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 didn't 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 Night's 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 Monkey's 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.
|Melanie Leis||(15 September 2010 - present)|
|Fred Tillman||(1 January 1989 - 2002) (divorced) 2 children|
|Boyd Black||(14 April 1979 - 1981) (divorced)|
Owner of restaurant "Kelly's" 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 wasn't 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 she's 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. Child's father is her 2nd husband, Fred Tillman.
Gave birth to her 2nd child at age 35, a daughter Sonora Ashley on April 10, 1993. Child's father is her 2nd husband, Fred Tillman.
Love isn't intellectual - it's visceral.
I think it's 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 couldn't. 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 wasn't 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. There's a part of me that wants to be stoic and very strong. I had to realize that the attack wasn't 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 you're a victim of a violent crime -- when somebody has taken control over your life, if only for a moment -- I don't think you ever fully recover. - Speaking about her reactions to being raped.
(March 2004) Performing on stage as "Mrs. Robinson" in the national touring company of the play "The Graduate."
(November 2004) Currently working in The Graduate as Mrs. Robinson on Broadway.
(April 2010) Touring UK with the stage play "Frankie & Johnny in the Clair De Lune" with Rolf Saxon.
(September 2010) Collingswood, New Jersey
|You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.|
|With our Resume service you can add photos and build a complete resume to help you achieve the best possible presentation on the IMDb.|
Click here to add your resume and/or your photos to IMDb.