Minka Kelly

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Minka Kelly
Minka Kelly 2012.jpg
Kelly at The Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection 2012
Born (1980-06-24) June 24, 1980 (age 42)
  • Actress
  • model
Years active2002–present

Minka Kelly (born June 24, 1980)[1] is an American actress and model. Her first starring role was in the NBC drama series Friday Night Lights (2006–2009) and she has also appeared on the shows Parenthood (2010–2011), Charlie's Angels (2011), and Almost Human (2013). She also provided voice acting and motion capture for North in Detroit: Become Human (2018). Since 2018, Kelly has portrayed Dawn Granger / Dove on the DC Universe / HBO Max series Titans.

Early life[edit]

Kelly was born in Los Angeles, California.[2] She is the only child of former Aerosmith guitarist Rick Dufay and the late Maureen Dumont Kelly.[3] She was raised by her mother, who worked various jobs.[4] Kelly and her mother moved to various communities before settling in Albuquerque, New Mexico by the time Kelly was in junior high school.[5] Kelly's mother Maureen died in 2008, at age 51, from colon cancer.[6] She has French, Irish and Dutch-Indonesian ancestry.[7][8]


After graduating from Valley High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico,[9] Kelly returned to Los Angeles.[5] While on a test shoot for a modeling agency, she was approached by a former Playboy Playmate who was interested in managing her, and who placed Kelly as a receptionist at a surgeon's office who would provide Kelly breast augmentation in exchange for hours worked. She ultimately decided against the procedure, leading to her being fired.[5] That exposure to the medical field prompted her to attend school for a year to become a surgeon's assistant; afterward, she worked as a scrub technician. During the four years she spent in that vocation she continued auditioning for film and television roles.[5]

In 2003, Kelly made her acting debut as an extra in the short film The Turbo Charged Prelude for 2 Fast 2 Furious, a six-minute introduction to the action film 2 Fast 2 Furious. This was followed by a special guest appearance on Cracking Up. She has since appeared in a number of television shows such as Entourage, Drake & Josh, and American Dreams. In 2005, Kelly landed a three episode recurring role in The WB comedy series What I Like About You.

In April 2006, Kelly was cast as a series regular on the NBC drama series Friday Night Lights. The show, based on the high school football film of the same name, follows a high school football team in the fictional small town of Dillon. Kelly played the role of high school student and cheerleader Lyla Garrity. In preparation for her role as a cheerleader she trained with the Pflugerville High School cheerleading squad. The series premiered on October 3, 2006, with Kelly receiving praise for her performance with The New York Times calling her performance "heartbreaking." At the end of the show's third season Kelly left the series as her character left for college.[10]

In 2006, Kelly starred in the horror slasher film The Pumpkin Karver as Tammy Boyles, and had a bit role in State's Evidence. In 2007, she reunited with Friday Night Lights creator Peter Berg in the film The Kingdom in a cameo role as Ms. Ross alongside Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner.[11] In 2009, she also appeared in the final scene of the film 500 Days of Summer as Autumn, a potential new love interest to Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character.

In August 2008, Kelly had been cast as the protagonist in The CW pilot series Body Politic. She played the role of Francesca "Frankie" Foster, who moves to Washington, D.C. to work for a senator and befriends a group of eager up-and-comers. Despite acclaim from critics who viewed the pilot,[12] The CW did not pick up the series. Kelly also appeared in the pilot for the short-lived CBS comedy series Mad Love playing the role of Kate, a Midwestern girl who falls in love with Henry at the top of the Empire State Building. When the series was picked up, Kelly was replaced by Sarah Chalke.[13]

In April 2010, Kelly appeared on the NBC drama series Parenthood. She played the role of a behavioral aide to the child character Max who is diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. Kelly went on to appear in nine episodes of the show before making her final appearance in the episode "Taking the Leap" which aired on March 29, 2011. In the same year, Kelly was named "Sexiest Woman Alive" in the annual Esquire magazine feature.[5] She accepted a role in the Off Broadway play Love, Loss, and What I Wore for an April 27–29, 2011, run with Conchata Ferrell, AnnaLynne McCord, Anne Meara and B. Smith.[14]

In December 2010, ABC announced that Kelly was cast in the planned reboot of the crime drama series Charlie's Angels. She played the role of street racer Eve French. The pilot was filmed in March 2011 and the series was picked up on May 13, 2011. Charlie's Angels premiered on September 22, 2011, to over 8.76 million viewers. The series received unanimously negative reviews from critics. Despite a planned 13 episodes, ABC cancelled the series after the premiere of the fourth episode due to low ratings.[15] The series concluded on November 10, 2011.

