Minnie Driver

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Minnie Driver
Minnie Driver, January 2011
Minnie Driver at the premiere of Barney's Version in January 2011
Born Amelia Fiona Driver
(1970-01-31) 31 January 1970 (age 44)
London, England
United Kingdom
Residence Los Angeles, California
Nationality British
Education Bedales
Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1990–present
Known for Good Will Hunting
Children 1
Parents Gaynor Millington (mother)
Ronnie Driver (father)

Amelia Fiona "Minnie" Driver (born 31 January 1970) is an English[1][2] actress and singer-songwriter. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film Good Will Hunting, and an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe for her work in the television series The Riches.

Early life[edit]

Driver was born in London, the daughter of Gaynor Churchward (née Millington), a fabric designer and former couture model who now runs her own interiors company, and Charles Ronald "Ronnie" Driver, a businessman and financial adviser who used to be a director of London United Investments.[1][3]

Her father was born in Swansea, Wales, to English and Scottish parents;[4] he was acknowledged as a war hero and awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for bravery shown as a gunner in an RAF Wellington bomber during the Battle of Heligoland Bight in 1939, when his aircraft was shot down.[5]

Driver was brought up in Barbados and was educated at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.[6]

Driver has an older sister, Kate Driver, a younger half-brother named Edward Churchward from her mother's marriage to Edward Churchward (senior), and a younger half brother named Charlie Driver from her father's marriage to her stepmother Misty.[7]

Driver's parents, who were never married and kept separate houses, separated when she was 6 years old.[7] After the split, Driver and her older sister, Kate, were sent to a boarding school in Hampshire called Bedales.[7]



Driver's television debut was in a 1991 UK TV advertisement for Right Guard deodorant.[8] Driver also made her stage debut in 1991, supplementing her income by performing as a jazz vocalist and guitarist.[9] She appeared on British television with comedians such as Steve Coogan and Armando Iannucci and had small parts in such shows as Casualty, The House of Eliott, Lovejoy, and Peak Practice. Driver first came to broad public attention when she played the lead role in Circle of Friends in 1995. She followed this with a string of supporting roles in big studio films like the 17th James Bond installment GoldenEye (1995), Sleepers (1996), and Grosse Pointe Blank (1997). She achieved greater recognition playing opposite Matt Damon in Gus Van Sant's Good Will Hunting (1997), a role for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Screen Actors Guild Award, among others.

In 1998, Driver starred in Sandra Goldbacher's film, The Governess.[10]

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). 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.

On 12 March 2007, Driver made her return to television starring alongside Eddie Izzard on the FX Network show The Riches, a series about a family of Travellers living in an upscale gated community in the suburbs. She was nominated for an Emmy Award[11] and a Golden Globe Award as Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2007 and 2008, respectively.[12]

Driver guest-starred in the January 2010 episode of Modern Family entitled "Moon Landing". Her role was that of Claire's friend and former co-worker whom she hasn't seen in years.[13] She also starred alongside James Nesbitt and Goran Visnjic in the British series The Deep, which was shown on BBC One over the summer of 2010.[14]

In 2010, Driver appeared in Conviction, a film depicting the real-life story of Betty Ann Waters (Hilary Swank), a single mother who spends a decade pursuing a law degree so she can represent her wrongfully convicted brother (played by Sam Rockwell) at court. Driver plays a fellow law student and friend of Swank's character who helps her with the case. Also in 2010, Driver starred alongside Paul Giamatti in the comedy-drama Barney's Version and Driver herself went on to win a Genie Award for Best Supporting Actress.


