melanie leis

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Bartender and Sales executive (1967)

Relationship Timeline Of melanie leis

Ex-wife : Kelly McGillis
Melanie leis married Kelly McGillis in 2010 and divorced in 2011.

Melanie Leis is a famous celebrity ex-wife who came into the public eye after she tied the knot with a famous American femme Fatale. She was famous for marrying Kelly McGillis, who played the role of Charlie in the Tom Cruise superhit film Top Gun (1986).

Following Melanie's marriage to the actress, there was a heightened level of interest and attention surrounding her. Mostly it was due to the fact that the pair had a same-sex relationship and their troubled history together.

Melanie Leis's Relationship With Kelly McGillis

Melanie Leis met her future wife and superstar Kelly McGillis in 2000 when she worked as a bartender in Kelly's Key West bar. At the time, Kelly had been away for a trip, and when she returned, the two ladies met. Weeks later, they started hanging out and even went to parties together. They eventually started a romantic relationship.

A picture of Melanie Leis's ex-wife Kelly McGillis and superstar Tom Cruise for the movie Top Gun
A picture of Melanie Leis's ex-wife Kelly McGillis and superstar Tom Cruise for the movie Top Gun. Source: Variety

Much of Melanie and Kelly's initial relationship was troubled. While they felt connected to one another, both were in a destructive downward spiral. For Melanie, who was openly gay, it was drugs and booze, while Kelly was battling many things, from denying and hiding her relationships. Also, she was battling past trauma from assault and drugs and alcohol.

The Ex-Couple Melanie & Kelly Went To Rehab

Soon after their relationship, Kelly McGillis decided to go to rehab for her addiction. Melanie was supportive and followed in her footsteps by herself going into rehab. The two went to separate places and eventually were able to get better.

In 2001, Kelly moved to a halfway house in the Pennsylvania Dutch country which was also due to professional reasons. Later, Kelly and Melanie reunited and started living together in the Mohnton borough of Berks County, Pennsylvania. The relationship was hidden for over a decade and came with its share of issues.

Melanie And Kelly McGillis Once Split Up Before Getting Wed

Melanie and Kelly married in a civil ceremony on 15 September 2010 in Collinswood after getting engaged for a year. This marriage was obtained through years of relationship and even a breakup.

Melanie Leis (in white) and  Kelly Mcgillis holding hands.
Melanie Leis (in white) and  Kelly Mcgillis holding hands. Source: The New York Times

In 2009, Kelly Mcgillis announced in an interview with Jennifer Corday that she was a lesbian just like retired Tennis player Rennae Stubbs. This was probably due to the pressures she felt hiding her self-identity for years. But one of the possible reasons could be that she and Melanie had split up months earlier as the couple has problems after eight years together.

In an interview, McGillis 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.

Later, Melanie wanted to reconcile and asked for another chance and there was no one else Kelly wished to be with more. The pair reunited and later got married.

Divorce And The Parting Of Ways

Sadly, the tried-and-trusted relationship between Melanie and Kelly ended in 2011 but the split was kept a secret from the media. It was in 2013, in an Advocate magazine interview, that their split was made public to the fans. 

Kelly has kept things quiet about their relationship, while Melanie has always been a private person. The reason for their breakup is not known to the public.

Net Worth & Earnings Of Melanie

Melanie Leis's net worth is estimated to be $600 thousand. She is a successful sales executive who has worked for more than twenty-five years in the respective field. Currently, she makes an annual income of $200,000 from her job.

A 2014 picture of Melanie Leis.
A 2014 picture of Melanie Leis. Source: Facebook 

On the other hand, Melanie's ex-wife Kelly Mcgillis has an estimated net worth of $4 million. McGillis made money from her film career and endorsements.

Interesting Facts About Melanie and Kelly's Relationship

  • At the time of each meeting other, Kelly was still married to her second husband Fred Tillman.
  • Fred actually attended their civil union ceremony with his new girlfriend.
  • The couple Kelly and Melanie had planned a Christmas-time wedding reception later.
  • They went out of their civil ceremony on a car festooned with a “Just Married” banner.
  • Kelly and Melanie used to call each other Kell and Mell.
  • Kelly McGillis's children knew and supported their relationship but their friends' parents did not.
  • Kelly and Fred's children were bullied due to their mother's sexuality and her dating another woman.

About Kelly McGillis

Kelly McGillis is an American actress best known for her roles in the films  Stake Land and Witness. She was born on July 9, 1957, in Newport Beach, California. She dropped out of high school and started her acting career in the 1980s, appearing in several stage productions before working in film and television. She was a star in movies such as The Accused and The Babe

In addition to acting, McGillis is also a licensed therapist and works as an alcohol and drug counselor, primarily due to her experiences with trauma and addiction. She has been open about her personal struggles, including alcoholism and being a survivor of sexual assault.

