Minnie Driver

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Minnie Driver
Driver in September 2010
Amelia Fiona Driver

(1970-01-31) 31 January 1970 (age 53)
London, England
  • United Kingdom
  • United States (from 2017)
Alma materWebber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art
  • Actress
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active1991–present
Partner(s)Addison O'Dea (2019–present; engaged)

Amelia Fiona "Minnie" Driver (born 31 January 1970) is a British and American actress. 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[edit]

Amelia Fiona Jessica Driver was born in London and raised in Barbados until she was six.[1][2][3][4] The nickname Minnie was given to her by her older sister Kate in childhood.[5][6]

Her mother, Gaynor Churchward (née Millington) (1937–2021), was a fabric designer and former couture model. Her father, Charles Ronald Driver (1921–2009),[7] was born in Swansea, Wales, and was of English and Scottish descent.[8] He earned the Distinguished Flying Medal[7] for his role in the Battle of Heligoland Bight[9] and was a director of London United Investments.[8][10][11]

Her parents never married.[9] 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.[6] She was sent to Bedales School in Hampshire as a boarder soon after.[6] She later attended the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art,[12] and Collingham College, an independent college in Kensington, Central London.[13] Minnie's older sister Kate is a film producer and manager. She also has one older half-sister, Susan Driver, from her father's first marriage, and two younger half-brothers: Charlie Driver, a football agent, from Ronald's subsequent marriage, and Ed Churchward from her mother's subsequent one.[6][14]



Driver's television debut was in a 1991 TV advertisement for Right Guard deodorant.[15] Driver also made her stage debut in 1991, supplementing her income by performing as a jazz vocalist and guitarist.[16] In 1993 she featured in an episode of Maigret, alongside Michael Gambon and Michael Sheen. Also in 1993, she played alongside Jonathan Pryce in the mini-series, Mr Wroe's Virgins. She appeared in The Day Today, on British television, with comedian Steve Coogan and for satirist 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, opposite Chris O'Donnell. She followed this with a minor role in GoldenEye (1995), a supporting role in Sleepers (1996), a leading role in Big Night (1996), and as a co-star in Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), opposite John Cusack.

Driver 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 Bukater in the 1997 film Titanic, but director James Cameron felt she was too old so Kate Winslet was cast instead.[citation needed]

In 1998, Driver starred in Sandra Goldbacher's film The Governess.[17] 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[18] and a Golden Globe Award as Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2007 and 2008, respectively.[19] 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".[20] She also starred in the television series The Deep[21] and appeared in Conviction, in the comedy drama Barney's Version, winning a Genie Award for Best Supporting Actress.[22]

In October 2013, Driver started filming for The Crash which was released on 13 January 2017.[23]

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.[24]


Driver performing in 2004

Driver began making music at boarding school.[25] 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.[25] In 2001 she signed with EMI and Rounder Records and performed at the SXSW music festival.[26] The title song of Everything I've Got in My Pocket, her first album, reached No. 34[27] in the U.K., 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 U.K. portion of their world tour.[28]

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.[29] Driver released a third album in October 2014 called Ask Me to Dance that includes songs by Elliott Smith, Neil Young and The Killers.[30]


In 2021, Driver started a podcast, Minnie Questions with Minnie Driver, in which she asks guests a series of seven questions, inspired by the Proust Questionnaire. Guests have included Chelsea Clinton, Nick Jonas and Cindy Crawford.[31]

Personal life[edit]

Driver has been in a relationship with Addison O'Dea since 2019.[32][33] She was briefly engaged to Josh Brolin in 2001.[34] She has a son (born 5 September 2008)[35] from a brief relationship with television writer and producer Timothy J. Lea.[36]

In 2016, Driver revealed that she was sexually assaulted at age 17 while on holiday in Greece.[37][38]

On 21 December 2017, Driver became a United States citizen.[39][40][41][42]

Driver was a long-time ambassador for and supporter of Oxfam[43] until withdrawing her support in 2018 over a sexual abuse scandal in the organisation.[44]



