Cast Of The Original Top Gun Then And Now

By Aaron Love 9 months ago

Tom Cruise (LT 'Maverick' Mitchell) Then

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Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell is the main character in the Top Gun series and is originally seen to be quite reckless, even getting his partner 'Goose' killed during a training incident! Throughout the film we see that he has an ongoing romantic interest in Charlie who was the instructor for Top Gun. Following the final mission he decided he wanted to be an instructor himself!

Tom Cruise (LT 'Maverick' Mitchell) Now

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I don't really need to tell you who Tom Cruise is do I? Since his role in Top Gun he has gone on to have one of the most decorated careers within the acting industry. Perhaps his most notable roles have been as Ethan Hunt in the Mission Impossible series (there's one more coming at least!) and he even reprised his role as Maverick in the 2022 sequel to the original film.

Kelly McGillis (Charlie Blackwood) Then

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Charlie Blackwood was the instructor of Top Gun in the OG series and although she initially told Maverick that she didn't date students, they eventually fell in love and engaged in a relationship with one another. Following Maverick and the others being sent to the USS enterprise and finalising their battler, him and Charlie reunite at a bar in Miramar.

Kelly McGillis (Charlie Blackwood) Now

Image Source: The Sun
Charlie is perhaps McGillis' most popular role throughout her career and came just years after her acting debut in 1983. She starred alongside her Top Gun co-star Val Kilmer in 1999's At First Sight and after a break in acting after 2000 she returned 6 years later in 'The L Word'. She last appeared on our screens in 2020's Dirty John for a couple of episodes.

Val Kilmer (LT 'Iceman' Kazansky) Then

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At the start of the original Top Gun, Tom 'Iceman' Kazansky is meant to be the best pilot within his TOPGUN class and he comes across as quite a cocky character, which seems to match his quite obnoxious blonde tips. Himself and Maverick clash a lot throughout the film although he has that popular line ' You can be my wingman anytime' at the end of the film.

Val Kilmer (LT 'Iceman' Kazansky) Now

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Val Kilmer, alongside Tom Cruise, has had a well followed career since Top Gun and has had popular roles in films like The Doors where he played Jim Morrison and then he had played Batman in the 1995 film Batman Forever. He's also had roles in films like The Traveler and Breathless; he also reprised his role as Iceman in the 2022 sequel to Top Gun, Top Gun: Maverick.

Anthony Edwards (LT 'Goose' Bradshaw) Then

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Nick 'Goose' Bradshaw was Maverick's radar intercept officer during the during the film and the two obviously got on well. During a training mission Maverick and Goose are put in to a sticky situation and after he ejects from his seat in the jet his head hits the canopy which instantly killed him as he broke his neck; Maverick managed to recover his body from the water.

Anthony Edwards (LT 'Goose' Bradshaw) Now

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Goose was Edwards' first notable role although it sparked a career in acting that included a very popular and award-winning role as Mark Greene in ER which he continued in for 8 seasons until 2002. He worked alongside Val Kilmer again in the animated movie Planes in 2013 and has also had roles in Netflix's Designated Survivor and also Inventing Anna.

Tom Skerritt (Mike 'Viper' Metcalf) Then

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Viper is a naval aviator at TOPGUN and previously worked alongside Maverick's father Duke in the past. Throughout the film we see him looking out for Maverick; he went to visit him after Goose's death and when Maverick visited Viper at his home he told him some classified information about what really happened to his father. He also informed Maverick and the others that they'd be heading to the USS Enterprise too.

Tom Skerritt (Mike 'Viper' Metcalf) Now

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By the time Top Gun had come around, Tom Skerritt had already cemented his place as a well known actor thanks to roles in M*A*S*H and as Captain Dallas in Alien. Following the movie he appeared in the popular series Cheers and has continued to make guest appearances through to this day with roles in White Collar, The Good Wife and even in the 2021 film East of the Mountains.

Michael Ironside (Rick 'Jester' Heatherly) Then

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Rick 'Jester' Heatherly was also a naval aviator and instructor at TOPGUN alongside Viper, and he helped train Maverick and many of the others including Goose and Iceman during their time in the programme at the institution. Jester is also probably part of the reason that Maverick regains his confidence, as he's the one that gets Viper to help him!

Michael Ironside (Rick 'Jester' Heatherly) Now

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Michael Ironside appeared in Top Gun towards the start of his acting career although it wasn't until Total Recall where he got some deserved plaudits. He also played Dial in Free Willy and also in Starship Troopers. More recently, he has continued to appear in TV shows like Walker, The Alienist, Nobody and Hulu's popular series The Dropout. He loves a villain role!

Meg Ryan (Carole Bradshaw) Then

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Carole Bradshaw was the wife of Goose and they had a child together who was only two at the time he died during his training mission. She seems to have a bond with Charlie too as when the four of them (Maverick and Goose too) she tells Charlie that it's clear Maverick had fallen in love with her. She helped comfort Maverick after Goose had died too, telling him how much he loved flying with him.

Meg Ryan (Carole Bradshaw) Now

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Meg Ryan didn't have a large role in Top Gun, but she did get her real breakthrough three years later when she appeared as one of the titular characters in When Harry Met Sally. This gained her a title as one of the cornerstones of popular rom-coms back in the 90's! Since the 2015 film Ithaca, she has pretty much avoided our screens however. Such a shame!

John Stockwell (LT 'Cougar' Cortell) Then

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Bill 'Cougar' Cortell appears in the opening scenes of the film as Maverick's wingman but during their last mission together he went into shock after he was targeted and locked on too by an enemy. Maverick helped him get back to the carrier but he still managed to crash into its deck. After this he chose to resign as he felt he'd lost his edge through his work.