A brunette woman wearing a black jacket and gray scarf smiles
Kelly at a USO holiday troop visit at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan in 2011

Kelly starred in the 2011 thriller The Roommate as a college freshman whose roommate, portrayed by Leighton Meester, has an obsession with her that turns violent. Although released to generally negative reviews, the film went on to make over $15.6 million in its opening weekend and over $40 million worldwide.

Variety announced that Kelly was cast as the lead in the mystery comedy movie Searching for Sonny. The film follows two reunited friends who are suspects in a murder mystery that is similar to a play in which they appeared during high school. Production took place in May and June 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas. The film won the "Best Narrative Feature" Award at the Festivus Film Festival.

She joined an eight-day, four-country United Service Organizations tour in December 2011 with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, Robert Horry, Jordin Sparks, Thomas Miles, and Sergeant Major Bryan Battaglia.[16][17] In February 2012, she was one of the celebrities who modeled in red dresses for The Heart Truth Red Dress Collection show, part of New York Fashion Week. She wore a Diane von Fürstenberg dress.[18] In June 2012, Kelly appeared in the music video for "One More Night" by Maroon 5.[19] In 2013, Kelly appeared in the film The Butler as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.[20]

In September 2017, it was announced that Kelly had been cast on the DC Universe series Titans in a recurring role as Dawn Granger / Dove.[21] The series premiered on October 12, 2018. After the conclusion of the first season, Kelly was promoted to a series regular for the second season in September 2019.

In May 2018, Kelly appeared in the video game Detroit: Become Human as North, the right-hand woman and potential love interest of protagonist Markus.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Kelly dated actor Chris Evans in 2007. They rekindled their relationship in 2012, and broke up in 2013.[23][24] From May 2008 to August 2011, Kelly was in a relationship with then-New York Yankees baseball player Derek Jeter.[25][26] In 2017, Kelly dated actor Jesse Williams for nearly a year before the couple broke up in 2018.[27] Since 2020, Kelly had been in a relationship with comedian Trevor Noah,[28] breaking up in 2022.

Kelly enjoys cooking and baking.[29] She graduated from the New School of Cooking in Culver City, California, in June 2015.[29][30]



Year Title Role Notes
2003 The Turbo Charged Prelude for 2 Fast 2 Furious Girl Uncredited, short film
2005 Devil's Highway River
2006 The Pumpkin Karver Tammy Boyles
2006 State's Evidence Girl #3
2007 The Kingdom Miss Ross [citation needed]
2009 500 Days of Summer Autumn
2011 The Roommate Sara Matthews Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Scared-As-S**t Performance
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actress in a Drama
2011 Just Go with It Joanna Damon
2011 Searching for Sonny Eden Mercer
2013 The Butler Jackie Kennedy
2015 The World Made Straight Dena
2015 Papa: Hemingway in Cuba Debbie Hunt
2017 Naked Callie Uncredited
2018 Night Hunter Angie [citation needed]
2020 She's in Portland Sarah Hill
2021 Lansky Maureen
TBA Shady Friend Kara Short film


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Cracking Up Monica Episode: "Panic House"
2004 Drake & Josh Stacey Episode: "Movie Job"
2005 American Dreams Bonnie Episode: "Home Again"
2005 What I Like About You Ricki 3 episodes
2006–2009 Friday Night Lights Lyla Garrity Main role (seasons 1–3);
guest role (season 4)
2009 Body Politic Francesca "Frankie" Foster Unaired TV pilot (The CW)
2010–2011 Parenthood Gaby Recurring role; 9 episodes
2010 Entourage Herself Episode: "Lose Yourself"
2011 Charlie's Angels Eve French Main role
2013–2014 Almost Human Valerie Stahl Main role
2015 Away & Back Jennie Newsom Television film
2015 Man Seeking Woman Whitney Episode: "Sizzurp"
2016 The Path Miranda Frank 4 episodes
2017 Jane the Virgin Abbey Whitman 3 episodes
2017 Bull Kara Clayton Episode: "School for Scandal"
2018 The Beach House Cara Rudland Television film
2018–2021 Titans Dawn Granger / Dove Recurring role (season 1); main role (seasons 2–3)
2019 Drunk History Maurine Dallas Watkins / Florence Nightingale 2 episodes
2020 Legends of Tomorrow Dawn Granger / Dove "Crisis on Infinite Earths, Part 5"; archive footage from Titans
2020 Robot Chicken Arya Stark, Mascot Judge (voice) Episode: "Petless M in: Cars Are Couches On The Road"
2022–present Euphoria Samantha 3 episodes

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist(s) Ref.
2002 "She Hates Me" Puddle of Mudd
"If You C Jordan" Something Corporate [31]
2012 "One More Night" Maroon 5 [32]

