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Melanie Leis Bio: A look into life of Ex-wife of Top Gun Star Kelly McGillis

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  • Post last modified:January 13, 2023
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Melanie Leis is famous as the ex-wife of Top Gun star Kelly McGillis. Apart from being a celebrity ex-wife, she works as a sales executive, a bartender, and a theatre artist.

Jack of many trades, Leis is a multidimensional person who seduced one of the most prominent actresses of our time, Kelly McGillis. I mean, you do need to have something to pull it off. And, fans are curious to find out how the story unfolded.

So, in this article, we will deal with the life of Melanie Leis, the former lesbian partner of Kelly McGillis. We will look into her early life, her professional capabilities, her relationship with Kelly, and much more. Without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Melanie Leis Bio: Age

Melanie Leis, nicknamed Mell, was born in 1968 in the United States of America. She is 53 years old.

Melanie Leis.
Melanie Leis.

The details about her early life and family, it remain under wraps from the public gaze. Meanwhile, we dug up an old interview of Melanie. Addressing the question of ”Who do you admire most and why?”, she said:

Top of my list: my dad. He was the most patient human being I’ve ever known. I loved him and his cadence in life.

Even if we may never know the man, he was cherished and gave good life to his daughter.

Educational Background

Melanie was interested in music from a young age. In fact, she started playing at the early age of six. So, she joined the reputed Berklee College of Music in 1986. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Arts, music performance, and production from there.

A few years later in 1991, Leis joined Newbury College for an Associate degree in Hotel and Restaurant management. She graduated in 1993.

Professional career of Melanie Leis

Melanie has quite a diversified portfolio. She started as a Retail manager/Sales executive at Cingular Wireless from September 2001 to July 2003. In February 2004, she joined PC Management (PCM) as District Sales Manager and Led and managed sales and daily operations of all retail locations throughout Pennsylvania.

Leaving PCM in January 2008, she immediately started as Customer Relationship Management and Portfolio specialist at Sovereign Bank. After a while from July 2009 to August 2010, Leis was busy handling the Retail business development of Clear, Philadelphia. In Independence Communications Inc. (August 2010-December 2012), Marlene Retrained coached and led 6 Account Executives in specific areas of the market.

From March 2013 to April 2014, Leis was working for Broadview Networks. After a year, she joined All Covered Inc. and helped them develop new businesses. From Sep 2015 to Oct 2017, she worked as Director of strategic partnerships and business development for the Society of Grownups. Moreover, she served under two posts in Vendini- a sales manager for Wast Coast (March 2017-January 2019) and a strategic accounts director (January 2019 – October 2019).

After that, Melanie worked full-time for PDC-A Brady Business from October 2019 to July 2021 as Director of Sales, Leisure, and entertainment.

As of July 2021, Mell is working as VP of Sales; Festivals, Live Music, and Events for Tappit. Above all, she can utilize her music degree and passion in her current job.

Melanie Leis and Kelly McGillis- How did they meet?

Melanie and her partner Kelly (nicknamed Kell) met each other in a bar that Kelly owned and Melanie worked as a bartender.

Ms. Leis, a former bartender, told of their first encounter, in 2000 at Kelly’s Caribbean Bar, Grill and Brewery, the bar in Key West, Florida, that Ms. McGillis owned with Fred Tillman, her second husband:

“I started working at the restaurant while Kell was out of town working on a movie. One day I looked up, and there she was. I did not see her from across the room or anything like that. That she was a movie star “didn’t play with my head at all. Her presence not the image of who she is professionally, but her sense of humor absolutely grabbed me.”

Kelly’s marriage with Fred Tillman gave two daughters, Kelsey Lauren, and Sonora Ashley. Despite that their marriage was a wreck back then.

Soon after the first encounter in the bar, Leis and Kelly went out for a friend’s birthday and forged a strong connection. “We just started talking, and I really was taken with her,” Kelly McGillis remembered. So, they started seeing each other.

Kelly and Melanie abused drugs together

From the onset of their relationship, they were madly in love with each other. But, despite all the love, their relationship quickly fell into a destructive pattern. “We were partners in crime and were both drinking and abusing drugs,” Leis said.

Both of them used drugs to suppress their physical, mental, and emotional trauma. Mc. Gillis was gang-raped by two men who broke into her apartment in 1982 when she was a student at Juilliard. After the incident, she started drinking.

Meanwhile, Melanie was MIA from her home and family for many years. But later she reconciled with them.

Melanie Leis and Kelly McGillis Marriage

Melanie and Kelly married each other on September 15, 2010. They entered civil union at the Collingswood Municipal Court, in the chambers of Judge Robert T. Zane III. They were joined into a matrimonial pact in front of 11 of their friends, including Mr. Tillman (Kelly’s ex-husband).

Melanie Leis and her ex-wife Kelly McGillis in their marriage
Melanie Leis and her ex-wife Kelly McGillis in their marriage

Placing the ring on Leis’s finger, McGillis repeated after the old judge: “With this ring, I join you in a civil union and do promise to cherish you throughout life,” and then began sobbing.

Leis and McGillis broke up in 2011

The pair mutually decided that the relationship “was no longer working,” and broke up in 2011. Talking about it to New York Times, Witness actress McGilllis said:

”We changed and grew at different rates, different times. I always wanted to be with Mell, with all my heart and soul, but at a certain point, unless she was willing to do some work on herself, I wasn’t willing to stick around.”

Melanie described the breakup as “the absolute worst time of my life, I was six years sober and was hitting a new bottom in my life, unwilling to honestly look at my core issues, face and deal with them”.

Despite the breakup, both of them are on good terms with each other. Taking to INTIX Interview, Melanie described McGillis as the love of her life along with the music. She said:

There are two. My music and my ex-wife. I never thought I would say that so easily a couple of years ago, but today I say that with absolute authenticity.

Melanie is active on a few social media platforms

Melanie is active on Twitter. She identifies herself as ”musician, gym rat, JT aficionado, Biz Dev” in the bio of her Twitter account. Meanwhile, her account is set to private on Instagram.

Melanie Leis and James Taylor
Melanie Leis and James Taylor

Besides, Leis is a very big fan of James Taylor, Jennifer Lopez, and Kelly Clarkson and constantly celebrates their works on her social media accounts. Judging by her social media posts, she is interested in celebrity culture, politics, and many other things.

Melanie Leis now. What is Melanie Leis up to these days?

Melanie is busy with her job at Tappit most of the time. In her spare time, Mell likes to bang drums. And, most weekends she is at concerts or events.