It's rare that a movie about a hyper-macho band of hot-headed fighter pilots, with throbbing soundtrack cuts about riding a highway to the danger zone, also stretches into chick-flick territory where a Righteous Brothers ballad helps score the girl but Top Gun managed all that and picked up an Oscar.
Tony Scott's 1986 classic is still the stuff of non sequitur quotes and a thousand pop culture references - 2010's unjustly little-seen Going the Distance made especially inspired use of the soundtrack - and helped push the careers of its fresh-faced stars into overdrive.
Catch up with Charlie, Goose, Iceman, Viper, Jester and Cougar!
Played: Lt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell
Where is he now: Everywhere. But more specifically, next hitting theatres in futuristic sci-fi actioner Oblivion, followed by All You Need is Kill. Last year found him making good on what his performance of "You've Lost that Loving Feeling" hinted at with musical Rock of Ages and we imagine he will continue to star in enough blockbusters that Top Gun will be released in yet another format before he retires.
Played: Charlotte "Charlie" Blackwood
Where is she now: Appearing in low-profile flicks like The Innkeepers (2011) and Stake Land (2010), the 55-year-old also works with drug addicts and alcoholics at a rehab centre in New Jersey. The sexy flight instructor who falls for Cruise in Top Gun took a break from acting in the '90s to raise her two daughters, eventually joining TV's "The L Word" in 2007 in addition to starring in a handful of plays. She has two films coming up in 2013 but for someone who starred as the object of affection in a hugely popular movie, she's been decidedly quiet.
Played: Lt. Tom "Iceman" Kazansky
Where is he now: Doing wacky things for director Terrence Malick as part of the as-yet-untitled movie in which Kilmer is starring and trying to secure financing on his directorial debut Mark Twain and Mary Baker Eddy, in which he'll star as the titular author. Kilmer has carved out a distinct career path that reached its sexy zenith in 1991, thanks to his sweat-soaked performance in The Doors, and included stops as Batman, Doc Holliday and porn star John Holmes. And let none of us forget Gay Perry in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Stevie Pruitt beside fellow gonzo actor Nicolas Cage in Werner Herzog's Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans.
Played: Lt. JG Nick "Goose" Bradshaw
Where is he now: After playing Dr. Mark Greene on "E.R." from 1994 to 2002, and briefly returning in 2008, Edwards appeared in David Fincher's star-studded crime drama Zodiac (2007) and was more recently seen in Flipped (2010), a coming-of-age dramedy from Rob Reiner. And he travelled to Sundance this January for Big Sur, a look at Beat poet Jack Kerouac's mythic trips to a cabin in Big Sur, California.
Played: Cmdr. Mike "Viper" Metcalf
Where is he now: The eldest of the group, Skerritt starred in "Picket Fences" from 1992 to1996 and has continued to act steadily since his days as Viper, amassing eclectic credits that include Poison Ivy, A River Runs Through It, Singles, Contact and about a dozen TV movies. He had another successful television run with "Brothers and Sisters" from 2006 to 2009 and "Leverage" from 2010-2012.
Played: Lt. Cmdr. Rick "Jester" Heatherly
Where is he now: A character actor known for playing baddies, Ironside was the murderous henchman Richter in Total Recall and reunited with its director Paul Verhoeven for Starship Troopers not to mention a brief stint on his fellow Top Gunner's show "E.R." The Canadian actor also branched out to do the voice work thing both in video games and animated shows and the last few years have seen him work more steadily, amassing credits in movies like All Gods Children and currently balancing four movies set to come out in 2013.
Played: Lt. Bill "Cougar" Cortell
Where is he now: Working mostly as a director, with fairly high-profile, though not necessarily critically lauded, titles under his belt like Cheaters, Crazy/Beautiful, Blue Crush, Turistas, Dark Tide and a handful of episodes of "The L Word." He also wrote the flicks Breast Men and Rock Star and is immortalized in Andy Warhol's memoirs, spending time with the eccentric artist during Stockwell's time as a model in the early '80s. Cool.
Played: Lt. JG Leonard "Wolfman" Wolfe
Where is he now: Broadway was calling his name and he answered in 1988, appearing in Sweet Sue with Mary Tyler Moore and Lynn Redgrave; a production that required him to be completely nude. He did away with clothes again the next year to get close to Kelly Lynch in Warm Summer Rain and then moved to France in 1991 and joined a Wild West show (thanks, Wikipedia). He went the indie route and directed three small films (Grand Champion, Clown Hunt, Javelina) and had a part in 2010's Emmy sensation "Temple Grandin," not to mention a recurring role in the much-missed series "Friday Night Lights."