‘Top Gun’ is 31 years old.
I know, I know, it only seems like yesterday that Maverick was requesting a fly by, and being denied, Val Kilmer was spinning a volleyball in a uniquely erotic fashion, Kelly McGillis was being told she had lost that lovin’ feeling and Meg Ryan was already stealing scenes, but it is now three full decades since this film spiked US Navy recruitment through the roof and transformed Tom Cruise from a middle-lane brat-packer into the world’s biggest film star.
With news that a sequel is definitely on its way, we’re wondering what happened to the rest of them? Well...
An ever-popular American actor, Tom has appeared in more than 200 episodes of TV, as well as appearances in films ‘MASH’, ‘A River Runs Through It’ and ‘Up in ‘Smoke’.
Tom won an Emmy award for his role in CBS TV series ‘Picket Fences’, and turned up as Sally Field’s late husband in flashback scenes on ‘Brothers and Sisters’. He continues to perform on stage, recently in ‘Don Quixote’ for the Pacific Northwest Ballet company, and teamed up with Lauren Holly for the 2014 film ‘Field of Lost Shoes’.
He is also the co-founder of TheFilmSchool, non-profit charity for screenwriting and directing, and lives between Seattle and Lopez Island, off Alaska.
Grant ‘Whip’ Hubley was a familiar face on screen in the 1980s, appearing in ‘St Elmo’s Fire’ and shows including ‘Magnum PI’. Following his success as Iceman’s wingman Hollywood in ‘Top Gun’, he has worked mostly in TV for the last three decades, with his biggest role that of Brian Hawkins in ‘More Tales of the City’, the TV adaptation of Armistead Maupin’s best-selling books.
His most successful foray into film was in the 1993 film 'Coneheads'.
He hasn’t stopped working, and fans will have spotted him most recently in a 2009 episode of ‘Homeland’. Whip lives in Santa Monica, California, with his wife Dinah, formerly a producer on ‘Saturday Night Live’.
Following his success as tragic Goose in ‘Top Gun’, Anthony Edwards earned more fans with his moving role in ‘Hawks’ (1988) and then his fatherly role in ‘Pet Seminary 2’ (1992).
TV brought him even wider fame, with roles in hit comedy-drama ‘Northern Exposure’ and then his biggest-ever role, that of Dr Mark Greene in ‘ER’. The popular role brought him four Emmy nominations, a Golden Globe win and made him one of the world’s highest-paid TV stars… which was just as well, as he later appeared in the film ‘Motherhood’, a record-breaker in the UK for being the biggest turkey in cinema history, earning just £88 on its opening weekend, selling 11 tickets!
Anthony most recently appeared in the TV drama ‘Zero Hour’, cancelled after three episodes due to poor ratings. He was also a voice of a fighter jet in the Disney cartoon ‘Planes’. He earned his own pilot’s license in 2011.
Apart from Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan has enjoyed the most successful career since her breakthrough role as Goose's wife in the original film. Meg's comedic talent and girl-next-door appeal in films 'When Harry Met Sally', 'Sleepless in Seattle' and 'You've Got Mail' made her America's sweetheart, and ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ and ‘The Doors’ proved her wider skills, and ‘In the Cut’ revealed her darker side, although it also brought her into conflict on the sofa with interviewer Michael Parkinson.
Her success has been patchier in recent years, with ‘The Women’ getting big box office but terrible reviews, and a surprise spot in TV comedy ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’. Two years ago, it was reported she’d be returning to television to produce and star in a new comedy for NBC revolving around a former hotshot New York editor. Fingers crossed to see Meg’s talents on screen again soon.
Following his scene-stealing Iceman, Val Kilmer was, for a while, one of the screen’s most charismatic talents, with a lead role in fantasy ‘Willow’ seeming to set him up as a young Harrison Ford-type, and his lead role of Jim Morrison in ‘The Doors’ proving he could do more than flex his muscles. With lead roles of Batman in ‘Batman Forever’ and Simon Templar in ‘The Saint’, his future seemed set for meteoric success. Although this failed to materialise, Val has continued to work, his most challenging role that of blind man ‘Virgil Adamson in ‘At First Sight’. More recently, he appeared as himself in ‘Entourage’ and ‘Life’s too Short’ on TV, the latter reuniting him with his Willow co-star Warwick Davis.
Val has dedicated time and money to the protection of Native American rights, working from his former home in New Mexico. This year, he was recently spotted with a tracheotomy tube, although he has announced that his health is improving following surgery.
Kelly McGillis followed her stunning success in ‘Witness’ with Harrison Ford and ‘Top Gun’ with the critically-acclaimed role of Jodie Foster’s lawyer in ‘Accused’. However, she chose to take a break from the screen at that point, concentrating on her family and running a restaurant in Florida. Of this hiatus, she told HuffPostUK
she felt fortunate to be “able to age away from the camera. I see other actresses keep getting stuck, trying to keep how they look”.
Kelly has recently taken part in smaller screen projects, divorced her second husband in 2002, and then entered a civil union with her partner Melanie Leis, although the couple broke up in 2012. Kelly now lives in North Carolina, and teaches acting at the New York Studio in Asheville. She tells HuffPostUK she remains bemused by the success of ‘Top Gun’, and is “glad I don’t have to repeat it”.
Whatever happened to him? Well, basically, he became the highest-paid, hardest-working, most enduringly successful film star of the last three decades, but apart from that...
In a nutshell, since ‘Top Gun’ moved him into a league above his fellow Brat-Packers, Tom Cruise has never, ever stopped, and his hard work has paid off. He’s been nominated three times for an Oscar, and won Golden Globes for ‘Born on the Fourth of July’, ‘Jerry Maguire’ and ‘Magnolia’. 22 of his films have made more than $200 million at the box office, and he’s proved his skill in producing, too. His most recent successes have included his ‘Mission: Impossible” franchise where, in between doing everything else, Tom’s made a point of performing his own stunts. Including jumping out of the world’s highest building, and flying on a plane, on the outside. Away from the screen, Tom continues to keep the world’s media guessing with his love life, his religion, and the rest of us impressed by his untiring enthusiasm, whatever the project. With his stunning record, it’s been a long time since anyone denied him permission to fly by.