Amelia Fiona Jessica Driver
31 January 1970
|Alma mater||Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Partner(s)||Addison O'Dea (2019–present; engaged)|
Amelia Fiona Jessica Driver (born January 31, 1970) is a British-American actress and singer. She rose to prominence with her break-out role in 1995's Circle of Friends. She went on to star in a wide range of films including the cult classic Grosse Pointe Blank, 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, the musical The Phantom of the Opera, Owning Mahowny, and providing the voice of Lady Eboshi in Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke.
In television, Driver starred with Eddie Izzard in The Riches for which she was nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe. She has starred in 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 singer 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 and Tarzan as well as video games including Jurassic Park: Trespasser.
Early life and education
Her mother, Gaynor Churchward (née Millington), was a fabric designer and former couture model. Her father, Charles Ronald Driver (1921–2009), was born in Swansea, Wales, and was 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 broke off their relationship when Minnie was six years old. She was sent to Bedales School in Hampshire as a boarder soon after. 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 one older half-sister, Susan Driver, from her father's prior marriage, and two younger half-brothers: Charlie Driver from Ronald's subsequent marriage, and Ed Churchward from her mother's subsequent one.
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. In 1993 she featured in an episode of Maigret, alongside Michael Gambon and Michael Sheen. 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. Driver was also considered to play Rose DeWitt Butaker in the 1997 film Titanic, but director James Cameron felt she was too old so Kate Winslet was cast instead.
In 1998, Driver starred in Sandra Goldbacher's film The Governess. That 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|
|2007||The Simpsons Movie||Grievance Counselor||Scenes deleted|
|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||Sergeant Cole||Episode: "Confess"|
|2000||The X-Files||Cinema Audience||Uncredited; episode: "Hollywood A.D."|
|2003–2020||Will & Grace||Lorraine Finster||Recurring Role; 9 episodes|
|2003||Absolutely Fabulous||Herself||Episode: "Panickin'"|
|2007–2008||The Riches||Dahlia Malloy||Lead Role|
|2010||Modern Family||Valerie||Episode: "Moon Landing"|
|2010||The Deep||Frances Kelly||Lead Role, 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, miniseries|
|2014–2015||About a Boy||Fiona Bowa||Lead Role|
|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"|
|2016–2019||Speechless||Maya DiMeo||Lead role|
|2018–2019||SuperMansion||Debby Devizo (voice)||5 episodes|
|2021||Modern Love||Stephanie Curran||Episode: "On a Serpentine Road, With the Top Down"|
Awards and nominations
|2007||Revisioned: Tomb Raider||Lara Croft (voice)||10 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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- Roy Trakin (28 July 2014). "Minnie Driver to Release 'Ask Me to Dance,' Cover Album". The Hollywood Reporter.
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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.
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- Driver, Minnie [@driverminnie] (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 🇺🇸🇬🇧" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 14 December 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2021 – via Twitter.
- Driver, Minnie [@driverminnie] (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) t.co/H8zCRnwMAi" (Tweet). Retrieved 27 June 2021 – via Twitter.
- USCIS Media - Western Region [@USCISMediaWest] (21 December 2017). "Today more than 8,000 people from 120 countries became #newUScitizens in #DTLA, including the talented @driverminnie! t.co/HpEgSw2Aag" (Tweet). Retrieved 27 June 2021 – via Twitter.
- 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.
- Shawn Adler; Larry Carroll (1 October 2021). "Movie File: 'Dark Knight,' Christian Bale, 'Simpsons Movie' & More". MTV. Retrieved 8 May 2007.
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