8, Iss. 2, pg. 88-89, by: staff, "The Write Stuff: Kelly McGillis"
- "Celebrity Sleuth" (USA), 1991, Vol. 5, Iss. 1, pg. 58-59, by: staff, "Not To Be Myth'd: Kelly McGillis"
- "Celebrity Sleuth" (USA), 1988, Vol. 2, Iss. 2, pg. 30-33, by: staff, "Top Gun's Kelly McGillis"
- "Playboy" (USA), December 1986, Vol. 33, Iss. 12, pg. 162, by: Jim Harwood, "Sex Stars Of 1986"
Kelly McGillis Other Works
- Theatre: includes Don Juan (1982), The Sea Gull (1985), Peccadillo (1985), The Merchant Of Venice (1988), Twelth 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.
- Appeared in production of John Webber's play "The Duchess of Malfi" at
- the Shakespeare Theatre, Washington, DC. (2002)