How Old Was Kelly McGillis in the First Top Gun?

Kelly McGillis, an American actress, became an international star with her role as Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood in the 1986 blockbuster film, Top Gun. The movie, directed by Tony Scott and starring Tom Cruise, was a major success and remains a classic today. While many fans know McGillis for her performance in Top Gun, few know her age during the filming of the movie. In this article, we’ll explore how old Kelly McGillis was when she starred in the first Top Gun film.

Who is Kelly McGillis?

Before we dive into McGillis’s age during the filming of Top Gun, let’s first take a brief look at her background. Kelly McGillis was born on July 9, 1957, in Newport Beach, California. She attended Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Santa Maria, California, and later Juilliard School in New York City.

McGillis began her acting career on stage and made her film debut in 1983’s Reuben, Reuben. She quickly rose to fame with her role in Top Gun and went on to star in several other movies and TV shows, including Witness, The Accused, and Frankie and Johnny.

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How Old Was Kelly McGillis in Top Gun?

Kelly McGillis was born on July 9, 1957, which means she was 28 years old when she starred in Top Gun. The movie was filmed in 1985 and released in 1986, which puts McGillis’s age at the time of filming at 28.

In the film, McGillis played Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood, an astrophysicist and Top Gun instructor who becomes romantically involved with Tom Cruise’s character, Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. McGillis’s portrayal of Charlie earned her critical acclaim and helped solidify her status as a Hollywood leading lady.

McGillis’s Impact on Top Gun

Kelly McGillis’s role in Top Gun was instrumental in the film’s success. Her chemistry with Tom Cruise was undeniable, and their love story was a central plot point in the movie. McGillis’s portrayal of Charlie helped make her a role model for young women, especially those interested in science and technology.

While Top Gun was a massive success upon its release, its legacy has only grown over the years. The movie has become a cultural touchstone and is beloved by fans around the world. McGillis’s performance as Charlie remains one of the most memorable parts of the film.


Kelly McGillis was 28 years old when she starred in the first Top Gun film. Her role as Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood was a critical part of the movie’s success and helped make her a Hollywood leading lady. McGillis’s performance in Top Gun remains one of her most iconic roles and has helped solidify the film’s status as a classic. As fans continue to celebrate the movie’s legacy, they will always remember the impact that McGillis had on the film and on Hollywood as a whole.

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