McGillis has been married three times, twice to men and lastly to Melanie, who is a woman. She has two daughters from her second marriage to Fred Tillmann. Throughout her career and personal life, McGillis has strongly advocated for women's rights and LGBTQ+ rights. She was closeted for most of her career and went public in 2009. 

Early Life Of Melanie

Melanie Leis was born on July 9, 1967, to her parents, Walter and Barbara Leis. She is the oldest of three children who are all girls. They were raised as Catholic Christians and had a regular childhood.

As of now, Melanie's parents have passed away, and she and her sisters have moved out of their childhood home. She currently resides in Pennsylvania, America, and works there.

About Melanie's Mother 

Melanie's mother was Barbara Ix Leis, who was a homemaker. She was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, and spent her married life in New York. By all accounts, she was a kind and supportive mother and housewife and was much cherished by her family. She passed away on December 24, 2004.

An old picture of Melanie Leis's deceased mother, Barbara Ix Leis (left) with a relative.
An old picture of Melanie Leis's deceased mother, Barbara Ix Leis (left), with a relative. Source: Facebook 

Melanie's Father Fought In WWII

According to sources, Mealanie's dad Walter was an engineer in the RCA. In theme with Top Gun, he was in the Air Force during WWII before joining the RCA. He was a generous man who passed away at eighty-five in October 2008.

Walter had early access to the latest RCA gadgets and was often seen collecting them. He was also generous with his work perks to his family and friends.

Schooling And Education

Melanie attended her local high school in New York and the Berklee College of Music from 1986 to 1989. She gained her Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance and Production. Mark Wahlberg's nephew Elijah Hendrix Wahlberg also is a student in the same college.

However, Melanie changed careers and resumed her education by getting an associate's Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management in 1991. She received her certificate in 1993 from Newbury College.

Sisters And Other Family

Melanie has two younger sisters who are Stephanie Leis and Malinda Leis Jones. According to reports, Malinda is married to Chad Jones and they have kids together. Stephanie Leis could also be a married lady as she has two kids.

A picture of Stephanie Leis and Melanie Leis skiing and another of Melanie's nephew Tyler and niece Callie.
A picture of Stephanie Leis and Melanie Leis skiing and another of Melanie's nephew Tyler and niece Callie. Source: Facebook

Melanie is also a doting aunt to her nephews and nieces. According to sources, her nieces and nephews are Kyla Leis, Ethan Leis, Callie Jones, Mindy Jones, and Caleb Leis. Further, she is a fantastic godmother to her friend's son Julian O’Brien.

Melani was also a cat mom and had a lovely shorthair cat named Wally Leis. Sadly he passed away before 2022.

Career Highlights Of Melanie Leis

Melanie has worked in a variety of companies in many roles. Recently she has been employed by the company Tappit as the Senior Vice President of sales. She also works as a Board member of FestForums.

Melanie Leis doing a work display
Melanie Leis is doing a work display. Source: Facebook

During Melanie's relationship with Kelly Mcgillis; she initially worked part-time as a bartender and continued working in sales at different companies. Later, at the time of their marriage, she was employed by Independence Communications, Inc., where she was a Muzak executive. She has a lot of endorsements on her LinkedIn profile, such as:

To call Mell "dynamic" is an understatement: She brings a commanding yet approachable presence, outstanding people skills, and a strategic focus to her team. Her enthusiasm for her work is unmatched, and she's tireless in spreading a company's message and goals

After the split, Melanie worked as an experienced sales and business development professional. She has worked for companies like Vendini, the Society of Grownups, All Covered Inc, and Broadview Networks. At Vendini, she was the Strategic Accounts Director and East Coast Sales Manager. In these roles, she added new clients and achieved significant recurring revenue growth.

Physical Appearance: How Tall Is Melanie Leis?

Melanie Leis is a muscular woman who stands 160 cm tall and weighs 57 kg. She is a gym enthusiast and enjoys working out to maintain her physical fitness, similar to American jazz vocalist Ariana Savalas who also uses a personal trainer. She has dark brown hair, which is starting to turn grey, and an olive complexion.

Melanie Leis (right) with her nephew Caleb Leis and niece Kyla Leis.
Melanie Leis (right) with her nephew Caleb Leis and niece Kyla Leis. Source: Facebook

Melanie always keeps her hair cut short and wears dark or blue colors. She enjoys skiing and leads a healthy lifestyle.

Social Media

Melanie is an active person on social media sites. Her two preferred sites are Facebook and Instagram but she also maintains her Twitter and comments there.

On Facebook, she is active as @Melanie Leis and on Instagram, she is active as @mellleis67. Her Twitter account has the handle @LeisMell and she shares her professional qualifications there. On the other hand, her famous ex, Kelly McGillis, has opted not to use social media.

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