Driver at the red carpet New York premiere of Barney's Version in January 2011
Driver at the premiere of Chevalier in September 2022
Year Title Role Notes
1992 The Zebra Man Emily Ashdown Short
1994 That Sunday Rachel Short
1995 Circle of Friends Bernadette 'Benny' Hogan
GoldenEye Irina
1996 Big Night Phyllis
Sleepers Carol Martinez
1997 Grosse Pointe Blank Debi Newberry
Good Will Hunting Skylar Satenstein
1998 Hard Rain Karen
The Governess Rosina Da Silva
At Sachem Farm Kendal
1999 An Ideal Husband Miss Mabel Chiltern
Princess Mononoke Lady Eboshi (voice) English dub
Tarzan Jane Porter (voice)
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut Brooke Shields (voice)
2000 Return to Me Grace Briggs
Beautiful Mona Hibbard
Slow Burn Trina McTeague
The Upgrade Constance Levine Short
2001 High Heels and Low Lifes Shannon
D.C. Smalls Waitress Short
2003 Owning Mahowny Belinda
Hope Springs Vera Edwards
2004 Ella Enchanted Mandy
Portrait Donna Short
The Phantom of the Opera Carlotta
2006 The Virgin of Juarez Karina Danes
2007 Take Ana Nichols
Ripple Effect Kitty
The Simpsons Movie Grievance Counselor Scenes deleted[45]
2009 Motherhood Sheila
2010 Conviction Abra Rice
Barney's Version Mrs. P.
2011 Hunky Dory Vivienne Mae
2012 Goats Shaman Uncredited
2013 I Give It a Year Naomi
2014 Return to Zero Maggie Royal
Stage Fright Kylie Swanson
Beyond the Lights Macy Jean
2015 Unity Narrator (voice) Documentary
2017 The Crash Shannon Clifton
The Wilde Wedding Priscilla Jones
Laboratory Conditions Marjorie Cane Short
2018 Spinning Man Ellen Birch
2021 Cinderella Queen Beatrice
2022 Rosaline The Nurse
Chevalier Marie-Madeleine Guimard
2023 Nandor Fodor and the Talking Mongoose Anne
Uproar Shirley Waaka Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1990 God on the Rocks Lydia TV Movie
1991 The House of Eliott Mary Episode #1.4
Casualty Zena Mitchell Episode: "The Last Word"
1992 Lovejoy Sarah Episode: "Kids"
Kinsey Louise Kinsey 3 episodes
1993 Maigret Arlette Episode: "Maigret and the Night Club Dancer"
Mr Wroe's Virgins Leah 4 episodes
Screen One Sally Episode: "Royal Celebration"
1994 The Day Today Mila Milandrovicz, Lally Sampson 2 episodes
Peak Practice Sue Keel Episode: "Enemy Within"
Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge Daniella Forrest Episode #1.2
1995 My Good Friend Ellie 7 episodes
The Politician's Wife Jennifer Caird 3 episodes
1996 Cruel Train Flora Mussell TV Movie
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"
The Deep Frances Kelly Lead Role, miniseries
2011 Hail Mary Mary Beth Baker TV Movie
2012 Lady Friends Jennifer Rensen TV Movie
QuickBites Ellen Episode: "Food for Thought"
Web Therapy Allegra Favreau 5 episodes
2013 Hollywood Game Night Herself Episode: "The Office Party"
2014 Hell's Kitchen Herself Episode: "7 Chefs Again"
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
2018–2022 Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous Annie Cameo; voice role
2021 Modern Love Stephanie Curran Episode: "On a Serpentine Road, With the Top Down"
2022 The Witcher: Blood Origin Seanchai 3 Episodes
2021–2023 Starstruck Cath 4 Episodes
2023 Our Flag Means Death Anne Bonny Season 2[46]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1995 Chicago Film Critics Association Award Most Promising Actress Won
1996 London Film Critics' Circle Award British Supporting Actress of the Year Nominated
1997 Academy Award Best Supporting Actress Good Will Hunting Nominated
London Film Critics' Circle Award British Supporting Actress of the Year Won
Satellite Award Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
1998 MTV Movie Award Best Kiss (shared with Matt Damon) Nominated
1999 Annie Award Voice Acting in a Feature Production Nominated
2004 Satellite Award Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Nominated
London Film Critics' Circle Award British Supporting Actress of the Year Nominated
2007 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Drama The Riches Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress – Drama Series Nominated
Satellite Award Best Actress – Television Series Drama Nominated
California Independent Film Festival Award Best Actress Won
Phoenix Film Festival Best Acting Ensemble Won
Tiburon International Film Festival Award Best Actress Won
2010 Genie Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Won
London Film Critics' Circle Award British Supporting Actress of the Year Nominated
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award Best Supporting Actress in a Canadian Film Nominated
2015 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite Actress in a New TV Series Nominated
2018 FilmQuest Best Supporting Actress Laboratory Conditions Won
Best Supporting Actress - Short Won

Other media[edit]


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Revisioned: Tomb Raider Lara Croft (voice) 10 episodes

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice role Notes
1998 Jurassic Park: Trespasser Anne
2002 Quest for the Code Smokita



Year Album US Heat Label
2004 Everything I've Got in My Pocket 43 Zoë
2007 Seastories 25
2014 Ask Me to Dance 11 Rounder


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


  • Managing Expectations: A Memoir. London: Manilla Press. 2022. ISBN 9781786582409. OCLC 1300420971.[47]


