She began her career as a waitress and later held other jobs before landing a supporting role in the Academy Award-nominated Reuben, Reuben (1983). This resulted in numerous television roles as well as a key role alongside Harrison Ford.
Producers caught notice of her in Hollywood as a result of this box office triumph, which was directed by Peter Weir. Another of them was Jerry Bruckheimer.
In the wildly popular Top Gun (1986), he paired her with Tom Cruise as Charlie Blackwood, which significantly helped in its name recognition.
She performed as Mrs. Robinson during a national tour of The Graduate in 2004. Despite the fact that her drug and alcohol addiction forced a break in her career, she returned to television in 2006. Her most recent work is called Blue (2017), and she also makes an appearance in the Dirty John television series. She has also taught acting lessons at The New York Studio for Stage and Screen.
Her two daughters, Kelsey Lauren and Sonora Ashley were born from her marriage to rich ex-husband Fred Tillman. In order to be able to spend more time with her family and manage her own business—a restaurant in Florida—she worked more irregular hours in television and film. A Boy Called North (1994), The Babe (1992), Tragic Decision (1989), The Cat Hunter (1989), At First Sight (1999), and The Inner Circle (2000) are just a few of the made-for-TV movies she has worked on.
McGillis revealed the actual reason why the directors didn’t ask her back for Top Gun: Maverick in an interview. She said, “I am too old, I am fat, I look my age, and this is not what they are looking for in the movie,” in reference to the industry’s dependence on Hollywood standards of youth and beauty.
“I value being accepting of my age and feeling comfortable in my own flesh more than other things,” she said.
In another interview, she was questioned why they had stopped taking her into consideration for positions. She responded, “Being 65 years old and not prepared to go under the knife to have your face modified makes it harder.”
Jennifer Connelly, 51, will accompany Tom Cruise on the movie.
Kelly McGillis, 65, teaches theatre and works in a North Carolina clinic for women with addictions since she has firsthand knowledge of the negative consequences of drugs.
Her job downfall and emotional degeneration have coincided due to her failure in personal relationships. McGillis finally had the courage to publicly acknowledge her lesbianism following two divorces, considerable speculation about her true sexual status, and years of silence.
Due to this, McGillis decided to make a crucial life decision in 2010 by getting married to real estate executive Melanie Leis, whom she would later divorce. Surprisingly, Leis was a waitress at the Florida restaurant that McGillis and Tillman owned, thus the two had already met.
She asserted that she initially began to wonder about her sexuality when she was twelve years old.
McGillis experienced the bad effects of stardom. “I felt uneasy, dissatisfied, and had panic episodes.”