Driver in 2011
Amelia Fiona J. Driver
31 January 1970
Marylebone, England, United Kingdom
|Alma mater||Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art|
|Occupation||Actress, singer, songwriter|
|Known for||Good Will Hunting, The Riches|
Minnie Driver (born Amelia Fiona J. Driver; 31 January 1970) is an English-American actress, singer and songwriter. Known for both feature films and television, Driver is best known in film for her role as Skylar in Gus Van Sant's Good Will Hunting for which she was nominated for both the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Her other popular films include Grosse Pointe Blank; The Phantom of the Opera; and her breakout role in 1995, Circle of Friends.
In television, Driver is best known for starring with Eddie Izzard in the cult classic The Riches on FX for which she was nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe. She has starred in several long running series including the ABC sitcom Speechless; the NBC sitcom About a Boy; and in a recurring role in the NBC series Will & Grace. She has also starred in several miniseries in the UK including The Deep for BBC One.
Predating her work as an actress, Driver started as a recording artist and has released three full solo albums over the span of her career. She has also lent her voice to a variety of animated series and films including SuperMansion, Tarzan; and Princess Mononoke as well as video games including Jurassic Park: Trespasser for DreamWorks Interactive and Electronic Arts.
Early life and education
Driver was born in Marylebone, London as Amelia Fiona J. Driver. The nickname Minnie was given to her by her older sister Kate Driver. Her mother, Gaynor Churchward (née Millington), is a fabric designer and former couture model. Her father, Charles Ronald Driver (1921–2009), was born in Swansea, Wales, of English and Scottish descent; he earned the Distinguished Flying Medal for his role in the Battle of Heligoland Bight and was a director of London United Investments.
Her parents never married, as her father was married to another woman throughout his relationship with Minnie's mother. Her parents separated when Minnie was six years old. She was sent to Bedales School in Hampshire as a boarder soon after. Ronald Driver moved to Barbados where Minnie spent her school holidays. She later attended the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, and Collingham College, an independent college in Kensington. Minnie's older sister Kate is a film producer and manager. She also has two younger half-brothers: Charlie Driver from her father's subsequent marriage, and Ed Churchward from her mother's subsequent marriage.
Driver's television debut was in a 1991 TV advertisement for Right Guard deodorant. Driver also made her stage debut in 1991, supplementing her income by performing as a jazz vocalist and guitarist. She appeared on British television with comedians Steve Coogan and Armando Iannucci, and had small parts in Casualty, The House of Eliott, Lovejoy and Peak Practice. Driver gained broader public attention when she played the lead role in Circle of Friends in 1995. She followed this with supporting roles in GoldenEye (1995), Sleepers (1996), Big Night (1996) and Grosse Pointe Blank (1997). She played opposite Matt Damon as Skylar in the drama Good Will Hunting (1997), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
In 1998, Driver starred in Sandra Goldbacher's film The Governess. That same year, she co-starred opposite Christian Slater and Morgan Freeman in the action thriller Hard Rain. Driver has also worked on several animated features, voicing Jane in Disney's 1999 version of Tarzan and Lady Eboshi in the 1999 English-dubbed release of the Japanese film Princess Mononoke. In 2003 and 2004, she had a recurring role on Will & Grace as Lorraine Finster, the nemesis of Karen Walker (Megan Mullally) and daughter of Karen's lover, Lyle Finster (John Cleese).
In March 2007, Driver made her return to television in the FX Network show The Riches. She was nominated for an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award as Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2007 and 2008, respectively. She was scheduled to appear in The Simpsons Movie, although her appearance was cut from the final version. Driver appeared in the January 2010 episode of Modern Family entitled "Moon Landing". She also starred in the television series The Deep and appeared in Conviction, in the comedy-drama Barney's Version, winning a Genie Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Driver landed the lead role in the ABC sitcom Speechless, playing the mother of three children, one of whom has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. The series debuted in the 2016–17 TV season. It was cancelled in May 2019 after three seasons.
Driver began making music at boarding school. She collaborated on Bomb the Bass's album Clear, in 1994, as part of the outfit River. She was part of the Milo Roth Band, which received a recording contract when she was 19. In 2001 she signed with EMI and Rounder Records and performed at the SXSW music festival. The title song of Everything I've Got in My Pocket, her first album, reached No. 34 in the UK, and the song "Invisible Girl" peaked at No. 68. Driver wrote 10 of the 11 songs on the album. In 2004, Driver was the supporting act for the Finn Brothers on the UK portion of their world tour.
In 2004, Driver played Carlotta Giudicelli in Joel Schumacher's film The Phantom of the Opera, based on the musical of the same name by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Driver sang "Learn to be Lonely", an original song written for the film by Lloyd Webber. However, because of her lack of opera experience, all her songs as Carlotta were dubbed by opera singer Margaret Preece. Driver released her second album, Seastories, in July 2007, featuring guest appearances by Ryan Adams, the Cardinals and Liz Phair. Driver released a third album in October 2014 called Ask Me to Dance that includes songs by Elliott Smith, Neil Young and The Killers.