Driver began making music during boarding school, where she was encouraged to sing, write and perform.[15] At 19, Driver got a record deal with a group called the Milo Roth Band.[15] In 2001 she signed with EMI and Rounder Records and performed at the SXSW music festival.[16] Her first album included the song, Everything I've Got in My Pocket, which reached No. 34[17] in the UK, and the song, "Invisible Girl" which 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.[18]

In 2004, Driver played Carlotta Giudicelli in Joel Schumacher's film of The Phantom of the Opera her voice was dubbed except for the song, Learn to be Lonely, by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Driver released her second album entitled Seastories on 17 July 2007 produced by Marc "Doc" Dauer and features Ryan Adams, the Cardinals and Liz Phair.[19]

Driver plans to release a third album in October, 2014 called, Ask Me To Dance that includes songs by Elliott Smith, Neil Young and the The Killers.[20]

Personal life[edit]

"Minnie" was the nickname given to Driver by her sister, Kate.[7]

On 5 September 2008, Driver gave birth to a son, Henry Story Driver, but she did not reveal the identity of his father at that time.[21][22] Driver later revealed that Henry's father is a former producer on The Riches, Tim Lea.[22][23]

Driver dated Good Will Hunting co-star Matt Damon.[3]

She was once engaged to Josh Brolin, but the pair amicably split.[24]

In 2013, Driver appeared on an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? (U.K. TV series) which was repeated on the 2014 U.S version of the show, where she searched for information about her father and his family. She discovered two living cousins and was able to talk to them about her father.[25]



Year Title Role Notes
1990 God on the Rocks Lydia
1992 The Zebra Man Emily Ashdown Short film
1994 That Sunday Rachel Short film
1995 Circle of Friends Bernadette "Benny" Hogan Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actress
1995 GoldenEye Irina
1995 Cruel Train Flora Mussell
1995 The Politician's Wife Jennifer Caird
1996 Big Night Phyllis London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Supporting Actress of the Year
1996 Sleepers Carol Martinez London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Supporting Actress of the Year
1997 Grosse Pointe Blank Debi Newberry London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Supporting Actress of the Year
1997 Good Will Hunting Skylar London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Supporting Actress of the Year
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss
1998 Hard Rain Karen
1998 The Governess Rosina da Silva
1998 At Sachem Farm Kendal
1999 An Ideal Husband Miss Mabel Chiltern
1999 Tarzan Jane Porter Nominated – Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting
1999 South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut Brooke Shields Voice only
1999 Princess Mononoke Lady Eboshi Voice only (English version)
2000 Return to Me Grace Briggs
2000 Beautiful Mona Hiburd
2000 Slow Burn Trina McTeague
2000 The Upgrade Constance Levine Short film
2001 D.C. Smalls Waitress Short film
2001 High Heels and Low Lifes Shannon
2003 Owning Mahowny Belinda
2003 Hope Springs Vera Edwards
2004 Ella Enchanted Mandy
2004 The Phantom of the Opera Carlotta Nominated – London Film Critics Circle Award for British Supporting Actress of the Year
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
2004 Portrait Donna Short film
2006 The Virgin of Juarez Karina Danes
2007 Ripple Effect Kitty
2007 Take Ana
2007 The Simpsons Movie A counselor Deleted scenes
2009 Motherhood Sheila
2010 Conviction Abra
2010 Barney's Version Mrs. P Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated – London Film Critics Circle Awards for British Supporting Actress of the Year
Nominated – Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Canadian Film
2012 Hunky Dory Vivienne
2012 Goats Shaman Cameo appearance
2013 I Give It a Year Naomi
2014 Beyond the Lights Macy Jean
2014 Unity Narrator Documentary
2014 Stage Fright Kylie Swanson
2014 Return to Zero Maggie Royal Nominated–Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated–Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries
2014 A Conspiracy on Jekyll Island Shannon