  1. ^ Marx, Rebecca Flint. "Minnie Driver: Overview". Allmovie. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  2. ^ "Repertory: Invisible Girl". ASCAP. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  3. ^ David, Mark (9 October 2014). "Minnie Driver Lists Hollywood Hills House". Variety. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  4. ^ Borne, Air (22 December 2009). "Barbados-raised Actress' father's ashes to be scattered on Bajan polo field". Bajan Reporter. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  5. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ a b "Driver, Charles Ronald". Traces of War. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Minnie Driver". Who Do You Think You Are?. Series 10. Episode 3. 7 August 2013. BBC. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
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  10. ^ Hutchinson, Clare (20 August 2010). "Hollywood star calls for Wales' only lido to be opened". WalesOnline. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
  11. ^ Winters, Laura (2 August 1998). "Film; When the Character Calls, Minnie Driver Listens". The New York Times.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Home". Collingham College.
  14. ^ Agencies (5 August 2013). "Minnie Driver unearths father's secret double life on TV show". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  15. ^ UK TV Adverts 1991 (part 3). Archived from the original on 9 June 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2012 – via YouTube.
  16. ^ "Minnie Driver Biography". Biography.com. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ "Minnie Driver". Emmys. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  19. ^ "Minnie Driver – Awards". IMDb. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  20. ^ Abrams, Natalie (12 November 2009). "Minnie Driver to Guest-Star on Modern Family". TV Guide. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  21. ^ "James Nesbitt, Minnie Driver and Goran Visnjic star in new BBC One drama serial, The Deep". BBC. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  22. ^ Vlessing, Etan (3 October 2011). "'Incendies' Takes Top Prize at Canadian Film Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  23. ^ Kroll, Justin (29 October 2013). "'The Butler' Producer Sets up Next Pic Starring Frank Grillo and Minnie Driver (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  24. ^ Swift, Andy (10 May 2019). "Speechless Cancelled at ABC". TVLine. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  25. ^ a b Barnett, Laura (12 May 2008). "Portrait of the artist: Minnie Driver, actor and musician". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  26. ^ Petridis, Alexis (2 September 2004). "'I've taken a pounding'". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  27. ^ "(Everything I've Got in My Pocket> Charts & Awards> Billboard Albums)". AllMusic. 5 October 2004. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
  28. ^ "Minnie Drives at Musical Success With Finn Brothers Tour". Contact Music. 8 October 2004. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  29. ^ "Phair, Ryan Adams Enhance Minnie Driver Sophomore Set". Billboard. 16 March 2007. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
  30. ^ Roy Trakin (28 July 2014). "Minnie Driver to Release 'Ask Me to Dance,' Cover Album". The Hollywood Reporter.
  31. ^ Spangler, Todd (17 March 2021). "Minnie Driver to Launch Talk-Show Podcast Asking Celeb Guests Same Seven Existential Questions (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  32. ^ Todisco, Eric (23 September 2019). "Minnie Driver Confirms Romance with Addison O'Dea at Emmys Afterparty". People. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  33. ^ Williams, Marielle (23 September 2019). "Minnie Driver Debuts Blinged Out Engagement Ring From New Love Addison O'Dea At Emmys After Party". Access Hollywood. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  34. ^ "Minnie Driver Breaks Off Engagement". ABC News. 4 October 2001. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  35. ^ Jordan, Julie; Chi, Paul (8 September 2008). "Minnie Driver Welcomes a Son!". People. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  36. ^ "Mum's the Word! Mindy Kaling, Minnie Driver & More Celebs Who've Kept Quiet About Their Baby's Father". People. 11 June 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  37. ^ Delbyck, Cole (12 October 2016). "Minnie Driver Shares Deeply Personal Story About Teenage Sexual Assault". Huffington Post. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  38. ^ 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.
  39. ^ 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.
  40. ^ 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.
  41. ^ 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.
  42. ^ "Minnie Driver Sworn in As US Citizen in LA Ceremony". Patch. 22 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  43. ^ "Minnie Driver". Oxfam America. Archived from the original on 11 April 2021. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  44. ^ Slawson, Nicola (13 February 2018). "Minnie Driver cuts ties with Oxfam over sex scandal". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  45. ^ Shawn Adler; Larry Carroll (1 October 2021). "Movie File: 'Dark Knight,' Christian Bale, 'Simpsons Movie' & More". MTV. Retrieved 8 May 2007.
  46. ^ "'Our Flag Means Death Season 2': Exclusive First Look". Vanity Fair. 24 August 2023.
  47. ^ "Manilla Press to publish the "tell-most" memoir of Minnie Driver". Bonnier Books UK. 9 December 2021. Retrieved 17 March 2022. Managing Expectations will be published in hardback, audio and eBook in May 2022. It will be published simultaneously by HarperOne in the US.

External links[edit]