|1992||The Zebra Man||Emily Ashdown||Short|
|1995||Circle of Friends||Bernadette "Benny" Hogan|
|1997||Grosse Pointe Blank||Debi Newberry|
|1997||Good Will Hunting||Skylar Satenstein|
|1998||The Governess||Rosina da Silva|
|1998||At Sachem Farm||Kendal|
|1999||An Ideal Husband||Miss Mabel Chiltern|
|1999||Princess Mononoke||Lady Eboshi (voice)||English dub|
|1999||Tarzan||Jane Porter (voice)|
|1999||South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut||Brooke Shields (voice)|
|2000||Return to Me||Grace Briggs|
|2000||Slow Burn||Trina McTeague|
|2000||The Upgrade||Constance Levine||Short|
|2001||High Heels and Low Lifes||Shannon|
|2003||Hope Springs||Vera Edwards|
|2004||The Phantom of the Opera||Carlotta|
|2006||The Virgin of Juarez||Karina Danes|
|2010||Barney's Version||Mrs. P|
|2011||Hunky Dory||Vivienne Mae|
|2013||I Give It a Year||Naomi|
|2014||Return to Zero||Maggie Royal|
|2014||Stage Fright||Kylie Swanson|
|2014||Beyond the Lights||Macy Jean|
|2017||The Crash||Shannon Clifton|
|2017||The Wilde Wedding||Priscilla Jones|
|2017||Laboratory Conditions||Marjorie Cane||Short|
|2018||Spinning Man||Ellen Birch|
|1990||God on the Rocks||Lydia||TV Movie|
|1991||The House of Eliott||Mary||Episode #1.4|
|1991||Casualty||Zena Mitchell||Episode: "The Last Word"|
|1992||Kinsey||Louise Kinsey||3 episodes|
|1993||Maigret||Arlette||Episode: "Maigret and the Night Club Dancer"|
|1993||Mr Wroe's Virgins||Leah||4 episodes|
|1993||Screen One||Sally||Episode: "Royal Celebration"|
|1994||The Day Today||Mila Milandrovicz/Lally Sampson||2 episodes|
|1994||Peak Practice||Sue Keel||Episode: "Enemy Within"|
|1994||Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge||Daniella Forrest||Episode #1.2|
|1995||My Good Friend||Ellie||7 episodes|
|1995||The Politician's Wife||Jennifer Caird||3 episodes|
|1996||Cruel Train||Flora Mussell||TV Movie|
|1996||Murder Most Horrid||Sgt. Cole||Episode: "Confess"|
|2000||The X-Files||Cinema Audience||Uncredited; episode: "Hollywood A.D."|
|2003–20||Will & Grace||Lorraine Finster||Recurring Role; 9 episodes|
|2003||Absolutely Fabulous||Herself||Episode: "Panickin'"|
|2007–08||The Riches||Dahlia Malloy||Lead Role; 20 episodes|
|2010||Modern Family||Valerie||Episode: "Moon Landing"|
|2010||The Deep||Frances Kelly||Lead Role; 5 episodes (miniseries)|
|2011||Hail Mary||Mary Beth Baker||TV Movie|
|2012||Lady Friends||Jennifer Rensen||TV Movie|
|2012||QuickBites||Ellen||Episode: "Food for Thought"|
|2012||Web Therapy||Allegra Favreau||5 episodes|
|2013||Hollywood Game Night||Herself||Episode: "The Office Party"|
|2014||Hell's Kitchen||Herself||Episode: "7 Chefs Again"|
|2014||The Red Tent||Leah||Lead Role; 2 episodes (miniseries)|
|2014–15||About a Boy||Fiona Bowa||Lead Role; 33 episodes|
|2014||Peter Pan Live!||Narrator / Adult Wendy Darling||TV special|
|2015||Undateable||Ally's Friend||Episode: "A Live Show Walks Into a Bar: Part 1"|
|2016–19||Speechless||Maya DiMeo||Lead role; 63 episodes|
|2018–19||SuperMansion||Debby Devizo (voice)||5 episodes|
Awards and nominations
|2007||Revisioned: Tomb Raider||Lara Croft (voice)||9 episodes|
|1998||Jurassic Park: Trespasser||Anne|
|2003||Quest for the Code||Smokita|
|2004||Everything I've Got in My Pocket||43||Zoë|
|2014||Ask Me to Dance||11||Rounder|
|2004||"Invisible Girl"||Everything I've Got in My Pocket|
|2005||"Everything I've Got in My Pocket"|
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- "Mum's the Word! Mindy Kaling, Minnie Driver & More Celebs Who've Kept Quiet About Their Baby's Father". People Magazine. 11 June 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
- Delbyck, Cole (12 October 2016). "Minnie Driver Shares Deeply Personal Story About Teenage Sexual Assault". Huffington Post. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
- Bitette, Nicole (12 October 2016). "Minnie Driver reveals she was sexually assaulted as a teenager, says it happens to all women". New York Daily News. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
- Driver, Minnie (12 December 2017). "I'll tell you what, I became a duel citizen on Friday. I have never been so proud to be an Anglo-American.#DougJonesAL @GDouglasJones #alabama". Twitter.com.
- Driver, Minnie (21 December 2017). "I will! I'm having a 'WE THE PEOPLE' tea party. ( the tea will be in a pot, not thrown in the harbor)https://twitter.com/uscismediala/status/943963025085571072 …". Twitter.com.
- Nicholson, Claire (21 December 2017). "Today more than 8,000 people from 120 countries became #newUScitizens in #DTLA, including the talented @driverminnie!pic.twitter.com/HpEgSw2Aag". Twitter.com.
- California News Wire Services, News Partner (22 October 2017). "Minnie Driver Sworn in As US Citizen in LA Ceremony". Patch.com. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- "Minnie Driver Confirms Romance with Addison O'Dea at Emmys Afterparty". People Magazine. 23 September 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
- "Minnie Driver Debuts Blinged Out Engagement Ring From New Love Addison O'Dea At Emmys After Party". Access Hollywood. 23 September 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
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