Saturday, October 16, 2010

Top Gun Bit List

Top Gun was one of the top movies of 1986, with a young Tom Cruise (b. 1962) in his first really big role.  A look at the cast list reveals a wealth of Bit Players, many of whom became famous.

Meg Ryan (b. 1961) is a Bit Actor in this, her third movie.  Tim Robbins (b. 1958), today a big star, is a pilot named Merlin in his sixth movie.  No need to blog about Meg Ryan or Tim Robbins, but it is interesting to see them in smaller roles, and how well they bring their characters to life.

Did you ever hear of Whip Hubley (b. 1957)?  Whip has 52 titles on IMDb, and could almost be Mel Gibson's double.  He was another pilot (or maybe a RIO) named Hollywood.  Whip started out in St. Elmo's Fire in 1985, and you can find him starring in Russkies (1987) as the Russian.  He also appears in Coneheads (1993) and Species (1995), plus a bunch of TV work.

Frank Pesce is a bartender in this film.  He has 79 roles listed to his credit, but they must be mostly small parts.  As an example of a small part, Pesce is listed as a spectator in Rocky (1976).  Now that's a small part!  He was a regular at Mawby's Bar in Flashdance (1983), and he bought cigarettes in Beverly Hills Cop (1984).  He moves up the cast list a bit in the mid 1990s, but never really gets out of the "extra" category.

We also see some of the tech advisers getting small parts in Top Gun.  Peter Pettigrew is apparently a real life pilot with the call sign "Viper" and perhaps is the source of Tom Skerritt's (b. 1933) character's name.  T. J. Cassidy plays himself in Top Gun, a real life admiral and one of the military advisers.  This is the only film for both of them.

Top Gun is not a bad film and it is in my collection.  Watch it again!


  1. Excellent post Bit Part Blogger.
    As a Meg Ryan fan I always find it interesting to watch her in Top Gun,I've even posted about the effect that role had on her career on my blog,it seems funny to think Meg and Tim Robbins were top billing when they co-starred in I.Q. about 10 years after this.
    It might take me a while but I'm now going to read through your back posts,I'll try and leave some comments as I go.
    Until then keep up the good work.

  2. I', glad you like it. Bit Actors get pretty light press, but they add a lot to movies.

    Don't miss my two blogs from August 16 and 17 about some aspects of I.Q.

  3. Since I first owned the DVD of TOP GUN - I have always wanted to know the name of the guy doing the catch signal and the left leg kick at 3:29 of the movie- anybody know who this was or what his job title was ?

  4. A difficult question to answer, unless you worked on an aircraft carrier. (And I haven't.)

    The carrier flight shots were filmed in 1985 aboard the USS Enterprise. The guy you saw was certainly in the Navy and probably unaware he would be in a major motion picture.

    We need a Navy flier to get more answers! There is a lot of info on the film in Wikipedia as well.

    I did find this site that has more info on carrier operations.
    You might need to copy and paste the URL.


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