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2018 Detroit: Become Human North Voice acting and motion capture


  1. ^ Bacardi, Francesca (February 22, 2021). "Trevor Noah and girlfriend Minka Kelly celebrate his birthday together". Page Six. Retrieved December 31, 2021.
  2. ^ "About Minka Kelly". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  3. ^ Sturtz, Rachel (November 2006), "Funny Joke from a Beautiful Woman", Esquire. 146 (5):41
  4. ^ "Minka Kelly Open Up About 'Complicated' Relationship With Stripper Mom". HuffPost. September 10, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e D'Agostino, Ryan (October 11, 2010). "Minka Kelly Is the Sexiest Woman Alive 2010". Esquire. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  6. ^ Radar Staff (September 29, 2011). "Charlie's Angels Minka Kelly's Homeless Uncle Pleads for Help". Radar Online. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
  7. ^ Andrews, Amy (October 11, 2010). "Watch out Derek Jeter, Minka Kelly is Esquire's sexiest woman alive". IrishCentral. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
  8. ^ Kelly, Minka [@minkakelly] (June 30, 2017). "On the last day of #ImmigrationHeritageMonth, I celebrate the heritage of my own family". Retrieved July 6, 2017 – via Instagram.
  9. ^ Real, Evan (May 10, 2016). "Emarrassing Celebrity Yearbook Pics! Minka Kelly". Us Weekly. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  10. ^ No byline (2006). "Full Biography", NYTimes.com. Retrieved October 2, 2007.
  11. ^ Heffernan, Virginia (December 29, 2006), "You Can Find 'Friday Night Light' on Monday, Tuesday … Even Friday Night". New York Times. 156 (53808):E37
  12. ^ Abrams, Natalie (June 6, 2009). "The Body Politic: The Best Pilot You May Never See". E!. Archived from the original on December 22, 2017. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  13. ^ Eng, Joyce (February 9, 2010). "It's True Love for Minka Kelly". TV Guide. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  14. ^ Gans, Andrew (April 14, 2011). "Minka Kelly, Susan Sullivan Set for Love, Loss... Off-Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  15. ^ Derschowitz, Jessica (October 14, 2011). "ABC cancels "Charlie's Angels"". CBS News. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  16. ^ United Service Organizations [@the_USO] (December 12, 2011). "GEN @Martin_Dempsey of @thejointstaff & @DeanieDempsey kick off USO Holiday Tour w/ @JordinSparks, @MinkaKelly, Robert Horry & @nephewtommy!" (Tweet). Retrieved December 19, 2011 – via Twitter.
  17. ^ "Photos: Gen. Dempsey Sets Out on First USO Tour With Top Talent in Tow". United Service Organizations. December 20, 2011. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  18. ^ Nuñez, Alanna (February 10, 2012). "Stars Hit the Runway for Heart Health". Shape. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  19. ^ Warner, Kara (June 26, 2012). "Minka Kelly Is Maroon 5's Latest Video Vixen". MTV. Archived from the original on March 27, 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  20. ^ "The Butler". Comingsoon.net. Retrieved June 8, 2013.
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 7, 2017). "'Titans': Minka Kelly Cast As Dove In DC Live-Action Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  22. ^ Khan, Zarmena (March 3, 2018). "Detroit: Become Human Cast Members Include Clancy Brown, Lance Henriksen, and Minka Kelly". PlayStation Lifestyle. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  23. ^ "Chris Evans & Minka Kelly: On-and-Off Couple Spotted on Friendly Walk in L.A." PEOPLE.com. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  24. ^ Bryant, Kenzie. "Chris Evans Is an Extremely Cool Ex-Boyfriend". Vanity Fair. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  25. ^ Derek Jeter, Minka Kelly wedding is just talk, says friend, Daily News, January 13, 2010
  26. ^ Weiss, Shari (January 18, 2011). "Minka Kelly: I'm not marrying Derek Jeter – in the next month, at least". New York Daily News. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  27. ^ Sisavat, Monica (January 25, 2018). "Jesse Williams and Minka Kelly Reportedly Split After Nearly a Year of Dating". PopSugar.
  28. ^ "All About Minka Kelly, Trevor Noah's Back-On Girlfriend". February 18, 2022.
  29. ^ a b "Minka Kelly Graduates From Culinary School". GMA.Yahoo.com. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  30. ^ Byrne, Suzy (March 21, 2016). "Minka Kelly on Her Nomadic Childhood: I Learned How to Grow a 'Thick Skin' and 'Be Adaptable'". Yahoo!. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  31. ^ Something Corporate – If You C Jordan on YouTube
  32. ^ Maroon 5 – One More Night on YouTube

External links[edit]