The Top Gun Cast: Where Are They Now?

Last Updated on March 12, 2024

When thinking of patriotic American movies, one cannot avoid the Tony Scott classic Top Gun and its sequel, Top Gun: Maverick. The first film is a classic and beloved one at that with a cast that has since become iconic. Some of them, like Mission: Impossible franchise star Tom Cruise – who has earned Oscar nominations for his performances in Born of the Fourth of July (1989), Jerry Maguire (1996), and Magnolia (2000) – are still very active in the film industry, but others have had other paths. Most of them has stayed active in films and television, let’s take a look at some of the favorites from the Top Gun cast:

Val Kilmer

Val Kilmer Top Gun

Playing Tom Iceman Kazansky, Kilmer played the perfect counterpart to Tom Cruise in the original Top Gun and came with his own strong resume. Since then, Kilmer has played Jim Morrison in The Doors, Batman/Bruce Wayne in Batman Forever, he was in Willow, Tombstone, Heat, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and a ton of other films. A bout with throat cancer in 2014 stopped him in his tracks however, pushing him into other forms of art and forcing him to slow down his acting career. He has, however, not fully stopped and has been seen in movies since then, including reprising his role as Iceman in Top Gun: Maverick.

When quoted recently in Entertainment Weekly’s 2022 Entertainers of the Year, Val Kilmer said the following about Cruise: “Coming back to work with Tom more than 30 years later, it was like no time had passed at all. He’s the consummate professional, and his zest and energy for filmmaking are infectious. Being next to him instantly makes you better. That said, we blew a lot of takes laughing so much. It was really fun — really special.”

Kelly McGillis

Playing Pete Maverick Mitchell’s love interest, McGillis caught the eye of many a moviegoer back in the 1986 and was the dream girl for more than one air force-minded boy. Following Top Gun, McGillis had a fairly busy career with multiple roles per year until 2001 when things slowed down for her and then slowed even further in the mid-2010s, to seemingly stop in 2020. She has been gone from the spotlight for a little while now and seems to be doing her own thing, away from the cameras. 

Anthony Edwards

top gun cast Anthony Edwards

As Maverick’s partner / radar intercept officer Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, Edwards gave just the right performance of a man stuck between his sense of adventure, his sense of duty for his country, and his love for his family. Edwards was previously in Fast Times at Ridgemont High and went on to join the cast of ER for 14 years. He has a mix of film and television roles including appearances on The Weber Show, Blue Bloods, Billions, Designated Survivor, and Tales of the Walking Dead most recently. The man has been busy on the smaller screen and in smaller roles on the big screen. 

Meg Ryan

In her role as Carole Bradshaw, Meg Ryan had a more emotional part compared with the mostly male cast here. When she joined the Top Gun cast she wasn’t yet the household name she would become. She nailed the role and followed this role with parts in movies such as Innerspace, When Harry Met Sally, The Doors, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, In the Cut, and quite a few more. Her career seems to have been rather quiet in the last few years with a long period of very few roles and appearances, but she does have some work coming up soon.

John Stockwell

Top Gun
fans know John Stockwell as Lt. Bill Cougar Cortell, one of the many men involved at Naval Air Station Miramar in San Diego and at the USS Enterprise Carrier Air Group. His character is one fans of Top Gun remember while casual viewers may need to go back to get a refresher, a bit like Clarence Gilyard as Ltjg Marcus Sundown Williams. Stockwell is not one of the most active Top Gun graduates on screen, as he hasn’t acted since Escape at Dannemora in 2018. Before that, his last role had been in 2012, then 2008, then 2006, so his career was rather sporadic in the last few years. However, right after Top Gun, the man was rather busy with parts in the Friday the 13th series, Born to Ride, Nixon, and more. He’s more known as a director there days, having made Blue Crush, Kickboxer: Vengeance, Into the Blue and many more.

Michael Ironside

Lovecraft Country's Yann Demange will direct the pilot episode of HBO's Scanners, set in the world of David Cronenberg's 1981 film.

A mainstay of cinema for years, a character actor not afraid to go for varied parts, Ironside played Jester in the Top Gun cast and having over 280 credits on his filmography, Ironside is one of those actors who is simply unstoppable. Since Top Gun, he was seen in just about everything including Total Recall, McBain, Free Willy, Major Payne, Black Light, Starship Troopers, Turbo Kid, BlackBerry, and just about hundreds more. He’s been around for 6 decades in the industry, and he seems to be planning on sticking around for a long time. 

Tom Skerritt

top gun cast tom skerritt

The man from the original Alien film shows up in Top Gun as Commander Mike “Viper” Metcalf, the man who aims at teaching Maverick a thing or two, stealing a few scenes along the way. Since this, Skerritt has been seen in movies like SpaceCamp, Poltergeist III, Steel Magnolias, Contact, and Tears of the Sun and in series such as Cheers, Picket Fences, The Grid, and Brothers and Sisters. He has been slowing down in the last few years, taking on only 4 roles in the last 5 years. 

Not only was Top Gun a box office success for Paramount Pictures, it’s also a classic summer movie, the perfect film for a long weekend, the drive-in, or post BBQ. It has been beloved for decades now and the success of its sequel proves its lasting effect on filmgoers. The cast is still adored and most of them are still active, getting parts on television and in films, giving their fans what they want. The fact that most folks still follow the careers of this cast is testament of their lasting power and the effect of their work in Top Gun and since.

What did you think of Val Kilmer’s scene in Top Gun: Maverick? Was it a fitting addition to the movie? Let us know below!

Source: Entertainment Weekly

About the Author