John Stockwell (LT 'Cougar Cortell) Now

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Prior to appearing in Top Gun, Stockwell had some popular-ish roles in the films So Fine and Losin' It, and the horror Christine. Since the turn of the century though, he has become more of a director than anything else, and even became nominated for an Emmy for writing Cheaters. He hasn't worked on any projects since 2017's Armed Response however.

Barry Tubb (LT 'Wolfman' Wolfe) Then

Image Source: TheWrap
Leonard 'Wolfman' Wolfe was a TOPGUN graduate and also Hollywood's radar intercept officer in the original film. He was part of the reason that Maverick remained in the programme after Goose's death as he informed Charlie that he was planning on dropping out! We see he's shot down alongside Hollywood in the final battle but survives, exiting a rescue helicopter.

Barry Tubb (LT 'Wolfman' Wolfe) Now

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Barry Tubb's most well-known roles have definitely come in supporting roles in films like Top Gun and Mask, although he might be better known for his Broadway role in Sweet Sue and Warm Summer Rain in the early 90's. He never really garnered any popularity and actually hasn't appeared on our screens since the 2014 movie that went straight to TV Deliverance Creek.

Rick Rossovich (LT 'Slider' Kerner) Then

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Ron 'Slider' Kerned was another Graduate of the TOPGUN programme and he was also Iceman's radar intercept officer. As he is partnered with Iceman it become quickly obvious that they get on as a result of their similar nature, he's very cocky which is seen during THAT volleyball scene. He eventually helps Maverick by taking down one of the enemies in the final engagement.

Rick Rossovich (LT 'Slider' Kerner) Now

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Rossovich had worked with Tom Cruise before Top Gun in the movie Losin' It, although the prior was by far his most popular role. He also had a supporting role in The Terminator although his career pretty much ended following 2000 with just a handful of appearances after 2000. He attempted to reignite his career with 2012's Sandbar but considering he hasn't appeared in more than one thing since it evidently didn't work!

Tim Robbins (LT 'Merlin' Wells) Then

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Sam 'Merlin' Wells was actually Cougar's radar intercept officer and is also seen during the opening scenes of the film; they are supposed to be the best duo but that crumbles after Cougar resigns. Once Maverick arrives at the USS Enterprise however, Merlin is assigned to be Mavericks interceptor instead and they click instantly taking down 3 enemies in the final battle.

Tim Robbins (LT 'Merlin' Wells) Now

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This supporting role in Top Gun wasn't Robbins' biggest role although it was somewhat of a breakthrough for him. It was his role as Andy Dufresne opposite Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption that really brought him critical acclaim. He's also tried his hand at directing in Cradle Will Rock and continues to act to this day with roles in Castle Rock and Silo.

Clarence Gilyard (LT 'Sundown' Williams) Then

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Marcus 'Sundown' Williams was a graduate of TOPGUN and he was the radar intercept officer to Chipper throughout their work. He is also seen to be courting Charlie before her relationship with Maverick! He briefly worked with Maverick as his radar intercept officer although they didn't manage to get along thanks to Maverick being unable to get over Goose's death.

Clarence Gilyard (LT 'Sundown' Williams) Now

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Gilyard made a number of appearances in television shows like Diff'rent Strokes and Riptide before he appeared in Top Gun which was followed by another popular supporting role in Die Hard. Following this he had a main role in Walker, Texas Ranger for 8 years opposite Chuck Norris as Ranger Trivette but then took a 7 year break. After that he had some small guest appearances in small movies before he unfortunately died in 2022.

Whip Hubley (LT 'Hollywood' Neven) Then

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Rick 'Hollywood' Neven graduated from TOPGUN and worked alongside Wolfman throughout the programme, as we mentioned before they didn't manage to last throughout the entire final engagement as they were shot down by the enemies. Despite this, him and Iceman seemed to get along too as they often appeared to be each other's sidekick.

Whip Hubley (LT 'Hollywood' Neven) Now

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Whip Hubley came out to say that he originally thought that Top Gun was going to be an ensemble film and that's why he took the role. His career never really took off after the film however, with most of his acting career being made up of small roles. He appeared in shows like The Fugitive, CSI: Miami and he had a brief role as Edward in Homeland. These days he owns a construction firm and works in local theater.

James Tolkan (Tom 'Stinger' Jardian) Then

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Tom 'Stinger' Jardian is the commander to the USS Enterprise and also the highest commanding officer to Maverick and his team. We see him briefing the team on their mission after their arrival on the vessel and he also launches Maverick after Hollywood and Wolfman are shot down. We see Maverick inform him that he wants to return to TOPGUN as an instructor towards the end of the film.

James Tolkan (Tom 'Stinger' Jardian) Now

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Although Tolkan is well known for his role in Top Gun he might be more recognisable for playing the role of the principal in the Back To The Future movies. Besides this he also has roles in a number of TV shows like Miami Vice and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. These days he doesn't appear on our screens anymore but his career was a very successful one!

Adrian Pasdar (LT 'Chipper' Piper) Then

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Charles 'Chipper' Piper originally works with Sundown, before he was briefly made to work with Maverick. We don't see too much of him in the film but he is known to get on well with Sundance and is seen asking him about where Maverick is after he goes a little AWOL after Goose's death. He definitely does his bit for the team though doesn't he? A true underdog!

Adrian Pasdar (LT 'Chipper' Piper) Now

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Following his brief supporting role in Top Gun, Pasdar got some more popular roles in films like Near Dark and Vital Signs. Despite his early movie roles, Pasdar is better known for appearing on our television screens; he had a starring role in NBC's Heroes as Nathan and has also voiced a number of Marvel characters in a number of animated series and also plays Morgan in CW'S Supergirl.