‘Top Gun’: The Cast Ranked From Richest To Poorest


There’s no question that since the release of Top Gun: Maverick in May 2022, the popular Tom Cruise-led franchise has been back in vogue. The original Top Gun film first hit theaters in 1986. Despite being a sensational commercial success, it wasn’t until nearly 40 years later that a sequel finally arrived. Cruise was back in his main role as U.S. Navy pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.

The cast of Top Gun: Maverick was almost entirely new, otherwise, with some notable names from the first movie missing out in the follow-up. Meg Ryan portrayed the character Carole Bradshaw in the 1986 film, but was conspicuously absent from the 2022 sequel, for instance. Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly and Jon Hamm were among the new cast members.

Here is a look at the richest Top Gun actors, from both the original movie and the sequel.

9. Tom Cruise As Pete “Maverick” Mitchell In Top Gun And Top Gun: Maverick – $600 Million Net Worth

The role of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is undoubtedly one of the biggest of Tom Cruise’s career. That is saying a lot, for an actor who is also known for his work in films like The Firm, Collateral, Jack Reacher and even the Mission Impossible franchise.

Cruise’s marketability as a leading man in Hollywood is also undisputable. Without considering actors from franchises such as Marvel and Fast & Furious, he is the world’s highest grossing actor in leading roles, whether as an individual or in an ensemble cast.

Cruise was reportedly paid $2 million for his initial performance as Maverick in the late ‘80s. When he reprised the role in Top Gun: Maverick, he is said to have raked in accumulated earnings of around $100 million. According to Celebrity Net Worth, his total wealth as of 2023 stands at a whopping $600 million.

8. Meg Ryan As Carole Bradshaw In Top Gun – $85 Million Net Worth

In the original Top Gun, Meg Ryan played the character Carole Bradshaw, the wife of Maverick’s best friend and Radar Intercept Officer, Nick “Goose” Bradshaw. This role was only a supporting one, but she helped to provide important insight into the personal lives of the main characters.

There doesn’t appear to be enough information about exactly how much Ryan was paid for her role in Top Gun. Various sources suggest, though, that it was something in the range of $15,000 to $30,000. This compensation, while undoubtedly meager, reflects the standard practices in the entertainment industry at the time.
Ryan has since gone on to star in various other hits, including When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, City of Angels and 2015’s Ithaca, which she also directed. Consequently, she has amassed an insane net worth, estimated to around $85 million.
7. Jennifer Connelly As Penelope “Penny” Benjamin In Top Gun: Maverick – $50 Million Net Worth

There is a massive gap between the net worth of Tom Cruise and Meg Ryan, who is second on the list of richest actors from the Top Gun franchise. The difference between Ryan and Jennifer Connelly in third place is not as big, although it is significant nonetheless.

The A Beautiful Mind star was not in the original Top Gun, although her character was mentioned in passing. She was there in the flesh for Top Gun: Maverick, as Penelope “Penny” Benjamin, the titular character’s rekindled love interest. She is also a single mother, a bar owner, and the daughter of an admiral.

Connelly is reportedly worth an impressive $50 million. She is said to have been paid in the region of $3 million for her work in Maverick.

6. Jon Hamm As Vice Admiral Beau “Cyclone” Simpson In Top Gun: Maverick – $45 Million Net Worth

Jon Hamm is another actor who was introduced in Top Gun: Maverick, having not featured in the predecessor film. He played the part of Vice Admiral Beau “Cyclone” Simpson, the commander of Naval Air Forces. The actor’s salary for the role was a reported $1.2 million. He would later admit, however, that he was an ardent fan of the original movie and would have played Cyclone at any pay rate, just to be part of the franchise.


Hamm has of course made his name with starring roles in multiple other major productions, including Million Dollar Arm, The Town, 30 Rock and the classic AMC period drama Mad Men. Celebrity Net Worth estimates that the actor’s assets have a total value of $45 million.
5. Anthony Edwards As LTJG Nick “Goose” Bradshaw In Top Gun – $40 Million Net Worth

Anthony Edwards was not involved in Top Gun: Maverick, despite having been one of the very main stars of the original film. In Top Gun, he portrayed the character Nick “Goose” Bradshaw. Goose was the Radar Intercept Officer and best friend of the main protagonist, Pete Mitchell. His character played a pivotal role in the storyline as he was Maverick’s loyal and skilled partner in the fighter jet.

Apart from his role in Top Gun, Edwards has taken on a number of other significant roles in his career. A notable one was his portrayal of Dr. Mark Greene on the popular medical drama series ER, which ran for 15 seasons and earned him critical acclaim and saw him nominated for several awards. As of a 2023 estimate, the actor’s net worth is around the $40 million mark.

4. Miles Teller As Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw In Top Gun: Maverick – $16 Million Net Worth

Miles Teller follows behind Anthony Edwards on the list of the richest actors from the Top Gun franchise. It is quite fitting, seeing as the Divergent star featured in Top Gun: Maverick as Nick and Carole Bradshaw’s son, Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw.

Teller is said to have taken home around $3.5 million as compensation for his work in the movie. This payday would apparently turn out to be the biggest of his career, although he took home a not too dissimilar amount for Fantastic Four in 2015. His estimated net worth of 2023 is around $16 million.

3. Val Kilmer As Tom “Iceman” Kazansky In Top Gun And Top Gun: Maverick – $10 Million Net Worth

Val Kilmer’s reported $10 million net worth might be slightly surprising, especially when compared to some of his other Top Gun co-stars. The actor was, after all, one of the best paid actors in the world. Over the years, however, he developed a reputation for being “difficult to work with,” and this impacted his ability to keep on landing lucrative roles.

Kilmer’s character in Top Gun was Lieutenant Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, who started out as Maverick’s sworn rival but ended up as his wingman. He returned to the role in Top Gun: Maverick, albeit in a small cameo. His real-life battle with throat cancer was also written into the script, so that the character was seen to suffer a similar affliction.

2. Tom Skerritt As CDR Mike “Viper” Metcalf In Top Gun – $8 Million Net Worth

Tom Skerritt featured in Top Gun as Cmdr. Mike “Viper” Metcalf, a commanding officer and flight instructor at the Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School. He was a veteran fighter pilot who provided guidance and mentorship to the aspiring aviators, including Maverick. For his role in the film, the actor is said to have received a salary of approximately $100,000.

Other than Top Gun, one of his most notable roles was in the science fiction horror film Alien, where he played Dallas, the captain of the spaceship Nostromo. With his 90th birthday falling on August 25, 2023, Skerritt’s entire wealth is valued at around $8 million.

1. Michael Ironside As LCDR Rick “Jester” Heatherly In Top Gun – $6 Million Net Worth

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Michael Ironside’s $6 million net worth places him in the lower echelons of a comparative list against other major actors from the Top Gun franchise. While his role in the 1986 motion picture, as Lieutenant Commander Rick “Jester” Heatherly, was a significant one, he also reportedly failed to hit the seven-figure mark in terms of remuneration.

In Top Gun, the character Jester was one of the instructors at the Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School, responsible for training and evaluating the fighter pilots. Ironside would also go on to star in Total Recall, Highlander II: The Quickening and Terminator Salvation, among others