Born In: Los Angeles, California, United States
Minka Kelly is an American actress known for her roles in American films and TV shows. She came into prominence with her breakout role in the high school drama series ‘Friday Night Lights,’ where she portrayed the role of a cheerleader. Before that, she was signed to play several roles in TV series, such as ‘Drake and Josh’ and ‘American Dreams.’ ‘Friday Night Lights’ increased her popularity and the creator of the show was so impressed with her skills that he offered her a role in his first feature film ‘The Kingdom,’ where she starred alongside Jamie Foxx. Two years later, in 2009, she appeared in another movie titled ‘500 Days of Summer’ alongside Joseph Gordon Levitt. Apart from her acting stints, she has been a popular model, featuring in several men’s magazines. Known for her good looks, Kelly was named ‘sexiest woman alive’ by a 2010, edition of the popular ‘Esquire’ magazine. Minka Kelly keeps herself busy by appearing regularly in TV and big screen projects.
father: Rick Dufay
mother: Maureen Dumont Kelly
Born Country: United States
Notable Alumni: Valley High School
Ancestry: Irish American, French American
U.S. State: California
City: Los Angeles
education: Valley High School
Minka Kelly was born Minka Dumont Dufay on June 24, 1980, in Los Angeles, California, USA. She was born into a family associated with performing arts. Her mother Maureen Kelly used to be an exotic dancer and her father Rick Dufay is a former guitarist of the popular and acclaimed band ‘Aerosmith.’ Her grandfather Richard Ney was a pretty famous actor back in his days.
After her father abandoned the family, she stayed with her mother in New Mexico, but her feelings towards her father took her to Los Angeles. She still shares a close bond with both her parents and visits her mother regularly.
Kelly spent her formative years with her mother. The mother- daughter duo kept hopping around places and finally settled down in Chicago. Kelly was in her junior high school when they moved to Chicago and finished the rest of her schooling from there. Acting was her hobby initially, and she studied to become a surgical professional and moved to Los Angeles to be with her father. Later, acting became her passion and she took up acting classes and a few auditions followed.
She started auditioning in the late-90s and a talent manager saw her during one of her modeling test shoots. However, it did not work out and in order to make the ends meet, she worked as an assistant for a surgeon for almost a year and later worked as a scrub technician. Four years went by, and she kept auditioning but to no avail. She finally began her acting career with a short film in 2003. She played the role of an extra in a six-minute short film.
Her performance in the short film earned her a minor role in the series ‘Cracking Up.’ Her good looks landed her small roles in few other shows, such as ‘Entourage,’ ‘American Dream,’ and ‘Drake and Josh.’ In 2006, she landed the breakthrough role of her career that would establish her as an actress.
She was selected to play the role of a cheerleader in the NBC series ‘Friday Night Lights’ and Kelly received acclaim for her role. ‘New York Times’ reviewed her performance positively, calling her performance ‘heartbreaking.’ Kelly waved goodbye to the series after the third season.
Film roles started pouring in and Kelly appeared in the 2006 horror film ‘The Pumpkin Karver.’ She was then seen in films like ‘The Kingdom’ and ‘500 Days of Summer.’ Although most of these films had her playing guest roles, she was able to leave a mark with her scintillating on-screen presence and performance.
In the mid-2008, she had her first role as a protagonist in the CW series ‘Body Politic.’ Although the pilot received acclaim for its content, the series wasn’t picked up by the network. She was then cast in another series titled ‘Mad Love.’ Although the series got picked up by a network, Kelly was replaced by Sarah Chalke when the show went on air.
Kelly received praise for her portrayal of an aid of a mentally ill kid in the NBC drama ‘Parenthood’ where she appeared in a few episodes in 2010. The very next year, the ‘Esquire’ magazine named her the ‘Sexiest Woman Alive,’ placing her in the league of beauties, such as Angelina Jolie and Scarlett Johansson. In the same year, she went on to appear in a play titled ‘Love, Loss and What I Wore,’ receiving acclaim once again.
She was also featured in the reboot of the show ‘Charlie’s Angels.’ Although the show had a strong opening, the extremely poor reviews compelled the producers to take the show off air, and it was eventually canceled after four episodes. Her next venture was a thriller film titled ‘The Roommate’ in 2011. In the film, she landed the lead role of a college freshman. Although the film was a moderate box office success, it was universally panned for its cheesiness and unoriginality.
Her 2011 film ‘Searching for Sonny’ went on to receive accolades in film festivals and ended up winning the ‘Best Narrative Feature’ at the ‘Festivus Film Festival.’ Her other stints include fashion shows for charity events and ‘New York Fashion Week.’ In June 2012, Kelly collaborated with ‘Maroon 5’ to appear in their music video ‘One More Night,’ which was part of their album ‘Overexposed.’
She has since appeared in films, such as ‘The Butler,’ ‘The World Made Straight,’ ‘Away and Back,’ and ‘Night Hunter.’ She has also made brief appearances in TV shows, such as ‘Jane the Virgin,’ ‘The Path,’ and ‘Man Seeking Woman.’
In 2020, she voiced ‘Arya Stark’ in one of the episodes of the adult animated stop motion sketch comedy TV series ‘Robot Chicken.’
Her dating history is quite interesting. She has dated actors, such as Donald Faison, Chris Evans, John Mayer, Derek Jeter, and Wilmer Valderrama. In 2020, she was romantically linked to comedian Trevor Noah. In May 2022, the couple parted ways.
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