Year Title Role Notes
1991 The House of Eliott Mary
1991 Casualty Zena Mitchell
1992 Lovejoy Sarah
1993 Mr. Wroe's Virgins Leah
1993 Maigret Arlette
1993 Screen One Sally
1994 Peak Practice Sue Keel
1994 The Day Today Lally Sampson
1994 Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge Daniella Forrest
1995 My Good Friend Ellie
1996 Murder Most Horrid Sgt. Cole
2000 The X-Files Cinema Audience
2001 The Kumars at No. 42 Herself
2003 Absolutely Fabulous Herself
2003–2004 Will & Grace Lorraine Finster
2007 Re\Visioned: Tomb Raider Animated Series Lara Croft
2007–2008 The Riches Dahlia Malloy Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Drama Series
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
2010 Modern Family Valerie Season 1, Episode 14: "Moon Landing"
2010 The Deep Frances Kelly
2012 Web Therapy Allegra Favreau Season 2, Episode 5, 6
2013 Who Do You Think You Are? Self Series 10, Episode 3
2014 About a Boy Fiona Bowa Main role
2014 Hell's Kitchen US Herself Host of Dinner for Oxfam charity at Hell's Kitchen




Year Album US Heat Label
2004 Everything I've Got in My Pocket 43 Zoë
2007 Seastories 25


Year Single Album
2004 "Invisible Girl" Everything I've Got in My Pocket
2005 "Everything I've Got in My Pocket"


  1. ^ a b Hutchinson, Clare (20 August 2010). "Hollywood star calls for Wales’ only lido to be opened". WalesOnline. Retrieved 7 November 2010. 
  2. ^ "Cranky Critic StarTalk: Minnie Driver". Crankycritic.com. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Winters, Laura (2 August 1998). "Film; When the Character Calls, Minnie Driver Listens". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ "Minnie Driver: Series 10". Who Do You Think You Are?. BBC. 7 August 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "Minnie Driver: A Hollywood actress with a fascinating history that could be straight from a film plot...". The Genealogist.co.uk. Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  6. ^ Lane, Harriet (3 August 1997). "Minnie the minx: She used to be an English public school mouse; now she's a Hollywood babe". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d Mears, Jo (24 September 2010). "Minnie Driver: My family values - The actress talks about her family". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "UK TV Adverts 1991 (part 3)". YouTube. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Minnie Driver Biography". Biography.com. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  10. ^ Matthews, Tom Dewe (10 September 1997). "Minnie the mix: How has Hampshire-bred actress Minnie Driver come to be a big success in Hollywood? By going native". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  11. ^ "Minnie Driver". Emmys. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  12. ^ "Minnie Driver - Awards". IMDb. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  13. ^ Abrams, Natalie (12 November 2009). "Minnie Driver to Guest-Star on Modern Family". TV Guide. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "James Nesbitt, Minnie Driver and Goran Visnjic star in new BBC One drama serial, The Deep". BBC. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Barnett, Laura (12 May 2008). "Portrait of the artist: Minnie Driver, actor and musician". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  16. ^ Petridis, Alexis (2 September 2004). "'I've taken a pounding'". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  17. ^ "(((Everything I've Got in My Pocket> Charts & Awards> Billboard Albums)))". AllMusic. 5 October 2004. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  18. ^ "Minnie Drives At Musical Success With Finn Brothers Tour". Contact Music. 8 October 2004. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  19. ^ Up for DiscussionPost Comment (16 March 2007). "Phair, Ryan Adams Enhance Minnie Driver Sophomore Set". Billboard. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  20. ^ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/minnie-driver-release-ask-me-721766
  21. ^ Jordan, Julie; Chi, Paul (8 September 2008). "Minnie Driver Welcomes a Son!". People Magazine. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  22. ^ a b Conner, Megan (18 February 2012). "Minnie Driver: 'Oh, I'm being so naughty …'". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  23. ^ "Minnie Driver Finally Reveals Father of Her 3-Year-Old Son". Hollywood Reporter. 21 February 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  24. ^ "Minnie Driver Breaks Off Engagement". ABC News. 4 October 2001. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  25. ^ Pearson, Jennifer (27 August 2014). "Minnie Driver unravels the truth about her father's double life and says she did it for son Henry in sneak peek for Who Do You Think You Are". Daily Mail. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 

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